April 03, 2015

Homemade Lemon Curd

With Easter right around the corner, and promises of Springtime lingering in the (slightly warmer) air, I have lemons on my mind.

Something about the flavor and scent of a lemon makes me think of sunshine, warmth, and fun to be had. The bright citrusy flavor just makes me happy!

What is more lemony rich than lemon curd?

Lemon curd is something that I definitely enjoy, but had not made by scratch until just the other day. I had only really noticed it in gourmet stores, or tucked away on the grocery shelf in small jars with pretty labels. The pleasing small-portioned packaging, and product placement always made it seem super special... and (nearly) impossible to make.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Lemon curd may be a little time consuming, but it is super simple to cook at home! I will now be able to enjoy this British delicacy straight from my refrigerator. I look forward to savoring a dollop in my yogurt, spreading some on my pancakes, and even giving some to friends and family as a sweet treat.

I used Alton Brown's recipe, found here from the Food Network. I did see other recipes which called for whole eggs, but I chose Alton's because his method appealed to me. (Everything mixes/cooks in one bowl.) Besides, maybe now I'll make an Angel Food cake with my leftover egg whites- lemon curd on Angel Food sounds delicious!

Lemon Curd
Makes 1 pint

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 stick butter, sliced and chilled*

In a medium saucepan, bring about 1 inch of water to simmer over medium-high heat.
In a medium metal mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth- about 1 minute.
Add lemon juice and zest to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Once water is simmering, reduce heat to low (not too low- the water should continue to lightly simmer), and place metal bowl on top of saucepan. (The bowl should not touch the water; you may also use a double boiler if you have one.)
Whisk until thickened- about 8 minutes- or until the mixture is light yellow, and coats the back of a spoon.

Quickly remove from heat and stir in butter one slice at a time, allowing each slice to melt before adding the next. Pour into clean jars, or other containers. Cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the curd (to avoid the formation of "skin"), and place lid overtop. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

*Notes on this recipe: Check your simmering water as you are whisking to thicken your curd- if your water has stopped simmering, adjust temperature accordingly- otherwise, it will take forever to thicken! I did not use the entire stick of butter- I added probably 2/3-3/4 of the butter; taste as you add your butter, and stop when you are happy.

Before heading into the fridge to cool down. 

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