Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Lemon Curd

Homemade Lemon Curd
Home Cooking

My baking project for the week was lemon cheesecake squares. I was in a lemon cheesecake kind of mood. I wanted it to be baked and I wanted it to have layers. When my mind is set on something, there's no compromising.

I found this great recipe, which was pretty much EXACTLY what I wanted (post to follow). Only, I had 2 egg yolks left over from making the low fat raspberry muffins (using 2 egg whites there) so I wanted a lemon curd recipe that used up egg yolks. Instead of using the lemon curd recipe suggested in that link, I went and found my own. If that seems irrational to you, just think about having 2 rogue egg yolks sitting in your fridge. It's unseemly. It's one of those things that bothers me. The same applies to unused egg whites. This recipe from came to my rescue.

I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with 1 x 250ml jar filled to the brim, plus a little bit more. I used about 1/2 of it for the lemon cheesecake squares but still have plenty left to spread on muffins (they're great on the raspberry muffins) or whatever else I want. Lemon curd is useful!

Lemon Curd
Makes approx 1 and 1/2 cups

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) unsalted butter
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons (I found this to be a bit vague since lemons vary so much in size. I had a huge one and 2 little ones so I used all three. I guess you can taste and adjust?)

1. Whisk whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth.

2. Place the saucepan over low heat. Add the butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk continuously until thickened.
3. Strain through a seive into a sterilized jar (info on how to sterilize jars here).

Note: lemon curd can keep in a fridge for up to 2 weeks.

This recipe is so easy. Just bang all the ingredients together via a lot of whisking. The trickiest part, I found, was knowing when to stop. I kept wondering "has it thickened yet? Will I be able to tell?"

Let me advise you... yes, you will be able to tell. There is a noticeable textural change as the mixture goes from liquidy to almost gel-like in consistency. That's when you remove the curd from the heat and strain. Make sure you are constantly whisking over low heat or you might end up with scrambled eggs.

I hate straining things but here, it's unavoidable. It's necessary to get rid of lumps and bits of lemon pip that you have let escape into the saucepan.

I was really happy with the taste and consistency of the lemon curd. It's zingy, thick and smooth with a touch of sweetness. Lemon curd is versatile and can be used as a spread, to flavor things, as a base for lemon meringue pie, in cheesecake, on scones or crackers. I know of people who lick it straight out of the jar too, but that's naughty so you didn't hear it from me.

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