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I Love Lemon Curd

I love lemons.  Love love love them!  So it should come as no surprise that lemon curd is one of my favorite treats.  Sweet and tart, rich and creamy, it’s just one of those perfect creations that I can’t imagine living without.

I first tasted lemon curd only a couple of years ago.  I was staying with my aunt and uncle and was going through a ‘scone stage.’ I don’t know how many batches of scones I made in a week, but it was plenty.  Since I’ve always heard that lemon curd is the perfect accompaniment to scones, I decided to try a batch.  My Aunt Kathy and I fell in love with it and now my scones just seem lonely when I eat them without lemon curd.

Well, I’m going through a scone stage once again so I decided to try out the Lemon Curd recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook.  I generally have a hard time following a recipe without changing anything, but this lemon curd was made exactly as directed.  I have to warn you that it’s very, very tart.  But I absolutely love it that way!  I’ve eaten it on several cranberry orange scones (these but with orange zest instead of lemon) and I’ve also been stirring it into bowls of my favorite plain Greek yogurt.  And since this recipe made quite a large batch, I might just have to bake some more scones in the morning!

Although I am really enjoying this batch of lemon curd, it’s not as thick as other recipes I’ve tried. I’m not sure if it’s something I did wrong, or if it’s supposed to be this way, but I think next time I might try this Foolproof Way to Make Luscious, Light Lemon Curd that I read about at Fine Cooking.

Lemon Curd
from The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and salt in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Cook, stirring, over moderately low heat until mixture warms, then add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes.

2. Immediately pour curd through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon to help force it through.  Discard what is left in strainer.  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Yield: about three cups

Recipe Notes: For me, it took much longer than ten minutes for the lemon curd to thicken, although I think that might have had something to do with the faulty burners on my stove.  However, it never thickened enough to hold the marks of the whisk like the recipe said.  I finally removed it from the heat when it was visibly bubbling and poured it through the strainer.  It did thicken in the fridge, but it’s still not nearly as thick as lemon curds I’ve made in the past, so keep that in mind. The lemon curd can be kept, refrigerated, for about a week.  And I’ve heard that it can also be frozen, although I haven’t tried that myself.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, this is a very, very tart lemon curd. This is perfect for my taste, but if you prefer more sweet than tart, you should perhaps try a different version of lemon curd.  I’ll add links below to several recipes.

Lemon curd is wonderful spread on fresh, hot scones but it’s also great on muffins, or even toast.  The Gourmet Cookbook suggests folding it into whipped cream for an instant lemon mousse, and I’ve already mentioned how much I love it stirred into some thick, plain yogurt.

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