Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

June 21, 2012

Run, Lemon Curd, Run!

LOOK!  My first official food blog post in forever!  Excite!

I am a lemon fiend.  I love the tart bite of citrus, the way it contrasts wonderfully with creamy deliciousness, and how it can be incorporated into sweet, savory, seafood, whatever.  SO when lemons go on sale, I buy lots, and try to come up with some way to justify the purchase by cooking them into everything.  

I've tried several times to make lemon curd, with the first recipe being the most successful.  The key to curd is to stir it constantly, for a really stinking long time, until you're questioning whether or not you can break for the bathroom or not.  Then those little bubbles will break in the pan and it'll be finished!  Then, magically during cooling, it turns into the perfect gelatinous texture that you can spoon right out of the jar when it's cooled.  Make sure you cool it in a large bowl and NOT in a jar.  It doesn't settle correctly when placed in a tall apparatus versus something wide where the heat can be distributed outward more easily (this was my downfall more than once!).

Although my third attempt was not a success, I know that this recipe is good!  I will post photos of this delicious failure, and you will like it!  Or not. The recipe yields two cups' worth, and can be used with all kinds of other recipes or just simply eaten straight.
Photo by Gilbert Blanchard III

As a side note, I love the farmer's market!  It's such a great thing to be able to utilize what's in season in my cooking, and to learn about the many different varieties of heirloom tomatoes.  These have been sitting on the kitchen counter and my husband periodically attacks them like a kid with candy when parents are out of the room.

I ended up using my runny, failed version of the lemon curd to top off some cranberry scones I scored at the farmer's market and it was awesome!

Photo by Gilbert Blanchard III

Like I said before though, don't give up if your stirring efforts don't seem to be going anywhere; just keep it moving with a whisk.  Top with fruit, or spoon into little phyllo shells, or mix with whipped cream, or hell, just get a spoon and go to work.

Next week: Lemon Icebox Cookies!  Eat em now or freeze em for later!  Just cut and cook!  Or, it may be Mini Bacon Cheesecakes... or both!

Lemon Curd

Printable Version

Makes: 2 cups     Takes:   20 min. cooking, 1 hour cooling minimum

You Need:
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 C fresh lemon juice
  • 8 egg yolks (large)
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter (10 Tbsp), cut into tablespoons
1. Using a medium saucepan (don't turn on the stove yet!), whisk together sugar, lemon zest and yolks, then whisk in lemon juice and salt.  Add butter and turn on heat at medium-high.  Start whisking constantly!  Whisk until butter is melted and mix is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Small bubbles should form around the edge of the pan.  This took me about 10 minutes.  Don't stop whisking, and don't let it boil!

2.  Remove from heat while still whisking.  Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl.  Press plastic wrap against the whole surface of the curd and refrigerate it until it's cool.  Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks, refrigerated.

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