Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lemon Curd

It's that time of year! Hardly time to take a breath, much less post about food. We have been without the internet in our home since we moved back in September, and honestly, it has been the last thing on my list. It should have been a bit closer to the top since we apparently rely on it more than we realized. That being said, I have fallen far behind in my cheese making challenge/class, but I have already prepared to catch up! I have all my ingredients lined up and I am going to attempt to make cream cheese, feta, and mozzarella in the next few weeks.
For today, I have a lovely post about lemon curd. This is not just something that fancy English people spread on scones at tea time. It is absolutely amazing, and you can make a giant batch a freeze it, for use whenever you please. I would recommend doing that, instead of making little batches for a particular recipe.

Places where I have used this, to name a few, are; in cakes- added to the batter and/or a thin coating spread between layers, in buttercream frosting- for an amazingly intense lemon flavor add 1/4 cup to 1 lb of frosting, and in a delicious summer fruit parfait-mixed with real whipped cream and topped with angel food croutons.
This stuff is magic. I can't get enough of this intense, lemon-flavored custard, and since lemons are apparently in season (I have had about 18 lbs given to me in the past month), now's about the time to share some lemon recipes.
This is a recipe from Alton Brown, and it is very similar to the one I first made.

Lemon Curd

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 stick butter, cut into  slices

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice and, if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan.
Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for up to 2 week or freeze indefinitely.

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