Cakes · Desserts

Lemon Curd

Many uses of lemon curd

Bringing sexy back to lemon curd.

I understand – if you’ve never tried lemon curd before, it sounds horribly unappetizing. No, it’s downright scary sounding. The thought of acid mixing with milk or eggs and coagulating (another scary word) conjours images of past cooking failures and zombies. Why does my dessert look like scrambled eggs? Curd is bad word.

But when made properly, lemon curd is far from coagulated blobs and zombies. It’s smooth, blob-free, and perfectly balanced between tart and sweet so you’re eating lemon perfection as opposed to face-puckering raw lemons with a side of scrambled eggs.

My latest vow to myself is that I’d always have a batch of lemon curd ready in my fridge. Can you imagine my delight when I found out it was freezable?

While lemon curd isn’t normally eaten by itself, my favorite (lazy) way of eating lemon curd is to spoon it over scones with fresh whipped cream. If I’m feeling a bit fancier, it’ll make an appearance in a blueberry chiffon cake or a lemon curd tart topped with berries.

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I’ve tried countless recipes and techniques for lemon curd and not surprisingly enough, Thomas Keller’s recipe is perfection. I should have known and saved myself the heartache all this time…

Ingredients
  • 1.8 grams silver leaf gelatin sheet  (or 1.8 grams of granulated gelatin)
  • 108 grams eggs
  • 108 grams granulated sugar
  • 108 grams strained fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 140 grams unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1/2 small lemon or 1/2 lime (optional)

Directions

Place the gelatin in a bowl of ice water to soften. If using granulated gelatin, sprinkle gelatin in a small bowl with 1 tbs cold water.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the lemon or lime juice. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk slowly; until the mixture begins to simmer. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk gently for 1-2 minutes to release steam and cool the curd slightly.

Remove the gelatin from the water, squeezing out excess water, and whisk it into the hot curd. If using granulated gelatin, microwave gelatin and water for 5-10 seconds until melted and whisk it into the hot curd. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer set over a blender and blend on low speed for a few seconds, then add the butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time, blending until incorporated. Add the zest, if using, and blend to incorporated. Let the curd cool to room temperature.

The curd can be used at this point or transferred to a covered container. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for up to 4 days (or store in freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to a couple months).

If the curd has refrigerated and has stiffened, transfer it to a bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment and mix slowly until it reaches a creamy consistency.
Recipe from Thomas Keller (Bouchon Bakery cookbook)

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