So you know how I was talking about being into heritage stuff lately? I am still on that kick, which is why I’m going to introduce you to one of my favorite things: lemon curd. I’m not fully sure that it’s heritage, but oh well. When I think about lemon curd, Downton Abbey and fancy sitting rooms with high tea and scones come to mind. Maybe it’s not completely accurate, but it’s what I think of. Either way, curds are delicious. And don’t worry, I am not talking about the squeaky cheese curds you can get in Wisconsin).
Just in case you’ve never had the pleasure, let me introduce you to a magical food world (yes, I said magical–if I dream I am riding a unicorn over a rainbow, at the end of that rainbow will be a pot of lemon curd). A curd is essentially a custard made even more decadent through adding extra egg yolk and salted butter. It is creamy, and spreads with a consistency similar to whipped cream cheese. Think of the delicious inner part of a fruit pie without the chunks of fruit, but thickened. It’s so amazing, I could eat it with a spoon. Correction: I have eaten it with a spoon.
To my knowledge, curd can be made from many different fruits. I have only tried making citrus-based curds like lemon or orange, but I have heard of a cranberry curd. With enough practice, I imagine you could even do a berry curd if you could make a pure juice without chunks of berry floating around. It would be a shame to mess with the texture. Once you have tried this recipe, feel free to experiment with mixing your citrus, changing the fruit…the sky is the limit!
Our good friend Jeff gave us this recipe, and it’s a winner. As with all beloved foods, you will see some variations in proportion amongst the ingredients if you are familiar with other curd recipes.. But Jeff’s recipe strikes a great balance. If you don’t have a scale to measure the grams, the measurements are easy enough to convert (if you don’t have it written down, look it up on the internet). Also, if you don’t have a double boiler, it is fairly easy to improvise: take a saucepan, fill it with a couple inches of water, and place a heat-resistant mixing bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Mix the ingredients in the bowl and follow the directions.
Let us know how it turns out, and how you use it! Our favorite ways to eat it are on scones, toast, crepes (coming in the next week or two), and over yogurt.
- 70-100 grams (4ish lemons)
- Zest of a meyer lemon
- 250 grams white sugar
- 4 yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 120 milliliters meyer lemon juice
- 85 grams (6 tablespoons) salted butter cut into cubes
- Mix zest and sugar in a bowl and thoroughly rub together until fragrant.
- In a double boiler over medium heat, combine yolks, eggs, and whisk together.
- Add sugar/zest and whisk again.
- Add lemon juice and whisk once more.
- Switch to a spatula. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.
- Add the butter. Cook 5-15 minutes more,stirring constantly. You’ll know you’re done when the curd coats the back of a spoon without running or dripping (a temperature of about 210 degrees).
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the zest.
- Can according to preferred method in half-pint jars. Freeze to preserve. Will last 2-4 months in the freezer.