Monday, March 12, 2012

Lemon Curd Recipe - The End of the Lemon Harvest

While harvesting the remainder of my lemons I thought of how to best utilize the surplus from this year’s crop. Needless to say I have taken care of my neighbors desires for “fresh, right off the tree” lemons so now it is my time to enjoy the rich, tangy rewards offered by my Meyer lemon tree.

I now have 24 jars of frozen juice, a plastic container of dried zest, 4 (remaining) jars of lemon curd, a lemon pie and a few lemon tartlets coming this weekend.  This leaves only enough for garnish while finishing a fish presentation.

The greatest personal reward was to make Lemon Curd as I had always purchased jars from retail sources thinking the process for making lemon curd must be way too complicated and how could I make my curd to be equal to the English version to which I have become so attached.  To my dear readers, I offer a recipe that will not only please your taste buds, but is equal to my favorite English Curd I discovered while having tea at Harrods in London. This recipe is a short approach to mixing the ingredients and can be easily doubled if you enjoy the initial attempt.

2              Large eggs
1/3 cup    Fresh lemon juice
½   cup    Sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbls     Cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Add about 1” of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. This method replaces the double boiler.

In a bowl whip eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, gradually mix in lemon juice and zest until fully incorporated.  Place bowl over the simmering water, (bowl should be a size which will fit snugly over the saucepan without the bowl touching the water). Continue whisking until the curd is thick and smooth, about 8 to 10 minutes.  This time will vary depending on the amount of heat you have generated within your saucepan. Keep in mind the water should be simmering not boiling.

Remove the bowl from the heat, begin to blend the small pieces of butter into the curd whisking until the mixture is smooth. Pour the curd into a container, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a crust forming and refrigerate overnight or up to two weeks.

Should you wish to have a velvety smooth lemon curd, pour the warm curd through a sieve to remove the particles of zest.

Happy cooking
Clark Williams