Friday, May 1, 2009

Lemon Curd

Who in the world came up with the name for Lemon Curd? CURD? That was the best someone could come up with after first stumbling upon the preparation for this silky smooth, buttery, sweet-and-sour concoction? Honestly. It makes something so delicious sound like, well... like cheese. Which, don't get me wrong, is delicious in its own special way. But a Cheese Curd and Lemon Curd have diddly squat in common, and I take offense to this complete misuse of the word Curd. Even Pudding would have been more acceptable, though, I suppose, that's a whole other ball of wax!
Well, setting aside the deplorable name, here is an altogether lovely recipe for lemon curd, which takes less than 15 minutes to make. Perfect for a pie, tart, or cake filling, or spread on muffins or scones.

Lemon Curd
(adapted from On Baking, by Sarah Labensky)

4 fl. oz. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
6.5 oz. Granulated Sugar, divided
2 tsp. Lemon Zest
2 Eggs
6 oz. Unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces

1. Combine the Lemon Juice, 3 ounces of the sugar and the zest in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
2. Place the eggs and remaining sugar in a bowl. Gently whisk together - we don't want lots of air bubbles.
3. While stirring the egg mixture gently, pour about 1/4 of the boiling juice mixture into the eggs. Once combined, continuing stirring and add in the remaining juice mixture to the eggs. Whisk to combine, then add the mixture back to the saucepan and return to the stove.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue mixing and boil for 1 minute.
5. Remove from heat and transfer mixture into a cool bowl. Allow to cool, either in an ice bath or in the fridge for several minutes.
6. When the mixture is still warm, but no longer hot, add the butter in five parts, stirring well with a spatula after each addition. When the chunks of butter are almost melted, but not completely, you can add the next addition.
7. Use immediately, or chill, cover, and refrigerate.

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