Monday, July 9, 2012

Lemon Curd

My hometown of Boulder, CO has a beautiful gift from our sister city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan.  It is an ornate, hand-crafted tea house that serves a whole book of loose-leaf teas and a variety of foods.  While I never cared to dine there for brunch or dinner, I did love an occasional scone and spicy chai in the winter or high tea service to celebrate something.

You can order their scones with lemon curd and/or clotted cream, both of which come with the pastries served during high tea.  I love lemon curd, mostly because it makes eating pie filling by the spoonful socially acceptable.  I often restrained myself from baking entire pies for no one in particular (because it usually meant my roommate and I had to polish off the whole thing), but lemon curd is an easy way to make anything a bit more like pie.

Aside from a scone accompaniment, you can use lemon curd to top ice cream, waffles, pancakes, cupcakes (as a substitute for frosting), or sandwich between plain cookies.  The end result is a thick, yogurt-consistency spread.

Digby is undecided about lemons (although he does like oranges), but he definitely was looking for spilled sugar on the table.  I snapped a few pictures on the tripod, and it coincidentally led to a pretty awesome .gif for this post's dog shot:

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown
Yield: 2 cups 

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2-3/4 stick butter
Note: you'll be cooking your lemon curd using the double boiler method.  You can use a saucepan and a metal bowl, just make sure the metal bowl sits comfortably in the pan without falling in. 

Mix your egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice together in a metal bowl.  Whisk until smooth.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan with an inch of water (or less if the bowl is touching the water level) to simmer.

Reduce the heat to low, and place the whisked curd on top of the simmering pot.  Keep stirring to cook.

Whisk until thickened, or when it coats the back of the spoon like this (10+ min):

Remove bowl from heat, and cut in butter, one pat at a time.

Stir, and allow butter to melt completely before adding more.

Pour in a container, and let cool.  Will keep for 2 weeks, refrigerated.