Sweet, tart, rich … balanced, smooth. Hello, Lemon Curd. Hello, dreamy sunshine in a bowl.
If Optimism Were a Fragrance …
Don’t lemons make you feel happy? Their bright yellow skin is so cheery, their shape is pleasing, and oh, the aroma. When you work with lemons the whole kitchen smells tangy, fresh and energizing.
If optimism were a fragrance, this would be it.
I used my lemons not just as inexpensive therapy, but to make a lemon curd. It captures all the bright and upbeat lemon characteristics, and marries them with sweetness and richness to create something balanced, smooth and dreamy.
Feeling blue? Sneak a spoonful of this from the bowl and — hello, sunshine.
Sweet and tart, yet rich. Balanced and smooth. Lemon Curd is like dreamy sunshine in a bowl.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes
- zest of 1/2 lemon, or about 1 tsp (Optional)
Whisk together the egg yolks, egg and sugar in the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the lemon juice. Place over a pan of water at a high simmer and stir for about ten minutes. During this time the sunny yellow mixture will thicken. Add the butter, a few cubes at a time, and stir in until incorporated. This should take another five minutes.
Take the top vessel off the pan of water and carefully dry the bottom before proceeding (you don’t want water to drip into the curd). Pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl set on a cooling rack. If using the lemon zest, stir it in now. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then cover with waxed paper or plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the curd and up the sides of the bowl, so no air can get in. Chill.
Keep refrigerated in a lidded jar or other well-sealed container for up to two weeks (if it lasts that long).
Looking for More Citrusy Treats?
I’ve always loved the tang of citrus in baked goods and desserts. You can experience that particular delight with super-easy Lemon Posset, Orange Poppyseed Muffins, and the special treat of Pavlova with Lime Curd. This last post is from the earliest days of the blog, back in 2011, before I knew anything much about food photography, but the recipe makes up for that!
First Published 2013 05 29
Republished 2019 04 11