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Recipe of the Week: Bear's Lemon Curd

 
Marshal
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Bear's Lemon Curd

Last week when I posted the Lemon Pound Cake recipe I promised the recipe for Lemon Curd. Here 'tis!



5 egg yolks
1 c (225g) sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 stick butter (113g), cut into pats and chilled

1. Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch (2.54cm) up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup (80ml).

4. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth.

5. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Take your time here; the difference between curd and scrambled eggs is in raising the temperature of the egg mixture slowly.

6. Remove promptly from heat and stir in chilled butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next.

7. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Note: once you master this recipe, you've also mastered Hollandaise sauce which you make by simply omitting the sugar and adding some salt, and white or cayenne pepper.
 
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Sounds very similar to what I make. I have a little jar in the fridge, but shall have to make some more soon because Ruth wants to get rid of a few lemons. Having taken advice round here, I found out you can use 4 yolks or two whole eggs stirred and put through a coarse strainer. Obviously a slightly less rich recipe. I have never used water in the bowl, only underneath it. I have never managed to get my eggs to curdle in 8 minutes; if I try a larger batch with a full half‑pound of butter, I can stand there stirring for half an hour.
I find mine has much more of a tang to it than bought lemon curd, which can be a bit too sweet. Proper lemon curd is so intensely flavoured I probably couldn't eat as much as in your photo.
How do you remove the lemon zest? I usually use a grater, which gives the curd a slightly granular consistency. The old Glasgow Cookery Book (John Smith & Co, no author's name visible) says to use loaf sugar to rub the outside off the lemon for a smoother consistency. But where on earth can you get loaf sugar nowadays?
In the days when they taught proper cookery at school, lemon curd was one of the first recipes because it is reasonably straightforward and simple to make.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:I have never used water in the bowl, only underneath it.


Right -- the water is in the pan, under the bowl.

I have never managed to get my eggs to curdle in 8 minutes


I have a friend who has tried this again and again, and always ends up with scrambled lemon eggs. I think he gets impatient and cranks up the heat.

I find mine has much more of a tang to it than bought lemon curd, which can be a bit too sweet. Proper lemon curd is so intensely flavoured


Indeed! Thats why I make my own!

How do you remove the lemon zest?


I have a really fine grater that makes more of a lemon "dust" than a zest. For people without such a tool, I'd recommend passing the curd through a sieve to strain out zest strands that might mar the texture of the curd.

says to use loaf sugar to rub the outside off the lemon for a smoother consistency.


Had to look up "loaf sugar". Here, they are called "sugar cubes", and yeah, can't recall the last time I saw any.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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No, loaf sugar comes in much larger lumps than sugar cubes. I can buy sugar cubes anywhere, sometimes even brown ones. Loaf sugar would be several feet tall and yu would hack pieces off it with shears. I might try sugar cubes some time.

As for timing, does your friend use a metal bowl? I usually use a heat‑resistant glass one and maybe my problem is with heat conduction from the steam.
 
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:No, loaf sugar comes in much larger lumps than sugar cubes. I can buy sugar cubes anywhere, sometimes even brown ones. Loaf sugar would be several feet tall and yu would hack pieces off it with shears.


Ah! Not something I've ever even known about.

As for timing, does your friend use a metal bowl?


Not sure what he keeps doing wrong. I use a metal bowl without issues. Glass (Pyrex) is a good idea though for better temperature control.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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I can't remember whether our bowls are actually Pyrex; they probably are. The last batch of curd did have a hint of scrambled eggs, just a few strands, but I don't usually have that problem. We always keep it in the fridge, but it seems to keep much much longer than you suggest; the latest jar is dated November 2016.
You occasionally see home-made lemon curd at Church fêtes, and I too advice from somebody who made lemon curd for fêtes, but unlike jam where you can cook 12lb for £10, by the time you have made enough lemon curd to fill a 12oz jar, you have spent £2 on ingredients.
What sort of grater have you got? We only have an ordinary multipurpose grater as used for cheese etc.

You can of course make curd with different kinds of fruit.
 
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