Monday, September 21, 2015

Lemon Curd

I took a cooking class and learning all about curd...which is something my husband says sounds like food that went bad. I tried to explain to him that "curd" doesn't mean it's curdled. Instead it's simply a different example of custard or pudding...sort of.
Here in the United States we usually make puddings or custards, where milk or cream are the base ingredient but for curd the base ingredient is butter.
Yep, butter. So it is much richer in flavor. But, when I told my husband it has a richer flavor. He said, "What does that mean?"
But I wasn't talking about money so, I had to think about it. "Richer" to me is heavier, thicker and probably a whole lot more fattening.
But, what the heck...we were having guests for dinner and I've been intending to try out my new cooking skills with curd for over a few months now. So I pulled out the Meyer Lemons...and, yes, the recipe does call for these very specific lemons. So, of course before I could pull them out, I had to run to the grocery store to get them because, no, I don't keep Meyer Lemons on hand every day...heck I don't even keep them on hand any day, unless I'm pulling out a special recipe to make that calls for them.
Curd is silky smooth and shiny. And is a beautiful, flavorful dessert but should be served as a topping to a scone or banana bread, at least in my opinion. I think it's too rich to be eaten by itself...although, given an opportunity when I'm all alone and it's sitting in the fridge, don't hold me to those words because I might be tempted beyond my own control. Because really packs a powerful flavor punch.
So, if you're still reading and interested, here is how you make curd:
Ingredients: 4 "Meyer" Lemons 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1/4 pound butter 4 large eggs 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 3 to 4 lemons)
Recipe: Peel the lemons to use the skin as zest (read this bit about zesting - because you can't just use big, thick, pithy peels) Add sugar and zest and blend in food processor (if you don't have a food processor- you have to grate the lemon zest very finely) Cream the butter (which means the butter has to be room temperature or softened - but not in a microwave or it will be so hot it will cook the eggs - and that would not be a good thing) Add the butter to the sugar and lemon juice and zest mixture. Add the eggs one at a time until well-blended. Pour the mixture in a sauce pan and cook over low to medium heat until thickened (about ten minutes) STIR CONSTANTLY or you will be sorry. When the curd is thickened, pour into a bowl and put in the refrigerator to cool. Then when dessert is served, you simply put a spoon in the curd and let people heap it high on top of their scone, banana bread or whatever it is you're serving. "Bon Appétit"

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