Friday, January 8, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...The Sequel

I'm not really sure where to start with this post....I have so much to share. So I guess I'll start with what might have come first...the egg. These eggs were purchased last weekend at the farmers' market. Though I prefer the brown or blue ones, this is the only kind they had left. Their large size made up for their uninteresting color as they were huge. Almost as big as duck eggs. I was surprised to discover, as I cracked open the first egg to fry for breakfast the next morning, that hidden inside were two yolks. Twins! In fact, every egg in that dozen is a twin. Which is simultaneously exciting and disconcerting. What's in their food....or water?!?! Is this normal? I have no idea.

So anyway, I thought all that yolky goodness would make for an especially rich lemon curd. And with all those lemons I had laying around, it was a perfect way to use them up. I used Ina Garten's recipe, mostly because it didn't require a double boiler. Lemon zest is peeled and whizzed with the sugar. Then eggs and butter are mixed in. You carefully stir the mixture around in a heavy saucepan for about 10 minutes until it becomes thick, glossy, and gloriously rich and lemony.

It makes a wonderful gift for your daughter's adorable redheaded Irish teacher, especially when paired with oatmeal scones. And you might want to give a teacher a gift to make amends for missing yet another day of volunteering in the classroom because you were taking down the Christmas tree and boxing up decorations. But I wouldn't really know about that...I'm just sayin'...

Back to the curd. It's sweet and sour, and comforting at the same time. It would blow your mind if it was nestled into a tart shell, or spooned over a shortbread cookie or vanilla ice cream. I've even added it to a chicken stir fry to make lemon chicken, but mostly I like to just lick it off of a spoon. Swoon.

I suppose you'll want the recipe for the oatmeal scones.....I'll share that tomorrow. In the meantime, get started on this lemon curd. Right! Now! (Jeesh I'm bossy...)

Lovely Lemon Curd

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

This curd is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and is so rich and glossy. Try it with scones, or as a filling for a tart.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yields: 2 half pint jars...with a bit leftover to eat right out of the bowl...shhh...


3 lemons
1 1/2 cups of sugar
4 extra large eggs
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt


Using a vegetable peeler, remove the rind (not the white pith) from the lemons and place in the food processor, along with the sugar. Pulse mixture until lemon peel is finely minced and blended with the sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar/zest mixture and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time until thoroughly combined. Mix in the lemon juice and salt.

Place mixture in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over a low flame, stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes, or until about as thick as a pudding. The curd will be about 170 degrees when this happens, and not yet simmering. Pour into a container and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. You may want to place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Dollop onto anything....


Angie Christensen, RDN said...

Man, I wish I had some laying hens and a lemon tree!

Anonymous said...

would this work for filling in a lemon meringue pie?

Alison said...

It would, but I'd recommend doubling the recipe...

Angie Christensen, RDN said...

I have to tell you what my hubby did with your lemon curd. He loves making fruit tarts and uses the recipe from the La Brea Bakery pastry cookbook for the crust. Anywho, he baked a large tart crust and when it was cool, put a thin layer of straight curd on the bottom, a layer of half whipped cream and half lemon curd mixed together in the middle and then a layer of whipped cream on top. It was amazing!