12/31/09

lemon curd



First of all whoever thought of the name lemon curd, wasn't thinking, because lemon curd doesn't sound appealing at all. But apparently it was worse back in the day (late 19th century) because according to Wiki lemon curd was first called lemon cheese. Oh those wacky Brits with their strange alternative names for things.

I have an alternative story for lemon curd in my little Bizarro world.

-wavy flashback time traveling lines-
-wavy flashback time traveling lines-



Here is Evil Chef Mom and all the little sous chef's in late 19th century Britain. It's dirty, cold, and the kids are begging on the streets.

Some rich fellow drops a few lemons in Katie's hands and tells her, "My wife and I cannot eat these, they are too bitter."

Another gentlemen passes by and says, "My kids are spoiled and have eaten so much sugar that their teeth are rotting. Here have this." and hands Drew some sugar.

"My wife and I are too fat, we are going try this new fangled thing they call exercise. Take this butter from me." and Will snatches the butter from the fat wattling man before he can change his mind.

Suddenly in the middle London, a chicken comes clucking by and lays 6 eggs right in front of Nancy! Nancy quickly picks them up, careful not to smash them and places the eggs in her bonnet and the sous chefs go running back to their little soot stained shack.

"Mummy, look at all the goodies we brought back today. Katie has lemons. Drew got some sugar. Some man gave Will butter and would you believe a chicken laid eggs right in front of Nancy?"

"What a strange assortment of ingredients. What do you suggest I make?"

"Can you make that lemon cheese everyone is talking about? It sounds tasty."

"Sure my lovely little moppets. We are hungry and it's cold. I could think of nothing better to eat than lemon cheese, the newest fad to sweep late 19th century Britain."



-wavy flashback time traveling lines-
-wavy flashback time traveling lines-

Do you see how this doesn't work? Lemon cheese, lemon curd. Even lemon spread doesn't do this wonderfully lemony, sweet, tart concoction any favors. All I know is that it's way overpriced in stores and so easy to make. It's almost like you are a sucker if you buy it in a grocery store.



lemon curd:
makes one quart, enough for four 8- ounce mason jars

4-6 lemons
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Grate the zest from two of the lemons and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. It should look like Moses parted a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil.

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Divide the curd evenly between the mason jars or a plastic container. Lay plastic wrap directly on top of the curd's surface and cover with a lid.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

If you are feeling up to it use the lemon curd for filling in this cake by Mayberry Magpie's daughter Kate.



Tasting Notes: This recipe is a little different than most curd recipes because you emulsify the ingredients together before cooking. Most of the time you just dump the ingredients into a pot or double broiler and cook away but that sometimes leaves little bits of cooked egg white and lumps. Sorry, but with the name lemon cheese or curd it doesn't need anymore problems like lumps. Emulsifying the ingredients before hand will give the curd a nice smooth texture like pudding.

3 comments:

Mayberry Magpie said...

I'm so lucky that I live in a small town where the grocer doesn't sell lemon curd. I am forced to make it each and every time I need it and I'm a better person for it :-)

Thanks for the shout-out for Cupkate's cake. It really is too wonderful to pass up.

By the way, I've never emulsified my curd before, but rest assured I will from now on based on your advice. And, oh yeah, I've tried several curd recipes. A really interesting one was pointed out by Phoo-D. It's by Unconfidential Cook and it calls for cream -- an interesting variation. Here's a link:

http://unconfidentialcook.com/2009/03/30/frozen-lemon-meringue-bombe-rr/

Amy said...

Lemon. Good.

Happy New Year, Krysta!

BugginWord said...

I'm totally distracted by the word "curd." I'm not sure a lemon concoction could sound grosser. I'm sticking with lemon cheese. But I might refer to my husband's lack of hygiene issues as fomunda curd.