Easy lemon curd. For quite a while curd had me flummoxed. I misinterpreted what recipes meant when they said the mixture should thicken. I thought it should be quite thick like custard, but it actually goes just a little bit thicker like very runny cream. Now I feel very curd confident!!!
My stove plates have 6 heat settings and I cooked my curd on #2 and #3 and then #2 again, when I worried it might be too hot. It only took about 5 minutes once the butter was melted, and the trick really is to whisk all the time: not necessarily fast, but just all the time. If the curd looks as if it will boil, take it off the heat and whisk a tad furiously to cool it.
When it is slightly thickened you can test to see if it is ready. Dip the back of a spoon into the curd. It should coat the spoon thickly, and then draw a line through the curd with your finger. The curd should not run at all, the line should stay clear and clean. Then your curd is ready. It needs to be sieved through a fine metal sieve to strain out any stray bits of cooked egg and zest.
The curd can be kept for about a week in the refrigerator. I keep mine in a jar, or an airtight container. It sets amazingly well, but does soften up at room temperature. It can also be frozen for a longer period of time.
I made half the recipe with 4 egg yolks, and I saved the egg whites to make some Flourless Chocolate Nut Biscuits. A batch of these uses 4 egg whites, so it is a match made in baking heaven.
Lemon Curd makes about 1 cup
- 8 egg yolks
- 220g ordinary white sugar (1 cup)
- 1 tbspn lemon zest
- 165ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (2/3 cup)
- 150g butter, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 tspn coarse salt
Place all the ingredients into a pan and gently whisk over a medium to low heat until the butter melts.
Turn heat up to medium, medium/high and whisk until it thickens. It should take about 5 minutes and tiny bubbles may start to form around the edge of the mixture.
Test with a spoon to see if it is ready.
Remove from the heat and strain through a fine metal sieve. Discard the zest and other things in the sieve. I have circled a tiny piece of the cooked yolk amongst the zest, you don't want that in your curd.
To stop a skin forming, press clingfilm or baking paper straight onto the top of the curd. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until it is set.
You can use curd in so many ways, I like it swirled through cream with pavlova, in little tarts or cupcakes. I made a quick batch of scones and we are having very late supper. Any citrus fruit will make a delicious curd, as will passionfruit and apparently raspberries too.