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Lemon Curd: The Topic


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#31 KarenS

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 07:21 PM

Another reminder about lemon curd- either cook it in a stainless steel pot (or if you don't have one in a stainless bowl over a water bath. Aluminum will react with the acid (your color won't be very nice).
I beur mix in cold butter after the curd has cooled slightly- strain, and then add the (microplaned) zest.

#32 tan319

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 09:31 PM

That's a pretty important thing Karen S brought up, that I think maybe was assumed, at least by me.
Only do it in stainless steel, in fact any acid recipes.
I used to carry my own pots with me here, nothing but aluminum.
Thanks for posting that, Karen!
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#33 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 09:15 AM

a tangent and controversy: I do not have access to a stainless pot at one job and I refuse to buy my pots too (as I buy too much personally for the job already). So when I began I asked for a stainless and was denied, chef insisted his pots worked just fine for curds (the last pc used them, yada, yada)............and he was right.

Yes, yes....I know all the reasons, the rules, etc....but after having done so for over a year now I can't find a problem in color or taste with making curd in an alumium pot. I don't know, perhaps the years of them (the pots) going thru the automatic dish washer and oxiding (or what ever that is when the metal turns matt in finish) has changed some sort of physical property of this metal..............



I add my butter after it's cooled down....and just barely warm. Basicly a ditto of Karens method.

#34 Sentiamo

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 09:10 PM

Lemon curd is divine ( I love it in combo with Strawberries or Blueberries)...no doubt about it, but do try making Lime curd, Grapefruit curd and the Passionfruit is so easy also. Just so delectable.
I fill little tart cases with curd, sandwich Victoria sponges together with curd, fold through whipped cream to sandwich meringues together, et al. But most of all, I sneak away by myself and devour a dishful spoon by yummy spoonful!!! :biggrin:

#35 Ling

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 11:25 PM

Bloviatrix:

There was a spectacular lemon curd recipe in an old Martha Stewart Living in the early 90's. It came from a restaurant in England -- possibly London. It was part of a tart recipe. I am one of those people who doesn't make lemon curd because if I do, I wake up in the middle of the night and eat it with a spoon until it is gone. This recipe -- which I will try to find for you, was by far and away the best I ever made.

Now that I look at them, I have a decade's worth of MSL on the shelf. I wish they would come out with an index, so I could find those things I remember and would like to make again.

Hey, I think I have this recipe written down in a file somewhere. It was one of the first things I ever baked--the MS lemon tart. Do you want me to find it?

Personally, that recipe is a little too tart for me. I add a lot of butter to my lemon curd recipe--I guess it must be like the lemon cream nightscotsman was talking about, because it is quite thick.

#36 alanamoana

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 07:32 PM

on another note, you can use the basic formula for lemon curd and make all kinds of interesting creams with fruit purees, alcohols...my previous boss made a red wine tart (basically a red wine curd with a little gelatin added) which william grimes (retired ny times food critic) really liked. so let your imagination run wild.

#37 tan319

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Posted 11 April 2004 - 04:11 PM

Just wanted to let you know that I tried making my curd with euro style butter and didn't really like the result.
It became all about the butter, kind of lost the plot with that one....
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#38 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 05:03 PM

If you're going to strain out the zest anyway, why not just use lemon oil to start with, and skip the straining step?

#39 nightscotsman

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 05:20 AM

If you're going to strain out the zest anyway, why not just use lemon oil to start with, and skip the straining step?

You could use high quality lemon oil, but even the best is a highly processed and refined product while the fresh zest tastes, well... fresh. Sort of like vanilla vs. vanillin - sure the main flavor is the chemical vanillin, but there are other, more subtle and volatile elements that add complexity and fullness of flavor. Many people probably won't be able to tell the difference, but a difference there is.

#40 alanamoana

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 06:07 AM

regardless of having zest to strain out of your curd, you shouldn't skip the straining step...and through a chinois, something with a fine mesh. egg coagulation is not the most even thing and you're bound to have some bumps and chunks. so, unless you're making curd using the french method of burr mixing the butter in at the end for a full five minutes, i would recommend straining it.

when i worked for my first boss, it was a thomas keller-esque experience (i had yet to read interviews with him and realize this in hindsight); nothing left the pastry kitchen without having been through a chinois at least once! i'm sure that's the case in most kitchens today. it's just a good habit when there are egg shells, zest, other things involved. fortunately, in a restaurant we have dishwashers...

#41 bloviatrix

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Posted 14 April 2004 - 10:26 AM

regardless of having zest to strain out of your curd, you shouldn't skip the straining step...and through a chinois, something with a fine mesh. egg coagulation is not the most even thing and you're bound to have some bumps and chunks.

You've just brought back another repressed memory. The first time I ever made lemon pudding I didn't force it through a strainer and found bits of coagulated egg in my bowl. The texture was very disconcerting and ruined the dish for me. I learned my lesson that day.
"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

#42 Samaki

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 09:52 AM

Borrowing Wendy's idea from the chocolate, banana, and white cake threads, I'm wondering if anyone has a lemon curd recipe they're particularly fond of. I like Wendy's format of trying one recipe, then posting another if yo have one you like better. To that end, I'm going to post my current favorite, from Fine Cooking #26, in an article by Elinor Klivans.

Lemon Curd
3 oz. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Beat the butter with the sugar until it's light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic.

Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you're looking for 170 F.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator.

#43 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 09:56 AM

In honor of our very special guest this week here on eG, may I offer this?
Alton Brown's Lemon Curd Recipe
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#44 mckayinutah

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 10:32 AM

Borrowing Wendy's idea from the chocolate, banana, and white cake threads, I'm wondering if anyone has a lemon curd recipe they're particularly fond of. I like Wendy's format of trying one recipe, then posting another if yo have one you like better. To that end, I'm going to post my current favorite, from Fine Cooking #26, in an article by Elinor Klivans.

Lemon Curd
3 oz. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Beat the butter with the sugar until it's light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic.

Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you're looking for 170 F.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator.

This the the lemon curd recipes I use as well, and have received many compliments on it, so my vote goes for this one.


Jason

#45 Joni

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 12:08 PM

Sherry Yard's lemon curd is very good also. I don't have her book here at the office but can try and post it later this weekend.

#46 JanKK

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 12:51 PM

Samaki ....we may have a winner already ;) That's the recipe I use also and it's the best I've found so far. I do have Sherry Yard's book, so may try that one as people have said it's a good recipe.

#47 JanKK

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 07:53 PM

Hmmmmmmmm...........I may have to change my mind. I made the Lemon Curd from Sherry Yard's book tonight and it is fantastic. Maybe it's the lime juice? I don't know ...but if I keep "tasting" it, it's gonna be gone before you know it. I did make it with the optional extra butter (1/2 cup instead of 1/4).

#48 chefwoody

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 08:11 PM

A nice option on curd that I learned which both makes the curd lighter (it practically dissolves in your mouth) and prevents a skin from forming is when the curd is finished (still hot), strain it through a chinois into a mixer bowl and whip it on medium speed until cool (you can place a bowl of ice underneath it to speed up the cooling). This produces a great finished product.

#49 bloviatrix

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 08:46 PM

We had a whole discussion about lemon curd here with quite a bit of focus on Sherry Yard's recipe.
"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

#50 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 06:15 AM

I'm wondering if you can be more specific in what your seeking in a perfect lemon curd. Is there some way that the recipe you posted seems weak, or not quite perect enough? Is there a curd you've eaten someplace that your comparing this to and trying to achieve?

I ditto chefwoodys remarks about finishing your curd. In many professional books that is how they beat/whip.

If your adding lime juice too, then isn't it a lemon/lime curd? a variation?

Personally, I've come across several lemon curds I've liked alot. I'm finding other fruit flavors more ellusive to nail. I followed the other thread on curds, I've tried some from recipes posted here and at other sites (in the past), I've tried some from well known baking books...........but so far I've only got a key lime and a lemon that I'm solidly pleased with. I'd love to have a great orange, raspberry, passion fruit, etc.... Does that interest anyone else?

P.S. My everyday lemon curd recipe comes from Martha Stewart.

#51 JanKK

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 07:04 AM

If your adding lime juice too, then isn't it a lemon/lime curd? a variation?

Well, it would seem so, wouldn't it? However, Yard's recipe for plain "Lemon Curd" does have lime juice in it. Her variation recipe for "Lemon-Lime Curd" also has lime zest in it.

(and even without whipping, it's the best I've tasted)

#52 adoxograph

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 08:08 AM

I'd love to have a great orange, raspberry, passion fruit, etc.... Does that interest anyone else?


Sinclair, I'm all over that experiment with you - I've got my favorite lemon and key lime as well. I'd love one with blood orange juice or raspberry (insert weak knees here). Also, I've played around with the addition of ginger in my lemon curd which sometimes works and sometimes does not.

To stay a bit more on topic - I started out with Alton Brown's lemon curd because, well, that was my first explanation of what a "curd" was. After developing a suitable addiction to curd in general, I've played with many curd recipes, but when asked for a how-to, I usually go back to AB's simply because I can give the best advice for that recipe.
--adoxograph

#53 Amuse Bouche

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 08:24 AM

I really like Nigella Lawson's recipe for Lemon curd from How to Eat. It has a nice tart finish that really appeals to me. Most commercial lemon curd is too sweet and buttery. She also has a recipe for Passion Fruit Curd and Cranberry Curd in How to Be a Domestic Goddess. Her recipes are geared more towards the home cook than the professional, and I haven't tried these particular ones, but I'd be happy to post the recipes this weekend if anyone's interested in giving them a shot.

#54 Samaki

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 08:46 AM

To be honest, it's hard for me to imagine a better curd than the one I posted, which, paradoxically, is why I decided to start this thread. I had thought I had the best imaginable chocolate cake, until I tried the recipe Wendy posted. I figured there might be a better curd as well. What I like about this recipe is that the curd is nice and light and clean tasting, not too eggy or heavy.

Those who say you've got favorite curd recipes, have you tried this one? Do you like yours better? If so, please post them.

I'm totally into trying other flavored curds as well. Passion fruits are a king's ransom out here, so I'll have to pass on testing that flavor, but I'd love to work on orange and raspberry.

In the meantime, I'm going to try Sherry Yard's recipe.

#55 russ parsons

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 09:39 AM

in the spirit of unrestrained chauvinism this thread seems to be going in, i have to say that mine is the best. paraphrased from "french fry":

2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces

beat eggs, egg yolks sugar and salt together in small saucepan until smooth and light colored. add lemon zest, juice and cold butter and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter melts, about 5 minutes. reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring for about5 minutes, until the curd is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. pour the curd through a fine strainer into a chilled bowl. cover tightly with plastic wrap, pressing it flat against the surface of the curd to prevent the formation of a skin. and refrigerate until chilled. (i do like the idea of beating it until it's chilled ... i'll have to try that).

i did a quest for curd several years ago and came up with this via "excell" (plotting in a dozen recipes, trying them all, finding what i liked and didn't like and coming up with a couple of testing candidates ... ). i also tried it with different citrus. lime was very good. others were less good ... their flavors were less distinct in some cases (grapefruit and orange) or there were inherent problems (the fine berry color of blood oranges turns bruised purple when heated). the "trick" in this recipe is making sure the butter is very cold ... it moderates the heat in the cooking of the eggs so they don't coagulate.

#56 bloviatrix

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 09:47 AM

I recently tried the blackberry-lime curd from Sherry Yard. I have to say I was underwhelmed. It had an unpleasant bitter finish.

One thing that we briefly touched on in the other thread and I need to reiterate here is: Don't bother using the high butterfat butters. It overwhelms the flavor of the curd.
"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

#57 Joni

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:00 AM

Here's another lemon curd from Mean Chef at Recipezaar that I like also -- it only uses yolks. Re: passionfruit...I made Sherry Yard's and it is great. (used Perfect Puree Passionfruit)

The ultimate lemon curd. Recipe can be increased as much as you like. Serve with scones, biscuits, toast etc. Can be used as a tart filling, cake filling and as an ingredient in lemon buttercream

4 large egg yolks
4 1/2 ounces granulated sugar
3 ounces fresh lemon juice
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 pinch salt
2 teaspoons lemon, zest of, finely grated (optional)
1. In a non-reactive saucepan, whisk yolk and sugar until well combined.
2. Add remaining ingredients except lemon zest.
3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (Do not whisk), until thickened and you see the first bubble.
4. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.
5. Pour through strainer, stir in zest.
6. chill in refrigerator with plastic wrap pressed on top of curd to prevent skin forming.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 cup change to: US Metric cup
25 minutes 10 mins prep time 15 mins cook time

#58 Samaki

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:39 AM

in the spirit of unrestrained chauvinism this thread seems to be going in, i have to say that mine is the best.

That's the spirit!

#59 russ parsons

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:52 AM

i hate to disagree with blovie, but i do like plugra for my curd ... i think of curd as more of a lemon-buttery think than a lemony thang, er, thing. absolutely the best winter dessert after a big red wine-heavy meal (as long as we're hyperbolizing): spread a prebaked tart shell with a thin layer of lemon curd. if you want to make it pretty, take some long strands of lemon zest, cook them in grenadine, pat them dry and chop them very finely and then sprinkle over top. michel richard taught me how to do it even more easily--he strips the zest with one of those japanese mechanical apple peelers, cooks it in grenadine, then puts it in a blender with a lot of water and puree's it. the zest is chopped very, very finely so it can be drained in a chinois. brilliant.

#60 Samaki

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 11:56 AM

I know Mean Chef's recipe, and I know a lot of people love it, but I like the Fine Cooking one much better.

Psst, can someone post or send me Sherry Yard's recipe? I don't have that book, but would like to give her curd a try.

Edited by Samaki, 28 May 2004 - 12:01 PM.