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Lemon Curd: The Topic


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#121 Jean Blanchard

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 07:34 AM

I've always made the lemon curd from one of Maida Heatter's cookbooks and it works out beautifully every time. I'd post but I'm not at home.
Any more interesting and unusual ways that you've used it?

jb

#122 Becca Porter

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 08:06 AM

I noticed the Cooks Illustrated link above, but it no longer worked. Has anyone tried their recipe? It is really fantastic. It has a tablespoon of heavy cream, which reallys rounds it out. I'll post if anyone wants to compare.
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#123 jayhay

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 08:30 AM

I noticed the Cooks Illustrated link above, but it no longer worked. Has anyone tried their recipe? It is really fantastic. It has a tablespoon of heavy cream, which reallys rounds it out. I'll post if anyone wants to compare.
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Oh, yes please.

#124 Becca Porter

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 09:55 AM

Cooks Illustrated's Lemon Curd-

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch table salt

Heat lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolk in medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon juice into eggs, then return mixture to the pan and cook constantly with wooden spoon, nutil mixture registers 170 degrees and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.

Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in cold butter until incorporated; stir in cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into small non-reactive bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until needed.
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#125 Becca Porter

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 10:01 AM

Wendy - I totally agree about the whipping of eggs and sugar before cooking. Completely wasted effort since adding liquid and cooking will remove all the air you worked so hard to incorporate.

I'm surprised you bring your curd to a full boil. You don't find you get a curdled, grainy texture? Also, if you wanted to bake it in a tart shell I'm afraid it wouldn't set up properly since the eggs had already been cooked as far as they could go.

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Wendy and Nightscotsman, I was wondering about the whipping too. So I went back and read the fine cooking article online. She explained her reasoning and it really makes sense. Here is the address.
http://www.taunton.c...ages/c00197.asp
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#126 forever_young_ca

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 07:03 AM

Patrick or anyone else who's used PH's Lemon Cream... do you think I could use it to make lemon squares on a shortbread crust and then freeze till needed?


I think this would work. The cream is quite stiff so it cuts beautifully in a tart form. It should be stiff enough for a lemon square.

I have never frozen the lemon cream, but looking at the ingredients I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Try it! :biggrin:
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#127 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 07:06 PM

I've run into a problem and I'm wondering if anyone can help. I've just made lemon tarts in mini-muffin size shells using PH's lemon curd. I piped in the curd but didn't smooth the top. Then I put melted apple jelly on top to glaze and pressed a single apple jelly-glazed blueberry into each. When I pushed the blueberry in to flatten the top, cracks appeared in the lemon curd. Of course I didn't notice this till they were all done. I usually smooth the lemon cream before putting the apple jelly on so I can just set the blueberry on top but couldn't see a reason why I couldn't skip this step. Well now I know but in the meantime I have these cracked tops. Is there anything I can do to fix them? Maybe set them in a slightly warm oven for a bit? I don't have time to remake them and I'm fortunate they are for a family event so all will be forgiven but I would have liked a better appearance. Any ideas? I've got them in the fridge right now.
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#128 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:04 PM

I don't know of how to fix this now that it's done. You could attempt another layer of your jelly over this, if your certain it won't crack either. Or if your desperate.....you could sprinkle some find white chocolate shavings over them if they'll stick to your glazed area......sort of hiding what's beneath.

#129 joiei

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 08:23 PM

Yep, that's Herme's lemon cream. Easily one of the best-tasting substances in the known universe.


I made PH's lemon cream this weekend. It tastes like a bit of ambrosia to me! All other lemon cream receipes will be put on the back shelf and this one will be a standby. Very creamy, rich and tart all at the same time!

I had no problem getting the mixture to 180 degrees. I don't own a double boiler, so rigged up a system with a smallish stainless steel saucepan inside a larger one. The small top pan did not touch the boiling water. What did surprise me though, was how quickly it cooled to 140 degrees - the temp at which you add the butter.

I made a tart with some of it and spread freshly whipped cream over the top (just to add a few more calories :biggrin: ). I ate some straight out of the bowl as I could not seem to stop myself, and mixed the last bit with fresh BC strawberries in a ramekin and the leftover whipped cream on top of that.

Fabulous!!!!!!!!

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This is the one cream that I have found to be consistent, easy and reliable to taste. I love the tartness and the less sweetness. Too many curds are too sweet for me.
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#130 kjohn

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 09:16 PM

I don't know if this is the traditional way to do it, but I start with a milk and a tablespoon of flour. I thicken this on the stove at low heat. Then I add the butter and sugar. I take it off the heat and let it cool a little, then I stir in some lemon zest and juice, and a few egg yolks. If it isn't thick enough at that point (it usually is) I give it a little more heat. I find this makes for a nice thick, very rick, stable lemon curd.

I don't generally use a specific recipe, but guidelines seem to be about 1.5-2 cups milk, 1 tablespoon flour, juice of one lemon, 2-4 egg yolks, 2-4 tablespoons of butter, a half cup of sugar, and about a half teaspoon of zest. I taste as I go along because the lemons differ in tartness and the milk differs in sweetness.

I'm curious as to whether anybody else tried using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. I find that it's much more foolproof that way rather than relying purely on the egg yolks for thickening.

#131 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 11:49 PM

I don't know of how to fix this now that it's done. You could attempt another layer of your jelly over this, if your certain it won't crack either. Or if your desperate.....you could sprinkle some find white chocolate shavings over them if they'll stick to your glazed area......sort of hiding what's beneath.

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Thanks Wendy! I think I'll try the white chocolate. They will just look a little more decadent and no one will be the wiser. :wink:
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#132 RuthWells

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 06:40 AM

I'm curious as to whether anybody else tried using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. I find that it's much more foolproof that way rather than relying purely on the egg yolks for thickening.

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I think the deal-breaker here for me would be whether the flour is discernable in the finished curd, either by taste or by mouth-feel. What's your take on that?

#133 kjohn

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 07:36 AM

I'm curious as to whether anybody else tried using flour or cornstarch as a thickener. I find that it's much more foolproof that way rather than relying purely on the egg yolks for thickening.

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I think the deal-breaker here for me would be whether the flour is discernable in the finished curd, either by taste or by mouth-feel. What's your take on that?

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I've done this many times and there is no discernable flour flavor or mouthfeel. We're talking about a small amount of flour and it is cooked with the milk. You can even back off the flour a bit more and it still has a lot of thickening power.

#134 Ling

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 06:59 PM

I've used cornstarch in my fallback recipe, and I don't taste it in the finished product. I'm going to try the Fine Cooking recipe and Pierre Herme's lemon cream this week. Will report back! :smile:

#135 Ling

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:52 AM

OK so I made the Fine Cooking lemon curd and Pierre Herme's lemon cream (I know, that was fast, wasn't it? :raz: )

Here are the pics. I followed the directions exactly as written for each recipe.

All the pictures were taken prior to refrigeration.

1. side by side comparison, so you can see the differences in colour. The FC one is on the left, and the PH one is on the right.
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2. FC curd...hopefully you can see how thick it is. It was not runny at all, and firmed up even at room temperature. You can see some brown specks in the curd--that's because even though I followed the directions and had the heat on medium, a little bit of the curd browned as soon as I poured it into the saucepan. Though the recipe says to cook it on medium, I cooked it on low heat. It thickened in the time specified--about 15 minutes (well, more like 13 minutes).
Posted Image

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3. the PH lemon cream...this was looser than the lemon curd, but not runny

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I must say, I was really disappointed with the lemon cream. I followed the instructions exactly, and was really carefully in weighing out the butter. I thought the lemon cream tasted really strange--more like lemony butter. I thought it was delicious when I was cooking it over the double boiler--nice and tart. The butter mellowed it out too much, in my opinion. I'm going to have to use this as a filling for a lemon pound cake or something. I thought it was very average....even taking into consideration that it shouldn't be as tart as lemon curd. I don't think I'll make this again.

The Fine Cooking recipe, on the other hand, was excellent. I actually was looking for something similar to the curd I had in a lemon tart from Dahlia Bakery a few days ago, and this was it! Sharp and tangy, with just the right amount of sweetness. I LOVED THIS! I ate most of the batch already...damn, this was so addictive! :wub:

Edited by Ling, 26 September 2005 - 12:59 AM.


#136 Mottmott

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:37 AM

Ling, you're sooo right. I didn't have trouble with brown flecks, etc. when I recently made PH's lemon tart, but I found the curd WAY too buttery. (Could your pan not be heavy enough? would a flame tamer help? I made my very first curd in a double boiler many years ago - never again. I made the curd in a ss lined 2.5mm copper evasee that can handle my lopsided gas flame with grace.)

I liked the crust, though, so I remade the tart using PH's crust and RLB's curd. It's a bit more lemony that PH's, but still a bit too bland for me, too. I'll try the FC curd you suggest. If that doesn't work, it'll be tweak tweak tweak. (I usually go for some's tried and true as my hips are too curdy as it is.)

edited for typo: my curd didn't make a fist

Edited by Mottmott, 04 April 2006 - 03:39 AM.

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#137 oli

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 12:45 PM

Is the recipe from Fine Cooking enough to fill a 10" tart?
Thanks

#138 Patrick S

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 07:28 AM

Is the recipe from Fine Cooking enough to fill a 10" tart?
Thanks

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Maybe. It depends on how deep you want the curd to be.

Assuming that the internal diameter of the crust-- the volume you want to fill-- is 9.5" (assuming the crust takes up 1/4" of the internal diameter of the 10" pan), and that the FC recipe yields 2 cups of curd (which is about 28.8 cubic inches), your filling will be 0.4" deep. In other words, a cylinder with a volume of 28.8 cubic inches and a radius of 4.75" will have a height of 0.4".
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#139 SweetSide

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:42 AM

Is the recipe from Fine Cooking enough to fill a 10" tart?
Thanks

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Maybe. It depends on how deep you want the curd to be.

Assuming that the internal diameter of the crust-- the volume you want to fill-- is 9.5" (assuming the crust takes up 1/4" of the internal diameter of the 10" pan), and that the FC recipe yields 2 cups of curd (which is about 28.8 cubic inches), your filling will be 0.4" deep. In other words, a cylinder with a volume of 28.8 cubic inches and a radius of 4.75" will have a height of 0.4".

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Your skills are endless Patrick! :wink:
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#140 oli

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:17 PM

Is the recipe from Fine Cooking enough to fill a 10" tart?
Thanks

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Maybe. It depends on how deep you want the curd to be.

Assuming that the internal diameter of the crust-- the volume you want to fill-- is 9.5" (assuming the crust takes up 1/4" of the internal diameter of the 10" pan), and that the FC recipe yields 2 cups of curd (which is about 28.8 cubic inches), your filling will be 0.4" deep. In other words, a cylinder with a volume of 28.8 cubic inches and a radius of 4.75" will have a height of 0.4".

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Your skills are endless Patrick! :wink:

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Thanks. I ended up doubling the recipe and it filled just perfectly. I must add that this Fine Cooking recipe lacked body. I don't know why, but I found PH's lemon cream held together much better. Perhaps I will have to add some gelatin next time, unless you guys have another solution.
I must say that I glazed the top with a raspberry glaze with white chocolate stripes. It had the wow factor, but being a perfectionist, I did like the lack of body.

#141 SweetSide

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:35 PM

Thanks.  I ended up doubling the recipe and it filled just perfectly.  I must add that this Fine Cooking recipe lacked body.  I don't know why, but I found PH's lemon cream held together much better.  Perhaps I will have to add some gelatin next time, unless you guys have another solution.
I must say that I glazed the top with a raspberry glaze with white chocolate stripes.  It had the wow factor, but being a perfectionist, I did like the lack of body.

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Sounds great -- I love lemon and raspberry (blueberry, too). What did you use for a glaze? Was the white chocolate just tempered white?

Thanks!
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#142 merstar

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:47 PM

Thanks.  I ended up doubling the recipe and it filled just perfectly.  I must add that this Fine Cooking recipe lacked body.  I don't know why, but I found PH's lemon cream held together much better.  Perhaps I will have to add some gelatin next time, unless you guys have another solution.
I must say that I glazed the top with a raspberry glaze with white chocolate stripes.  It had the wow factor, but being a perfectionist, I did like the lack of body.


I made the Fine Cooking lemon curd a few years ago, and also found it to be too thin to hold up in a tart. Great taste, but definitely not enough body. After all the accolades, I thought perhaps my results weren't typical - glad you mentioned it.
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#143 Ling

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:59 PM

I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier--but I also found out that he FC lemon curd doesn't hold up enough in a tart. I love the taste and usually use it to spread on shortbread or in between layers of cake. The one time I did use it in a tart, it was too runny and I couldn't get clean slices.

Edited by Ling, 08 May 2006 - 04:59 PM.


#144 oli

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:41 PM


Thanks.  I ended up doubling the recipe and it filled just perfectly.  I must add that this Fine Cooking recipe lacked body.  I don't know why, but I found PH's lemon cream held together much better.  Perhaps I will have to add some gelatin next time, unless you guys have another solution.
I must say that I glazed the top with a raspberry glaze with white chocolate stripes.  It had the wow factor, but being a perfectionist, I did like the lack of body.

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Sounds great -- I love lemon and raspberry (blueberry, too). What did you use for a glaze? Was the white chocolate just tempered white?

Thanks!

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I just used a bag of frozen raspberries, press raspberries and jam through fine sieve into sauce-pan; stir in grenadine. Sprinkle with gelatin; let stand for 1 minute. Warm over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes or until dissolved; strain. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool but pourable.
The white chocolate was just melted and put through a paper cone and drizzled over the raspberry glaze. Looks just fab.
One thing I must note, the raspberry glaze had a tendency to slip off the curd, something like what some people have experienced with merange and lemon curd.

#145 oli

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:42 PM

I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier--but I also found out that he FC lemon curd doesn't hold up enough in a tart. I love the taste and usually use it to spread on shortbread or in between layers of cake. The one time I did use it in a tart, it was too runny and I couldn't get clean slices.

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Exactly

#146 joaquin

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 02:57 PM

The best lemon curd needs the best lemons...Meyer lemons in this case. We have them in California. But if they are not available to you, try 2/3 regular lemons (Eureka) and 1/3 orange juice. But do seek out Meyer lemons.

#147 Ling

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 03:03 PM

I believe Meyer lemons, when in season, can be found in all major cities. Meyer lemon curd is indeed delicious. I'm assuming the recipes for Meyer lemon curd use less sugar, though...and are not interchangable with regular lemon curd recipes.

#148 Patrick S

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:26 PM

I need a recipe to use as a filling in a 3 tier wedding cake (unexpected request, has to be ready saturday). I'd like something that sets a little firmer than a typical curd. Anyone have a recipe they've used in this way?

Thanks in advance!
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#149 Jensen

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:42 PM

I have a very old recipe (my great-grandmother's recipe!) for apple lemon cheese that does set up slightly firmer than traditional lemon curd. I don't know if it will be firm enough for your need but it might be worth a try.

The recipe has been adapted for use with Meyer lemons in a North American kitchen; the original recipe used "regular" lemons and castor sugar (and had sliced apples in it but I took those out completely!). I've made it with both berry sugar and regular sugar with good success.

It does occur to me that you might be able to make it even thicker by adding one more egg. Might be worth a try...



1 T plus 2 tsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest
1 cup freshly-squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1-1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 T butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

Whisk together zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs and a pinch of salt in a 2 quart heavy saucepan. Add butter all at once and cook over moderately low heat, whisking constantly, until cheese is thick enough to hold marks of the whisk and the first bubbles appear on the surface.

Immediately pour into a bowl or jar, then chill, covered.

#150 Patrick S

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:30 AM

Thank you for the recipe, Jensen.

It occurred to me after I asked the question that I could do the lemon curd filling like a lemon pie filling -- cooking cornstarch with water, then adding the other ingredients.
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