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bloviatrix

Lemon Curd: The Topic

299 posts in this topic

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)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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 (log)

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I'd also love to see the Sherry Yard recipe, or the Nigella recipe too.

When I make lemon curd, many of the recipes tell you to stir the curd "until thick," or "until it holds the mark of the whisk," or something equally vague.

How do you know when it's cooked long enough? I've actually gotten to the point where it curdles, which isn't so terrible except that it reduces the lemon curd quite significantly.

(and if it's not supposed to curdle anyway, why call it lemon "curd"?)

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I hope I'm doing this right, but here's Sherry Yard's recipe:

Use heatproof bowls.

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest

Combine the sugar and zest. You want to work it so that the oils from the zest are released into the sugar (I find a fork works well although she suggests doing this in the food processor)

3 large eggs

4 egg yolks

Add the lemon-sugar mixture to eggs and whisk for roughly 30 seconds. Then place mixture over simmering water and continue whisking until sugar dissolves (about 15 seconds).

Add:

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup lime juice

And continue whisking until the temperature reaches 160 F. (every so often you should scrape down the sides).

Take bowl off heat.

4 tbsp chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

At this point you can either put the curd in a food processor and pulse after each addition of butter, or whisk the butter in by hand.

Strain the curd and set in ice bath to cool. Cover with plastic wrap pressed down on surface so no skin develops.

Refrigerate.


"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

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Thanks a bunch bloviatrix! I'm off to try this as soon as I get my hands on some limes.

Today I made a batch of the FC recipe I posted, as well as Russ'. Russ' was thicker, and definitely more sour. It was also cloudier too, though I have no idea why that would be. And I could taste the salt rather distinctly. That was the deciding factor for me. Russ, I did like your curd, but I still like my old standby better. I've discovered I don't like salt in my lemon curd.

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Nigella's Recipe:

4 organic lemons

4 eggs

4 egg yolks

300 g sugar

200 g unsalted butter (Sorry for the metric for you USers, I have the UK version of the cookbook)

Zest and juice the lemons.

Beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together until the sugar's dissolved. Add butter, lemon juice and zest and heat gently over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and grows smooth.

I don't have a chance to test this weekend, but the recipe's there for anyone else's testing pleasure.

While I'm at it,

Cranberry Curd

5 c. or 1 lb cranberries

1 c. + 2 T water

7 T unsalted butter

1 2/3 c. sugar

6 large eggs

Heat cranberries and water in a covered saucepan over low heat until tender and the cranberries have popped. Pass through a food mill (or push through a sieve) and put puree back in the saucepan. Add butter and sugar, melting them gently. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Passionfruit curd

11 passionfruit

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/2 c. sugar

7 T unsalted butter

PUt seeded pulp of 10 of passionfruit into a food processor and pulse just to loosen the seeds. Strain into a bowl.

Beat together the eggs, yolks and sugar.

Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan, and when melted stir in sugar egg mixture and the passionfruit juice, and keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Off the heat, whisk in the pulp, seeds and all, of the remaining passionfruit. Let cool.

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Last year I made a Tomato Curd from a recipe sent into Farmer's Weekly sometime before 1946, the date of my collected recipes. Interesting but mild.

1lb tomatos

6 oz sugar

3 oz butter

1 lemon

2 eggs

Stew the tomatos until tender, then puree and sieve.

Add the butter, sugar and lemon juice, then add the well beaten eggs and stir over gentle heat until hick. Don't overcook. Put into warmed clean preserving jars.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I made Sherry Yard's recipe over the weekend. It is very, very good. The lime juice adds a nice complexity to the flavor of the curd. For flavor I like this one beter than my old standby. For texture, though, I still prefer the looser consistency of the FC recipe. The next step will be using the technique from Fc with the ingredients from Sheryy Yard.

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I made Sherry Yard's recipe over the weekend. It is very, very good. The lime juice adds a nice complexity to the flavor of the curd. For flavor I like this one beter than my old standby. For texture, though, I still prefer the looser consistency of the FC recipe. The next step will be using the technique from Fc with the ingredients from Sheryy Yard.

I wonder if whipping the Yard curd until it was cool, as several people suggested, would make it more the consistency you're looking for?

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That's definitely another option.

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I always add orange juice and lime zest to my lemon curd. The orange juice softens the lemon and the lime zest adds a nice perk in taste. I add butter by beur mixing it in after the curd has cooled a bit (this is something I learned from reading Pierre Herme). The temp of the butter does make a difference in terms of color and silkiness. I make this in a stainless bowl over a water bath.

16 whole eggs

16 yolks

4c sugar

2 1/2c lemon juice

1/2c orange juice

zest od 2 limes

Cook eggs, sugar, and juices over a water bath, whisking occasionally until very thick.

Strain through a chinois into a non metal container and cool to about 100F.

Beur mix in the cold cubed butter, then stir in the lime zest.

Chill with plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

This is a variation of what I learned at Spago in the pre Sherry Yard days. It was in 1986 and Nancy Silverton was still there.

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Karen, you forgot to add how much butter?

I hope to make a couple of these today, will take photos if possible.

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Yesterday I blended my curds with whipped cream for a follow-up taste test. It's amazing how much this changed the flavor profiles of the curds. The FC curd outshone Sherry yard's by far. The complexity of Yard's curd was sort of muffled by the cream, while the clear lemon taste of the FC curs really shined through. The difference in sweetness between the two also came to the fore, with Yard's curd tasting almost too sour (and I love sour).

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I had the chance to do some testing yesterday at work.

I was bad, in that I didn't follow the recipe proceedures written with each recipe. Instead I made each of them exactly as I make my "standard" curd recipe. I cooked each in a pan over dirrect heat (no double boilers), I brought each one up to a boil, I burr whipped in the butter after the curd cooled down (to warm/ not hot) over a ice water bath.

I just can't grasp how differently any of these recipes would have been if I had whipped the eggs before cooking (this is a issue I always disagree with in books) and introducing a fair amount of liquid to them (I get the same results with less effort). One day I'll come across supporting published words on this topic (hopefully).

The first one I made was the Fine Cooking.

i7863.jpg

I liked the flavor of this one the best. It had the cleanest lemon flavor of the 3. Nice, clear lemon flavor with an expected twang from the lemon. BUT this one was the thinnest of all 3. It's too thin for me to be able to use it as is, in place of my 'standard' recipe.

The second one I made was from KarenS.

i7866.jpg

This one had the most eggs to liquid and it was the thickest of the 3. I wasn't crazy about the flavor, it was much duller then the fine cooking recipe. I did use the orange juice as written in the recipe, but used lemon zest instead of lime zest (green zest in a 'lemon' curd is a conflict to me). I thought the addition of the orange juice was minor, it didn't add alot, didn't take away either.

The last one I had time for was the Sherry Yard recipe.

i7862.jpg

It called for lime with the lemon. I didn't like the lime juice addition, it was strong enough to confuse the issue and make me rename this a lemon/lime curd. This was my second place pick of the 3 for both flavor and consistancy. This one also was too thin for me to be able to use it in my typical applications with-out modifications.

I'm not sure that I want to offer up my 'standard' recipe from Martha as a challenge. It's flavor is similar to karens and Sherry Yards...where as the one from fine cooking really did taste superior, although it's texture is much much thicker and more versitle in it's uses. I'd like to know why the fine cooking recipe left such a better lemon flavor then all the other lemon curds I've ever made. It didn't have any trase of a metalic flavor and it was strangly a clearer flavor.

As far as adding the whipped cream. I didn't do that with any of these although it's something I do frequently for minature pastries. I like how the two combine, but I don't think the under tones of the curd would change (until I try it and you prove that wrong).

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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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I'm surprised you bring your curd to a full boil. You don't find you get a curdled, grainy texture?

The acid from the lemons will prevent it from curdling allowing you to bring it to quite a generous boil. However it still makes me nervous though and I normally try not to take it beyond a heavy simmer.

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.

If you have cooked it this way then there is no need to bake it in the shell, you can just blind bake the case and let the curd set in it.

Dan

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I ditto aidensnds post.

I bring it up to the bubble, not a rolling boil. My boiled eggs don't curdle at all. I rarely bake with the finished curd, but I have and it still works fine. If my curd was as loose as some of these that I tested, I'd be scared that I wouldn't be able to cut my finished product or if I used it as say a filling in a danish, I think it would puddle off or sog out the product..

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