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Lemon Curd: The Topic


bloviatrix
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not that i'm any expert on the subject but i've never had any scrambling problems when making curds, actually the last time I made lime curd I added too much juice so let it reduce down with it bubbling away quite fiercely it was only after I'd finished that I remembered that this was a curd not jam - still it was fine no scrambling or seperation instead a great thick textureded (although I would say that I always strain the beaten eggs before adding them to the pan).

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Why not just make your curd in a sauce pan? That way you can stir & watch the consistency until is right.

When ready pour into a pre-baked crust & let cool and set.

Another trick is to melt a sheet of gelatin in the lemon juice before adding the other ingredients. Again,I'd recommend making the curd in a pan. The gelatin will give you a pretty firm set.

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I brought it to 175 this last time (I am using a double boiler) rand it still set up a little loose. I don't think upping the temperature will give me a firmer set (is that actually correct?), so I'll try some of the alternatives people here recommended... more butter, gelatin, etc.

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I've noticed when I use pasteurized yolks, curds are looser than when I use shelled yolks. I have several curd recipes; some I use for tarts (because they are based on whole eggs and yolks) and some for buttercreams and toppings/sauces where I want a more intense flavor (just yolks). In both methods, I bring the curd to 186 and strain afterwards to get rid of any hardened bits. If I need the curd to be a little firmer, I'll use some gelatin sheets but normally for a tart, I don't have to - the curd holds it's shape when cut because it's relatively thin.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I got all excited when I saw Almondmeal's recipe this afternoon. I've been sitting looking at my last three yuzu, and thinking once again about fruit curd & 'steamed' sponge, also made in the microwave.

I had half an hour free, so following the recipe, I did this:

- zested and juiced three tired yuzu that were turning soft into a wee pyrex bowl on the digital scale - 25g, almost an ounce. Added the juice of half a lemon, because yuzu zest has plenty of flavour to go round and whilst I knew I'd be looking at a small batch, I didn't want a micro one. Total 38g.

- 38 x 3/7 = 16g sugar added to get the 'puree', or to me, syrup. Total now 54g, very nearly 2 ounces.

- added 54g light brown sugar (I don't keep caster), stirred in, microwaved 600W x 20s, stirred, 20s, stirred. The syrup was getting too hot for eggs but the sugar wasn't all dissolved, so I gave it another 20s, stirred and sat the bowl on the marble tabletop to pull some of the heat back out.

- weighed several of the various-sized eggs from the box of the delicious eggs (qv) that I like to buy, and out of 69g, 55g, 56g & 61g, chose the 61. I cracked that into a very wee bowl on the scale and it came to exactly 54g - a result.

- finger-tested the syrup temp after a few minutes, and stirred in the beaten egg. (I used a flexible silicone spatula throughout, so's to waste nothing in emptying bowls).

- Microwaved, stirred, microwaved as follows: 600W x 15s + 10s + 10s. 300W x 10 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 10 + 10 + 10s. I was seeing little scrambled-egg-oids at the end of some of these zappings. At this point I decided the game wasn't worth the candle, put some hottest tap water in a saucepan, sat the bowl on it and got to balloon whisking in the normal fruit-curd fashion, with the pan over a medium flame.

- the curd thickened up nicely, and I stirred in the 54g piece of butter to stop & finish it.

I think using the MW for the first syrup heating makes sense. Certainly for a batch this size, it was more trouble than it was worth for the egg stage, as well as putting the integrity of the product at risk. I'd want to use a straight-sided container if I ever tried it again with a bigger batch. (Doing scrambled eggs by MW, it's always the strip round the rim of the bowlful of egg that cooks first).

Thanks, Almondmeal, for the impetus at least to get round to the fruit before they went past the point of no return. It was touch and go getting the zest off them with the yuzu so soft: I had to press to get the grater to bite, and they were splitting halfway through grating as a result.

Yuzu curd turns out to be stunningly good. If you ever get your hands on a few, give it a try. (My camera battery crapped out just as I started, so no photos - but keep an eye on 'Dinner!' if you're interested...)

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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  • 2 years later...

I am going to make some lemon curd to give to the guests at our holiday dinner tomorrow. I've only made the recipe, but for tomorrow I'll need more curd. Can I double - or triple - this recipe? Any problems with so doing? Thanks!

Machrina’s Lemon Curd

1 lb (about 2 cups) sugar

1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter

juice and zest (finely grated rind) of 4 lemons (about a cup juice)

6 eggs

Melt together the sugar, butter, juice and grated rind in the top of a double saucepan over simmering water. Stir to mix. When all is melted, remove top pan and allow to cool. (I use a single saucepan and just watch it carefully- this stage is melting, not cooking.)

Beat the eggs lightly and strain into the pan of cooled lemon mixture. Return the pan to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, eventually almost continuously, until it reaches a thick, creamy consistency.

Pour into clean, warmed jars, and when cool, cover and store in the refrigerator.

This can keep for months. Makes about 26 ounces.

 ... Shel


 

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I usually make a gallon of lemon curd at a time, so I'd say go for it. Use a double boiler if you're concerned about that much product over direct heat - with all the acid your eggs are not going to scramble but you should watch extra carefully for signs of scorching.

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The double batch of lemon curd turned out pretty well. Each time I tweak the recipe a bit and work on refining the technique. now I know a double batch will work out. Thanks, pastrygirl!

 ... Shel


 

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I make a lot for crêpes. I use a different recipe but the key for me is a digital thermometer. I stir constantly until 172 F then pull it.

Oregon Crêpe Company,LLC

have crêpe will travel

...pies too!

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  • 1 month later...

I make a lot for crêpes. I use a different recipe but the key for me is a digital thermometer. I stir constantly until 172 F then pull it.

A couple of nights ago I made the lemon curd recipe posted above, although I modified the technique somewhat. For the first time I used a thermometer to measure the temperature of the curd, and the results were quite good, in part, perhaps, because of monitoring the temp and cooking the curd to 170-degrees. I also stirred constantly for the first time ... I wonder if there's a way to stir the curd mechanically, perhaps some gadget that's available or which could be adapted.

 ... Shel


 

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I make a lot for crêpes. I use a different recipe but the key for me is a digital thermometer. I stir constantly until 172 F then pull it.

A couple of nights ago I made the lemon curd recipe posted above, although I modified the technique somewhat. For the first time I used a thermometer to measure the temperature of the curd, and the results were quite good, in part, perhaps, because of monitoring the temp and cooking the curd to 170-degrees. I also stirred constantly for the first time ... I wonder if there's a way to stir the curd mechanically, perhaps some gadget that's available or which could be adapted.

That would be a Thermomix!

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I wonder if there's a way to stir the curd mechanically, perhaps some gadget that's available or which could be adapted.

That would be a Thermomix!

Quite an interesting machine, but way out of my league. I'm jes' a po' ol' country boy from NYC. Thanks for making me aware of it, though. Do you use one?

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I've not had any issues with the temperatures being off - when I make a recipe for something like curd I do a little experimenting with how long at what temperature to get the result I'm after then just use what I've figured out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yesterday I saw an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and the chef at one of the places made a lemon curd using water, as well as the usual ingredients of sugar, eggs, lemon juice, and butter.  This seemed very strange to me, and a preliminary internet search turned up nothing about this technique.

 

Why would water be added to a lemon curd recipe?  Any ideas?

 ... Shel


 

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To stretch when you haven't got enough lemons to make an entire batch with just juice, perhaps?  I'm guilty of doing this occasionally myself, particularly when the lemons are older and not so juicy.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Mjx, what other dairy products might one use in a curd? I've only ever used butter. I agree with Panaderia Canadiense that it was probably purely a "stretch" move, though I suppose we could be generous and allow that maybe the diner didn't want the intense flavor you get with just lemon juice.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Mjx, what other dairy products might one use in a curd? I've only ever used butter. I agree with Panaderia Canadiense that it was probably purely a "stretch" move, though I suppose we could be generous and allow that maybe the diner didn't want the intense flavor you get with just lemon juice.

 

Further investigating brought up a recipe for lemon curd by Alice Waters that used a small amount of milk.  And I vaguely remember a recipe that called for the addition of cream, but I'm not at my computer now, so I can't verify that from my recipe collection.

 

ETA:  I remember now - Cook's Illustrated has a lemon curd recipe that uses heavy cream.

 

I'll be "generous" and go along with your supposition ...

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Mjx, what other dairy products might one use in a curd? I've only ever used butter. I agree with Panaderia Canadiense that it was probably purely a "stretch" move, though I suppose we could be generous and allow that maybe the diner didn't want the intense flavor you get with just lemon juice.

 

I've seen milk, and, I think – this was a while back – possibly one of the pourable fermented dairy products. I do remember seeing a couple of lemon and other citrus curd recipes, and flinching and thinking 'Ew', which would be my exact reaction to such an ingredient in this sort of recipe.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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