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Lemon Curd: The Topic


bloviatrix
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I've seen recipes using cream and milk, but it is usually to replace some of the butter so the fat content of the lemon curd is decreased somewhat. I don't think the intent is to decrease the lemon flavor. I don't see how water can do the trick, but then I've never tried it. Be interesting to see the proportions of the recipe.

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  • 8 months later...

I made lemon curd last night to use up the yolks that I had left after making multiple batches of nuts.  I am detecting a very slight metallic taste (though Mike isn't).  I made it in an improvised double boiler - an aluminum mixing bowl set over simmering water - and whisked with a metal whisk.  I've never noticed this problem before.  Has this happened to anyone else, or is my 'taster' messed up? 

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I'll never forget the time a first year apprentice made whipped cream with an alumium bowl....

 

She had popped the bowl and s/s whisk in the freezer for a few minutes--as she had been taught, albeit taught with a s/s bowl, neveer aluminum.  She started to whisk and whisk, and was getting very close to whipped cream, but something was wrong....... The whipped cream took on a grey/silver metalic colour, and the cream tasted metalic.  The Chef popped a gasket, threw the bowl and cream into the garbage and issued orders for any aluminum bowl to be "quarantineed".

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I am really not sure if the bowl is aluminum or SS.  I bought it over 20 years ago at a Dollar General and it is VERY light.  Maybe just use glass next time?

I don't think glass conducts heat very well, so you might be whisking for a very long time.

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Hey Kim,

 

I agree with cakewalk that glass doesn't conduct heat well, but you'd eventually get their anyway. We bake in glass pans.

 

Did you use any cut and stored lemons or older uncut lemons?

 

Cut lemons have a really short shelf life, and citrus in general, to me, has a short shelf life for optimum flavor. Limes will show their age with brown spots on the skin, but actually taste better than old lemons whose skins do not reveal their age.

 

I usually make "key" lime pie topped with meringue with common limes, because real key limes are scarcer than hen's teeth around here. It's always delicious with no off flavors, but because I need so many limes, they're always bought fresh for the purpose.

 

One of my staples I like to have on hand is a lemon or two in case the husband comes home with a fish or so he wants cooked, but I have to keep an eye on the lemon's age, and use them up in beverages or something if no timely fish appears. Aged lemons are really nasty tasting. Don't know if I'd call it metallic, but it surely is off-putting.

 

So glad to hear you're feeling better.  :smile:

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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A magnet will not stick to an aluminum pan. However, it may not stick to a stainless pan either. So if the magnet sticks then it is definitely not aluminum. If it doesn't stick then you be may be no further ahead.

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Any of the prep items aluminum - measuring cups, juicer?

 

Here is some discussion on Serious Eats.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Kim, you say your lemons were fresh, but were they fully ripe? What I am asking is if the skins were still green, partially green or full yellow?

John

Edited by JohnT (log)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I make my lemon curd using a double boiler.  Is there an ideal or recommended temperature for the water so the curd doesn't cook too fast or get too hot?  I've been keeping the water below boiling, around 200-deg F, but is there a better temp?  Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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Keeping it at a simmer is fine, but you don't need a double boiler.  Cook it like you'd cook a crème anglaise over direct heat, and pull it off and strain once it thickens (around 75-80°C).

 

Maybe I'll give that a try when making the next batch. It'll make cooking the curd a little simpler.  I've always used a double boiler - that's how I was taught.

 ... Shel


 

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Maybe I'll give that a try when making the next batch. It'll make cooking the curd a little simpler.  I've always used a double boiler - that's how I was taught.

 

Double boilers are fine if you have the time and are scared of curdling it.  Some recipes actually call for boiling the juice, sugar and egg mixture, but I really don't like the texture you get from that.  Take it to 80°C, strain and let it cool to about 40°C and blitz in the butter (lots of butter), and you're golden.

 

To make it even better, add a touch of gelatin when it's hot, leave to rest overnight then whip it up.  The gelatin makes it freeze stable, so you can use it in a bûche or entremet.

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Double boilers are fine if you have the time and are scared of curdling it.  Some recipes actually call for boiling the juice, sugar and egg mixture, but I really don't like the texture you get from that.  Take it to 80°C, strain and let it cool to about 40°C and blitz in the butter (lots of butter), and you're golden.

 

To make it even better, add a touch of gelatin when it's hot, leave to rest overnight then whip it up.  The gelatin makes it freeze stable, so you can use it in a bûche or entremet.

 

Thanks for the push to making the curd in a saucepan directly over the heat.  I made a small, personal batch this evening, riffing a little from this David Lebovitz recipe: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/12/improved-lemon-curd/ .  The curd was completed in ten minutes, start to finish (including measuring and prepping the ingredients), and it turned out pretty well.  I'll definitely use this technique in the future.  I like the simplicity, the speed, and the easy cleanup ... perfect for spur of the moment curd.

  • Like 1

 ... Shel


 

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Thanks for the push to making the curd in a saucepan directly over the heat.  I made a small, personal batch this evening, riffing a little from this David Lebovitz recipe: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/12/improved-lemon-curd/ .  The curd was completed in ten minutes, start to finish (including measuring and prepping the ingredients), and it turned out pretty well.  I'll definitely use this technique in the future.  I like the simplicity, the speed, and the easy cleanup ... perfect for spur of the moment curd.

 

That looks like a pretty reliable recipe.  I'd still add the butter after- you get a stiffer, more spreadable and manageable consistency when you blitz in cold butter rather than cook it all together.  Otherwise, it can tend to be a little gloopy.

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That looks like a pretty reliable recipe.  I'd still add the butter after- you get a stiffer, more spreadable and manageable consistency when you blitz in cold butter rather than cook it all together.  Otherwise, it can tend to be a little gloopy.

 

I always add my butter at the end, after the curd has been removed from the heat.  That was one of the riffs on the recipe that I used. 

 

In addition, to keep things simpler, I used three whole eggs instead of two yolks and two whole eggs.  Anyway, I like making curd with whole eggs ...

 ... Shel


 

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I always add my butter at the end, after the curd has been removed from the heat.  That was one of the riffs on the recipe that I used. 

 

In addition, to keep things simpler, I used three whole eggs instead of two yolks and two whole eggs.  Anyway, I like making curd with whole eggs ...

 

That's what I tend to do as well.  I already have more than enough egg whites kicking round the freezer without generating any more.

 

Now you've mastered lemon curd, you could take it up a notch and make a lemon chiboust- adding gelatin to the hot egg/sugar/lemon mixture once cooked, incorporating the butter and while warm folding in an Italian meringue.  Works beautifully in a lemon tart.

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That's what I tend to do as well.  I already have more than enough egg whites kicking round the freezer without generating any more.

 

Now you've mastered lemon curd, you could take it up a notch and make a lemon chiboust- adding gelatin to the hot egg/sugar/lemon mixture once cooked, incorporating the butter and while warm folding in an Italian meringue.  Works beautifully in a lemon tart.

 

I wouldn't say that I've mastered lemon curd, but at least I can whip up a good one using three different techniques, and have learned how to adjust tartness and mouth feel pretty well. The people I give it to all seem to enjoy it, which is most important and satisfying.

 

In an earlier post, you said  "To make it even better, add a touch of gelatin when it's hot, leave to rest overnight then whip it up.  The gelatin makes it freeze stable, so you can use it in a bûche or entremets."

 

Is that similar to a chiboust?  In any case, I don't know what chiboust, bûche, or entremets are.  However, I do like the idea of using a curd for other recipes, and have just started looking at how these recipes can be used in tarts.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I wouldn't say that I've mastered lemon curd, but at least I can whip up a good one using three different techniques, and have learned how to adjust tartness and mouth feel pretty well. The people I give it to all seem to enjoy it, which is most important and satisfying.

 

In an earlier post, you said  "To make it even better, add a touch of gelatin when it's hot, leave to rest overnight then whip it up.  The gelatin makes it freeze stable, so you can use it in a bûche or entremets."

 

Is that similar to a chiboust?  In any case, I don't know what chiboust, bûche, or entremets are.  However, I do like the idea of using a curd for other recipes, and have just started looking at how these recipes can be used in tarts.

 

It's not really similar to a chiboust- it just makes the lemon curd that much lighter and creamier.  A chiboust is always lightened with Italian meringue and set with gelatin.  A vanilla chiboust is traditionally used to make a Saint-Honoré.

 

An entremet is, essentially, a mousse cake.  You have a cake or pastry base, a mousse to act as the body and at least one insert to add a new flavour and/or texture.  This is assembled in a cake ring or mould, frozen, then unmoulded and finished.  This is an example of a complex entremet, but they can be much simpler.

 

A bûche (de Noël) is a Yule Log.  Traditionally it's a rolled sponge, filled with buttercream or ganache, then decorated to look like a log.  Modern ones are made like entremets using a half-cylinder mould, giving chefs much more flexibility about what they put in them.

 

The whipped lemon curd works beautifully as an insert to an entremet or bûche (like this one, second down), or to fill a tart.  The chiboust is much lighter, and could be used in the place of a mousse or to fill a tart shell.  Or, even better, use lemon marmelade, lemon curd and lemon chiboust for a tart.

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  • 2 years later...

I love lemon curd and make my own using whole eggs and no water bath. It does come to a boil and does not curdle. I am wondering how to can lemon curd (or even if it is possible to can lemon curd) as I cannot possibly eat the quantity I make over a short period of time without gaining weight precipitously. Any thoughts on how to achieve this. I do have a pressure canner but not enough freezer space to contemplate freezing it.

 

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