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Lemon Curd: The Topic


bloviatrix
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Has anyone tried the lemon curd recipe in Dorie Greenspan's latest book? She also has a lemon cream recipe in the same book. The book says that the lemon cream has more tang and less butteriness. This confuses me since her cream has more than three times as much butter as her curd. I did purposely post this here here rather on the "Baking From My Home to Yours" thread, just in case you lemon curd lovers have tried her recipe. Thanks.

Aria in Oregon

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I have no idea. My thermometer doesn't take temps below 190F. Note to self: Why didn't you look more closely at it before you bought it?

Well, if the problem is not failure to disperse the eggs into the other ingredients --and I doubt it is if you are mixing the eggs with the sugar first-- then the coagulated bits are probably a result of overcooking.

Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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  • 2 months later...

There are a few lemon curd recipes in my files. One calls for using whole eggs, another for using only egg yolks, and another that asks for X-number of yolks PLUS X-number of whole eggs. Apart from the eggs, the recipes are reasonably similar. So, what taste/texture differences might I expect as a result of using the different egg variations?

Shel

 ... Shel


 

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1 c juice from about 6 lemons..(ha..took 9 for me, bad lemons??)

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

Did you warm the lemons? If you put them whole into the microwave for about 25 seconds, one at a time, you will find you get a lot more juice. I almost always need less lemons than the recipe calls for to get the juice.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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It's amazing that the word 'gelatin' did not appear until page 11 on this thread!!

So, for all of you who are making the curd for a cake, I refer you to the 'Ultimate Lemon Layer Cake" from April 07 of Cooks Illustrated mag. The recipe is nicely tart, and sets up perfectly. I made the cake as written and the layers were light enough (4) that there was no oozing. I will be using the curd in tartlet shells for an engagement party this weekend. I'm going to blind bake (and add the beaten eggwhite as described upthread..thanks) and then fill. this curd is designed to set firm, so it should be perfect after a flick of the offset spatula.

1 c juice from about 6 lemons..(ha..took 9 for me, bad lemons??)

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

6 yolks (if making the cake, you need the whites...if you want that recipe, let me know)

1 stick us butter cut into cubes and frozen (I do not know why. since I keep cut up sticks of butter in ziplocs in the freezer for crusts I just used some of that...have no idea what would happen if you used just cold butter. Must have something to do with bringing the temp down without using a water bath).

sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in small bowl. heat juice sugar and salt in nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and it's hot..not boiling.pour hot lemon mix over the eggs (whisked in a lorge nonreactive bowl) SLOWLY, WHILE WHISKING ALL THE WHILE...it helps to have help with this part. Then return mix to the suacepan and heat while stirring to 170 or thick enough to 'leave a trail'. remove from heat and stir in gelatin mix and stir until dissolved. stir in butter chunks until mixed, strain into nonreactive bowl and cover directly on surface with plastic wrap for at least 4 hours. I did it night before for cake and just had to fold it a few times to bring back to spreading form.

It's not a lot of gelatin and it gives the curd just the tightness it needs not to creep.

I've also made 3 trays of marshmallows this week so I'm a little up to my eyeballs in the gelatin recipes. Actually that's why I tried this recipe, I already had 8 little orange boxes. Sometimes things just go in your favor, or flavor in this case!

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1 c juice from about 6 lemons..(ha..took 9 for me, bad lemons??)

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

Did you warm the lemons? If you put them whole into the microwave for about 25 seconds, one at a time, you will find you get a lot more juice. I almost always need less lemons than the recipe calls for to get the juice.

yes, damn near burned my hands doing so. Ever get a lemon with about a 1/2 inch of pith??

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1 c juice from about 6 lemons..(ha..took 9 for me, bad lemons??)

1 teaspoon powdered gelatin

Did you warm the lemons? If you put them whole into the microwave for about 25 seconds, one at a time, you will find you get a lot more juice. I almost always need less lemons than the recipe calls for to get the juice.

yes, damn near burned my hands doing so. Ever get a lemon with about a 1/2 inch of pith??

any citrus fruit you pick should be heavy for its size. these will usually yield more juice than what appears to be a big lemon but is very light for its size.

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OMG, I tried the herme cream (with slight modifications) yesterday. I've made alton's version before and thought it was yummy, but this was even better.

I made a 1 1/3 batch, and to try and make it a bit thicker, since I was using it as lemon meringue pie filling, I used yolks instead of whole eggs + 1/3 the number of yolks as whole eggs. My recipe was 6 egg yolks + 2 eggs, 1 cup of lemon juice, zest of 4 lemons, 14 ounces of butter and 1 1/3 cups of sugar. Standard method, double boiler to measured 180 degrees, strained and blended once at 140 to incorporate butter in soft chunks and for 4 minutes after incorporation.

I think it's way way way too ridiculously rich for pie filling but the texture was perfect for pie; the cut edges around the missing wedges are still standing after 12 hours and it's the most amazingly smooth creamy lemony thing ever. I'll bet in a tart or tartlet it would be perfect.

Tangential to the issue of lemon cream, from a technical standpoint as a pie this is my best effort yet. The meringue is non-weepingly non-soggily flawless (Italian; 6 whites and 3/4 of that by weight in sugar cooked to soft ball and blended into soft-peaked whites then taken to stiff glossy peaks, then browned under the broiler after topping the pie) and it's the best crust I've ever made. The crust was RLB's cream cheese crust from her website, which is much easier when you have a food processor and can easily work with frozen butter :) Doubt I'll use the the proc much for anything else once the novelty wears off, but even if it was a $200 pie crust mixer it might be worth it to me. This was tender, flaky, flavorful, and very easy to roll out/transfer/crimp. Shrunk a little becuase I didn't let it rest enough after crimping it, just froze it for 20 mins and blind-baked due to time constraints, and I probably took the weights out a bit too soon.

But the cream, A+ would make again.

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My husband and I made lemon curd for many years until I got sick of it and also had to start watching my cholesterol. We tasted many commercial and artisanal curds and we always felt this one compared well. It is an easy recipe and very reliable; believe me, if it was a delicate operation we would be divorced by now. We never used a thermometer. The proportions and timing were arrived at after years of tweaking. It's quite tart. We experimented with using limes instead of lemons and cutting back the amount of sugar, and that wasn't half bad. This recipe yields approx 3 half-pint jars with a few tablespoons left over. The result is very spreadable, medium stiff. Perhaps if you want it very stiff you could cook it another five minutes. The consistency would work for a lemon tart I think, but we mainly used it as a spread for toast.

7/8 cup lemon juice (from 4 or 5 lemons--not meyer--way too sweet)

fine zest from 3 of the lemons

4.5 medium-large eggs (okay I know that's a bit strange, but there it is)

1 stick sweet butter

1.5 cup plus 3T sugar

Sterilize jars as you like. Grate lemon rind, eliminating all pith, set aside. Squeeze lemons and strain the juice to get 7/8 c. Beat the eggs (I would beat 5 and then pour off what I guessed was about a half an egg. My husband learned to look the other way. When he used all 5 eggs I thought the end product was too eggy.) In a double boiler melt the butter, keeping the water at a modest simmer. When just melted add sugar, juice, zest. When warm but not too hot, add the beaten eggs--all at once, not slowly, so you keep them from cooking too quickly. Simmer uncovered over medium or med-low heat, stirring constantly, about 20 minutes, til smooth and creamy. The consistency may look questionnable the first 10 minutes, but keep stirring and have faith. It should end up smooth and creamy. Ladle into jars. Keeps 2 months in the fridge.

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Will any tart fruit and a little lemon juice (or citric acid?) work for a curd? I'm thinking of trying it with some of the morello cherry puree I have in the freezer. I've done the citrus curds, passionfruit curd and raspberry curd but there's a whole world of tart fruits out there to play with. Experimenting is not a problem but I might as well start by learning from what others have already tried and how well it worked (or didn't).

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Should have known that would exist. Thanks!

Edit: Ok, looks like the answer is to start experimenting. Lots of ideas in that thread but not much "I tried this, it worked/didn't work/required this" so I guess I get to play. :biggrin:

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Hm, I was comparing that Fine Cooking recipe to the one I used to make at my old job, and they're exactly the same, except that our recipe had 2x the amount of eggs and yolks. I don't recall there being any weird metallic taste but I wasn't looking for it, so I suppose I'd have to try again.

We never waited for the curd to cool before adding the butter, and the product definitely got grainy after a vacation in the fridge.

Testing the Fine Cooking recipe tomorrow at work with some satsuma mandarins...

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  • 4 months later...

Ditto that. I used the Fine Cooking recipe to make a tart over the weekend and it was absolutely the best---and easiest---lemon curd I've ever made. I did go ahead at the end and beat it in a bowl over ice to cool it down. No straining, just the right balance of tart and sweet---perfect!

I may be in Nashville but my heart's in Cornwall

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  • 3 weeks later...

rob, nice tartlette. how did the curd come out?

i made some meyer lemon curd this weekend. used vanilla sugar and instead of cooking it with the butter, added it at the end and used my immersion blender...smooth, creamy and delicious! served it over macerated strawberries and raspberries on shortcakes (biscuits) with some unsweetened whipped cream.

only thing i'd do differently is use even less sugar for the meyer lemons. i reduced the sugar by one third of what the recipe called for and used more lemon juice, but they were so sweet (relatively speaking) i could have cut back on the sugar even more.

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Cool Rob. Grapefruit is one of my current favorite flavors so you can toss one of those this way if you want. :biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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  • 5 months later...

I've recently had a rash of folks who want to buy my lemon curd. Great! But, I really can't keep doing it to order with my schedule. Has anyone made a curd that either has an extended life in the fridge, or better yet, shelf stable? Is the citric acid that Kerry had me get going to be my key?

~Puckeringly yours!

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Oh, I love curds!

What's my prize if I tell you what to do? Just kidding.

The best places to look for information on canning are through argricultural/cooperative extensions at state colleges and universities. Here's a link to the University of Missouri cooperative extension. Just use your recipe and their procedure.

http://extension.missouri.edu/stcharles/qfk/Sep05/curd.html

I tasted a fabulous lemon curd at the NY Fancy Food Show. It had a great backnote of butter to it. Does your recipe have a lot of butter in it?

Theresa :biggrin:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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