Lemon Curd. So I typed these two words ‘lemon curd’ and just sat staring at the screen for…and I’m again staring at the screen wondering how long I had been sitting, staring at the screen for after ‘lemon curd’. That’s what happens, sometimes the words just flow and before I know it, I’ve dished out a thousand words already; and then there are times like today, where I just sit, stare and wait for something…anything that will push past the plug clogging the words and thoughts in my mind. Nothing of the sort has happened yet and so I’m just rambling along.
So anyway, lemon curd! That in itself is exciting enough now…I mean lemon curd! Yeah, in case it wasn’t obvious, citrus and lemon in particular, totally gets me excited; what’s not to like, its bright, fresh, tangy and yellow! I love yellow; it has been my favourite colour for as long as I can remember; which is kind of weird as black, white and neutrals is all I ever want, it’s the colour palette that speaks to my soul and one that I find most comforting; black, white and neutrals with splashes of yellow- that would be the colour of my soul, if soul has a colour that is. I digress; it’s a rambling, thoughts all over the place kind of day, bear with me please.
So the lemon curd, it’s a must have recipe in any cooks repertoire because it’s so versatile and can be used in so many different ways in desserts, drinks, savoury dishes or if you’re like me, all you need to eat the lemon curd is a spoon, fork if that’s all you can find, or just use one of the ten fingers on your hands, it doesn’t really matter as long as the lemon curd finds a way into your mouth.
All you need to make this luscious goodness is lemon juice (of course!) and eggs, butter, sugar. That’s it, four ingredients; I wanted to make a spiced lemon curd and for that I added cardamom and ginger; I felt ginger would be just right to stand up to the strong, tart lemon flavour. If you want a classic lemon curd, just leave out the cardamom and ginger. As you can see in the pictures, the spiced lemon curd has a slightly darker colour because of the ginger and cardamom while the one without the spices has a bright yellow colour. Now for the eggs, some recipes use only the yolk, some a combination of whole eggs plus yolks; mine uses only whole eggs. Wasting food is not an option, and I don’t always know what to do with left over egg whites or yolks so as much as I can, I like to use whole eggs in a recipe. I like my lemon curd to be quite tart so I didn’t add as much sugar, if you want it to be sweeter you can add extra sugar but keep in mind how you plan to use it. If you’re making a plain lemon curd tart, make it slightly sweeter however if you plan to use it as a filling in a cake, less sugar would be better; at the end of the day it all depends on your preference.
This can be used as a filling in cakes, tarts, cupcakes and any number of desserts. You can make a double batch of the curd and it will stay refrigerated for a week to ten days easily, maybe more but in my home it just never lasts that long; so this is a good one to make ahead of time and halve your workload if you plan on making a cake or tart. Here’s the recipe so you can go make your own lemon curd while I go eat mine.
This recipe yields approx 1 cup of lemon curd.
- Fresh lemon juice- 120 ml
- Eggs (large)- 3
- Sugar- 85 grams ( 100 grams if you want it sweeter)
- Unsalted butter- 80 grams
- Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
- Freshly grated ginger- ¾ tsp
- Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and keep it aside. Cut the butter into cubes.
- Add lemon juice, sugar, eggs, cardamom powder and ginger in a saucepan. Whisk it all together, and then add the butter.
- Put the pan on the stove over low heat, whisking constantly. Once the butter melts, you can increase the heat to medium or if you’re unsure continue cooking on low.
- Cook the mixture, whisking constantly until it becomes thick, it will take some time but keep whisking.
- Once it has reached the desired thickness (it will thicken slightly more once it cools) take it off the heat and immediately pour it into the bowl lined with a strainer.
- Press it through the strainer and cover with cling wrap. Make sure the cling is touching the surface of the curd so it doesn’t form a skin.
- Store in a refrigerator.
*Omit the cardamom and ginger for a plain lemon curd.
*Decrease the quantity of ginger and cardamom for a more subtle flavour.
*Cover the lemon curd and store in the refrigerator.