Friday, February 25, 2011

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd (it says it makes about 2 cups, but when I made it, it came out to about 2 and a half.)

1 c sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
3 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
6 tbs lemon juice
6 tbs water
6 beaten egg yolks
1/2 c butter or margarine, cut up

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch, then add the lemon peel, lemon juice, and water. Put on medium heat and stir until thickened and a little bubbly. (You don't need to stir it constantly, just enough to keep it mixed and not sticking to the bottom. In the meantime, you can separate and beat the egg yolks in a smallish bowl.)

Once the mixture has thickened, stir about half of it into the yolks and then return it to the saucepan--still over medium heat. Cook and stir until it comes to a gentle boil. I've found that by this time, the lemon curd is so thick that it doesn't really boil--it just sort of pops every now and then to let the air out. So when it starts doing this, I consider that a "boil." Cook and stir for about 2 min more, and then remove from the heat.

Add the butter pieces and stir until it's all combined.

At this point, you can cover the curd and chill it if you'll use it within a week. Other options are freezing it, which will make it last 2 months (probably longer, actually.) Or what I like to do is have a separate pot on the stove with two cup-sized jars (like you see in the picture) boiling in water with their lids. Once the curd is ready, I pull the jars out and quickly fill them with the lemon curd and twist the tops on (with a dish towel, because they're really hot.) This way, they'll last a much longer time, and I can just leave them on my shelf and not take up room in the freezer.

By the way, you can also make orange curd by using only 3/4 cup of sugar, orange peel instead of lemon peel, and 3/4 cup orange juice instead of the lemon juice.

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