Friday, June 1, 2012

Lemon curd (and mini tart shells)

I used to have a ton of recipes for lemon curd.  Double boilers and fretting about over cooking or separating.  Those days are long long gone.

Enter my easiest most delicious lemon curd ever.  Don't blink, this is the easiest lemon curd you will ever, ever, make.

When it's chilled, fill tart shells, put it in crepes, cakes, on toast!  Spread it on crumpets, scones or biscuits.  Use it anywhere you'd use jam or jelly.  Leave it covered in the fridge and eat it with your finger.

In a medium saucepan, combine:

1 egg plus 2 whites.  (I break 3 eggs into the pan and carefully remove 2 yolks but do it however you get there!)
3/4 + 2 teaspoons cup sugar (yes, I'm this persnickety)
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2/3 cup lemon juice (I cheat and use half fresh and half jarred!)
1 Tablespoon butter
pinch of salt

Whisk it together and fret that it looks broken and curdled.  I'll wait. When you're over how horrifying it looks, smile and let's continue :)

Ok, now put it on medium low heat and stand at the stove with it and whisk it slowly and gently and constantly.  Do not answer the door, the phone (unless you're going to stand there) or do anything else except watch the curdled mess turn slowly into a pale beautiful thick curd.  It takes about 6 minutes.  Don't let it boil, obviously, you'll have a disgusting mess.  If you think it's getting too hot, slide it off heat for a moment, keep whisking then slide it back onto the heat. I dare you to tell me you don't have 6 spare minutes to make the best lemon curd, E.V.E.R.

Cook it until it's thick and beautiful and the consistency of thick moisturizer!  It should leave a line on the back of a wooden spoon.  I use the "can I see the whisk marks on the bottom of the pan" test, that's when I take it off heat.

Strain the mixture into a beautiful glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap, right down on the surface of the curd or a yukky skin will form and you'll lose some of it, we cannot have THAT!

Push it to the back of the counter for a while then put it in the fridge to chill and thicken and set up.

I wasn't going to share my recipe but guilt got the better of me.

 The next day...enjoy!!

I'll post play by play pictures but for the moment... here:

I made mini tart shells (recipe follows) and when they were cooled added a mini spoonful of the curd and a teaspoon of unsweetened whipped cream.

Best treat ever!


3 ounces of softened cream cheese (there's hash marks on the cream cheese :))
1/2 cup room temperature butter

Combine with a fork until smooth and cohesive.

ADD 1 cup all purpose flour and a pinch of salt.

Mix gently until a dough forms, shove it in the fridge for about 10 mins.

Divide into 24 balls and press into mini tart shell tin. Fork the bottoms to reduce puffing.

Bake 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Remove from pan immediately and put on rack to cool.

When cool, fill with ANYTHING!


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