I mentioned my Mom-mom from my dad’s side, now I’m going to talk about my Grandma from my mom’s side.
She was a very tough and strong minded woman. She also believed anything worth doing, was worth doing not only right, but the best version of right that she could possibly do. This means she always bought the best and freshest ingredients she could find. Even when it came to eggs, the eggs she always had were only a matter of a few hours old from a friend up the road. Not always the best for baking, especially for whipping whites, but damn were they delicious fried!
The thing that she always loved and always had on hand, was lemon curd. it went on everything from english muffins, to crackers as a snack. She even mixed it with butter and smeared it on the outside of a roasting chicken and then covered it generously with fresh cracked pepper.
It isn’t difficult, but it sure is tasty. I’m going to show you the basic recipe, and also how to use it in a tart shell or pie crust. Leave the gelatin out of the recipe and just pour the curd into a container for spreading. It’s clean and crisp, especially on a hot august day.
6 oz egg yolks
1.5 C Sugar
2 t Lemon Zest
6 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
4 oz Cold Butter – Diced
1 t Gelatin (for tart or pie use)
(If you’re using real gelatin made from pig bones, it’s going to be stronger and you’re going to want to cut it back by one fourth)
Start by weighing out your egg yolks into a medium sized mixing bowl. Depending on where you get your eggs, the yolk size may be different. I get my eggs from a local farm. They’re gigantic! Going by weight allows you to be more consistent in the end product. Separate the white from the yolk and save the whites for something else. Angel food cake or something…I just hate wasting.
I use my hands to separate as i feel it allows me to be more gentle, but do whatever works best for you.
Zest your lemons until you get the 2 teaspoons you need. Add it to the yolks.
Juice your lemons.
Whisk in your sugar. make sure it’s all combined before adding the remaining ingredients except the butter. Strain the juice to make sure you get all the pulp out. Press on the pulp with a spoon to get every last drop. If you’re making a tart or pie, don’t forget the gelatin.
Set up a pot of simmering water on the stove. Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water creating a steam bath, or double boiler. Whisk until the mixture just starts to firm up. This will take a while…
While continuing to whisk, add the butter one cube at a time. Continue adding the butter and whisking until it’s all been incorporated.
You’ll know it’s finished when it coats the back of a spoon.
Now if you’re just making the curd to be spread on various items, you can pour it into a container, or into mason jars for canning later. If you’re moving onto making a tart, you’re going to want to pour the curd containing the gelatin into your already prepared tart or pie shell.
Allow to rest covered and refrigerated for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight so it can fully set up.
Once it’s had time to rest, top with some fresh berries and some whipped cream. Sit outside, and watch the sunset while eating your tart, pie, or the crackers you’ve spread your curd on. What ever way you choose to eat it, a nice summer ale and someone to share it all with, goes very well together.
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