Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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Blogger at: and -- My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually studied design and photography. I also was a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines from 1998-2005, and had an in-house PR company for a while. Cooking is in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and their father was a pastry chef, my mom's mother was a caterer, who published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries when she was 92. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, and we're not afraid to experiment. I have a yen for interior design and remodeling.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Lemon Curd

If you're not familiar with lemon curd, this is a very classic British lemon-spread to put on scones, or other pastries. (Try it on pancakes, or in homemade Danish, for instance.) Lemon curd is bright, smooth, velvety and rich, and it pairs so well with a hot cup of Earl Grey. 

This is a breakfast staple at my parents' house, so I've grown up eating it, but this very batch that I'm sharing with you here is the FIRST time in 42 years of living that I finally got around to making myself. And it was super easy, and very fast. I think zesting the lemons took 1/3 of the total time.

(Additional thoughts: Whenever zest is called for, I think it's good to use organic citrus, since you don't want to zest the rind that's covered in pesticides. Secondly, the lemon curd will keep for about a week in the fridge, so if you can't go through 2 jars in one week, halve the recipe, and use 2 eggs instead of 3, to ensure that you still get adequate thickening.)

2 lemons, juiced, and zested into respective bowls
3 eggs
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 stick butter

Begin by washing and zesting the lemons with a fine zesting grater.

Take care to collect all the zest into a bowl since it so easily scatters. Once you've finished with that, cut the lemons in half, and squeeze as much juice as you can into a different bowl or Pyrex style measuring cup.

Whisk together eggs and sugar in a small pot, until well mixed. Add lemon juice and whisk again until quite emulsified.  Place the small pot in larger, water-filled skillet, and bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat. 

Stirring the lemon curd constantly, keep cooking it until it thickens. Don't stop short, and think it's done. It may take 10 or so minutes to thicken. (If it's not thickening up enough -- think pudding texture -- you may not have enough heat on your water bath.) 

As soon as it's thickened up, remove from heat, *(and if you see any clumping of egg white, strain it through a metal sieve into a clean container first)*, and then stir in the lemon zest and the stick of butter until totally melted, and whisked into the lemon mixture.

Transfer to two small pint-jars, and cool immediately to set up. 

And there you have it. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

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