lemon curd

  • Currently 4/5
testing out and utilizing an interesting technique that supposedly removes the anxiety and extra hassle of straining out egg particulates from curd.

mixture did come out very smooth but will make the next batch using traditional method.
6 tbsp (85 gr) butter, unsalted
3/4 c (150 gr) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 c fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
1 tbsp lemon zest (about 3-4 lemons)
special equipment
large nonreactive bowl (stainless steel or glass, just not aluminum)
saucepan for setting bowl on top of (bottom of bowl will clear simmering water)
1. in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. slowly add the eggs and beat for 1 min. mix in the lemon juice and zest.

the mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
2. place bowl over simmering pot of water, constantly stirring, and cook until it looks smooth (the curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts).
3. increase the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. it should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170ºF on a thermometer. don't let the mixture boil.
4. remove curd from the heat. transfer the curd to a bowl and press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming; chill the curd in the refrigerator.

the curd will thicken further as it cools. covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.
hate recipes that use yolks only because then i'm left with whites. possibly test and utilize 5 yolks next time to see what difference that makes. whites contribute to an airier curd, especially if you whisk, and it has more proteins for that cohesion and i would think for better thickening; yolks make it richer and creamier, a nicer mouth-feel.

Alton Brown uses 5 yolks and has a whoppingly large amount of sugar and butter to boot - in proportion to the egg amount, almost twice that of others.

Ruhlman's ratio also uses an all yolk mix and has the largest proportion of lemon juice of all - about equal to the amount of sugar used. appears richer as it's on the higher end with butter content, too. and he doesn't use zest.

David Lebovitz has less sugar than others. recipe is geared towards the meyer lemon, but he does have sugar adjustment for regular lemons, but it's still less in comparison to other recipes.

used ingredient amounts in Joy of Baking as my base recipe and increased the lemon juice as well as butter. definitely more tart than some people might like and could possibly use more butter or yolk to counterbalance that. meanwhile, i'm just depping my finger in and savoring it a little bit at a time. possibly test out Ruhlman's ratio: 1/2 c lemon juice, 1/2 c sugar, 4 egg yolks, 4 tbsp butter.

and utilized the technique tip from Elinor Klivans on FineCooking.com. cream butter and sugar, as you would for cake recipes and beat in eggs and juice before place everything onto heat to cook and thicken. not sure if that made a difference as you still have the chalaza, the stringy white strands in the egg that suspends the yolk in the white. usually strained out in custards, as a completely smooth texture is desired, so no stringy white stuff floating in the pudding.

Becks and Posh waits for temperature of curd to go down to 140ºF before whisking in the butter bits, for whatever reasons. also has a significantly higher amount of sugar and butter than most of the recipes; beats AB's butter amount by about 1 teaspoon.
Cooking Method   SimmerPrep Time   less than 15 minutes
Cooking Time   15 to 30 minutes 
Features   Low-Carbohydrate, Low-Sodium, Vegetarian

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