When found in tarts, buried under meringue, in a pie, or paired with a shortbread to make lemon bars, lemon curd is a great base for lots of desserts.
If Life Gives You Lemons...
Then you might as well make a curd. This recipe will fill an 8-inch tart shell, or several small tart shells. You will need:
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 7 ounces sugar
- The zest of 2 lemons
- The juice of five lemons
- 2 ounces of butter
- Put eggs, yolks, sugar, and zest into a heat proof bowl and whisk it until it is thoroughly combined.
- Add the lemon juice and wisk some more.
- Place the bowl over a saucepan that is about half filled with water. Be sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
- Get a low flame under the saucepan and, using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until it is thick. How thick? Thick enough so that when you scoop some up with the spatula and let it drip off, it lays on top of itself for at least five seconds. Use a spatula to stir the curd so you don't whip air into the mix.
- Now add the butter.
- Pour the curd through a strainer.
Now You Have Lemon Curd
At this point, you can pour it directly into your tart shell or pie shell, chill it, and eat it. If you are going to use your curd for a mousse, you should pour it into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. When you cover it, make sure the plastic wrap actually touches the surface of the curd or the curd will develop a thick skin.
If you go for the pie option, you can make a quick meringue and pipe it in peaks to cover the top of the pie. Then, all you have to do is take your propane torch and caramelize the top of the meringue just like you would a crème brulee. If you opt for a tart, you can either go for the meringue or you can just dust the top with some confectioners sugar in a dredge.