lemon curd cream
I’ve never been one for jarring and preserving. Sterilising the jars, cooking the fruit, let alone setting the jam is just too dangerous a concept for clumsy me. (Especially when we can buy fantastic jams from the farmers’ markets.) But freezing things like lemon curd is something I can embrace. Especially when a batch of velvety skinned, sweet Meyer lemons comes our way. (We got the lemons from Mum’s friend’s neighbour, such as these mysterious lemons are often sourced.)
This curd is silky and really lemony. Not only because of the Meyer lemons, but because this recipe from pastry demi-god Pierre Herme is really something. Somehow slowly whipping the butter in after the cooking stage retains the rich, zesty, floral sophistication of the lemon. Let’s say it’s a very different lemon curd from the store bought version.
Having frozen curd is handy – think of impromptu lemon tarts, instant filling for lemon meringue cupcakes and an impressive topping for mini raspberry pound cakes, which incidentally are a cinch to make. (I’m currently addicted to my new mini muffin pan…)
Lemon Curd Cream
Adapted from Pierre Herme
It’s possible to make half the quantity, though the curd will require a careful eye as it will be more sensitive to heat and scrambling. To freeze, the curd needs to be tightly sealed with a layer of cling wrap or in a sealed piping bag.
200g castor sugar
finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
freshly squeezed lemon juice from 5 lemons
295g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a gentle simmer. Have an instant read thermometer at the ready.
In a bowl that will fit on the saucepan, combine the sugar and lemon zest. This is the best part – get your fingers in there and gently rub the sugar and zest together. It will become moist and really aromatic.
Whisk in the eggs and followed by the lemon juice.
Put the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water, making a bain marie. Constantly whisk the mixture until it reaches 80°C. Initially the mixture will bubble from the whisk’s agitation, as it gets hotter the bubbles will disappear and the curd will thicken. This transformation from liquid to thick curd happens very, very quickly, so keep reading the temperature and take it off the heat as soon as it’s 80°C.
Strain the curd into another bowl. Whisk lightly to release some heat. Start whisking in the butter a few cubes at a time, fully incorporating the butter before adding the next. The curd will become light, smooth and buttercup yellow in colour. Once all the butter has been whisked in, it’s ready to use.
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