Classic Lemon Curd
It may be the dead of winter for most of the country, but here on the Central Coast the sun is shining in more ways than one. Yes, there are bright blue skies with no hint of storm clouds in our future. But, that is not the only sunshine we get. You see it is lemon harvest time and that means tons and tons of glorious yellow lemons bursting sweet, tangy and juicy. With our Mediterranean climate we actually get 4 to 5 lemon crops, referred to as picks by local growers, in a year. That means we are never too far away from picking those little bright globes.
Lemons are a very versatile fruit, perfect for dishes from entrees to desserts. One of my favorites is lemon curd. And, today was all about stocking up on Lemon Curd, a creamy sweet custard like concoction bursting with lemony flavor. Warm or cold, lemon curd is the perfect accompaniment to fresh fruit, gingerbread, angle food cake, pound cake, spooned over ice cream or used as the base for a fruit tart. No matter how it is used it will chase away the gloom of any stormy winter’s day.
I use a classic lemon curd recipe from the Ball Canning book. It’s simple to make and freezes for up to a year.
Classic Lemon Curd
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Grated peel of one large lemon
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 5 medium)
1/2 cup (1/4 lb) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
PRESS egg yolks through a sieve set over a heavy saucepan to remove all egg whites.
ADD sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice. Whisk just to combine.
COOK over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Make sure to stir down the sides of the saucepan. Cook until mixture coats the back of the wooden spoon, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
ADD butter, one piece at a time, stirring after each addition to assure the mixture is smooth.
LADLE lemon curd into clean freezer containers and cool.
Now…anytime you feel the need for a bit of sunshine in your day you can pull it right from the freezer.