lemon curd

Commence my adventures as a part time food blogger. Not wholly unexpected for those of you that know me. I started baking obsessively when I started college, using my wonderful floormates as guinea pigs for my rapid descent into the world of butter and sugar. After countless cookies, bar experiments, and cupcakes later, I figured it's about time to start organizing my recipes, and what better way than with this blog? Okay, I'm no Pioneer Woman or SmittenKitchen. Goodness knows how those women do it. My kitchen has awful lighting, I can't figure out how to take pictures as I'm baking, and college life limits my ingredients and equipment.

Lemon curd is basically a custard with a really rich lemon flavor made with egg yolks, sugar, butter, and lemons. It's creamy, smooth, and so versatile; put it in your yogurt, on toast, in a crepe, in a tart, in whipped cream, as a lemon buttercream base, or as a cake filling, like I did. Or hell, just eat it with a spoon.

The flavor is surprisingly tart and bright, perfect for summer desserts. Lemon curd is also fairly easy to put together; it just entails a lot of whisking and whisking and more whisking until the mixture gets thick. Once you make it, it can keep for up to a week refrigeratedthat is, if it can even last that long without being consumed.

Lemon Curd
Adapted from Martha Stewart and Pastry Pal

6 large egg yolks
3/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt

Prepare a double boiler with a pot of simmering water and a pan/bowl that can fit over it.

Beat the eggs and strain the egg through a sieve into a pan and add sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt into a large bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Place over the simmering water, whisking constantly, for about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir until the mixture cools just slightly.  Stir in the chilled butter, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.

Push the curd though a sieve into a bowl to discard solids. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Can be made up to a week in advance.