Lemon curd is a quintessentially English treat. It reminds me of having tea at Harrod's in London when I was in the 5th grade. It’s delicious slathered over scones with cream or baked in a fruit tart. I especially love it when it's so lemony it makes you pucker.
The following recipe, from the cookbook Once Upon A Tart, was prepared by my friend. She made another batch from a Martha Stewart recipe and, in a blind tasting, this one won hands down. While Martha’s was delicious, Once Upon A Tart's had a cleaner, more pure lemon flavor, even though both were made from fresh lemons. Give it a try…
From Once Upon A Tart
Grate the rind of one lemon and set aside.
Beat 8 egg yolks in a bowl to break them up. Pour the yolks through a sieve into a heavy-bottomed pot to strain out the white membranes.
Stir in 1 ¼ cups sugar and ¾ cups lemon juice (3-4 lemons) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula in a figure-eight motion, making sure to scrape the edges of the pot. Continue cooking until the curd thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon. Lift the spoon out of the curd and run your finger down the length of the spoon. If your finger leaves a line, the curd is thick enough. If the curd runs and covers up the line, it’s too runny and needs to cook longer.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter and the lemon zest, and stir until the butter is completely melted.
Pour the curd into a small bowl, and let cool to room temperature.
Cover the cooled curd, and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.
Lemon curd will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Stand in front of the refrigerator late at night, in your pajamas, and spoon-feed yourself lemon curd. Sweet dreams…