Lemon Curd

The name sounds weird, I know. Lemon curd is similar to a custard, but is used as a spread, or a filling in a lemon meringue pie. You can also make it from lime. It is relatively simple to make, the only trick comes in tempering the mixture into the eggs.

This recipe will make 1 quart, which will fill about two pies.

5 oz Butter
1 cup Lemon Juice
9 oz Sugar
1 cup Egg Yolks

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and add the lemon juice and sugar. Bring this to a boil and make sure all the sugar has been dissolved.

Temper the mixture into the egg yolks in a separate bowl, and return everything into the saucepan and cook on medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. If lumps begin to form, remove from heat and whisk. Continue to cook until the curd coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to cook it high and long enough to “scramble” the eggs.

When this is done, remove from heat and move to another container so that it cools more quickly. The curd will thicken as it cools.

How to Temper

Tempering allows you to add eggs to a hot liquid without the eggs being shocked, and scrambled in the process. If  you start to see small white clumps, the eggs have been shocked and it is time to start over.

  • Beat egg yolks in a bowl large enough to hold both eggs and hot liquid.
  • Dribble a small amount of the hot liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly.
  • Continue adding a small amount at a time until you can feel, through the bottom of the bowl that the eggs have warmed close to the liquid’s temperature. You can then start adding it in a steady stream. Keep whisking until everything is combined.

From there, follow the directions from your recipe.

To make a Lemon (or Lime) Meringue Pie you will need:

Meringue and Pie Crust

Cook the pie crust first, just until golden brown and set. Let it cool and fill with your lemon curd. Top with meringue. Be creative and add peaks uniformly across the meringue. Bake at 350F until the meringue starts to brown.

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