Until recently, my only association with the word “curd” was Little Miss Muffet eating it on a tuffet with some whey. It didn’t sound very appetizing. When I discovered the world of fruit curds, I was hooked. Velvety smooth, slightly sweet and tangy fruit curds are easy to make and a great way to take your homemade treats to the next level. Orange, raspberry or lemon curd turn a simple layer cake into an elegant dessert. It’s an unexpected surprise to see a bright fruit filling inside of a cake instead of the usual sometimes too-sweet buttercream.
Curds have a pudding-like consistency and are also delicious topped with whipped cream or meringue. I’ve also used as a filling for a simple tart. Here is a great article that explains fruit curds and their uses.
I’ve made curds with whole eggs or with just the egg yolks. This recipe calls for the entire egg. It’s a recipe I’ve used many times from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. Her recipes are so reliable and I’ve never had an issue with any of them. I’ve adapted this one slightly, by reducing the amount of sugar. Watch this short video of her making this recipe if you are unclear on the directions.
Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
Makes 2 cups
3 large lemons (or 6 small)
1¼ cups sugar
4 oz. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temp
4 large eggs (room temp)
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
Use a micro grater and zest lemons. If you don’t have a grater, you can remove zest with a vegetable peeler and pulse with sugar in a food processor. Although I highly recommend getting into your car and driving to Target…you’re probably going there soon anyway. Graters are under $10 and life changing. Well, for me it was, which is sad but true.
In a mixing bowl, whisk zest and sugar together until fragrant. Add butter to sugar and beat until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time. Add salt and lemon juice and combine well.
Transfer to a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Simmer on low-medium heat and stir consistently for about 10 minutes. Curd will thicken and is ready when you can run your finger through the mixture on the back of a spoon and the path remains. Temperature should register between 165-170°.
Pour curd through a fine sieve or strainer into a glass bowl and let cool slightly. Cover with plastic wrap, but put directly onto the surface of the curd. This will prevent a skin from forming. Let curd set in refrigerator for at least an hour, but overnight is best. Will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. Use this curd to spread on toast in place of jam, top your pancakes or spoon into yogurt. Tomorrow I will post a recipe for Lemon Thumbprint Cookies which are topped with this curd. Be creative and enjoy!