Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lemon Curd Filling

Here's a recipe for one of my favorite pies, lemon curd. This is a simple recipe, calling for only five ingredients. The filling is tart, yet not bitter, nor sickening sweet. You can make lemon curd filling and keep it in the fridge and spread it on toast. Limes or oranges can be substituted for the lemons. I whip up fresh heavy cream for the topping. YUMMY!!!

Lemon Curd Filling
6 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 pre-baked pie shell or tart shell
heavy whipping cream

1. Place the beaten egg yolks, the sugar, and the lemon juice in a heavy saucepan and cook over low heat for 10-12 minutes, until the mixture is quite thick. (Seems like the mixture doesn't change at all until the end of the time, and then it suddenly thickens.)

2. Remove from heat, and while the mixture is cooling, drop in a piece of butter at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated. Add the zest and let it cool completely. Pour it into the baked pie/tart shell and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

You may be wondering what the difference is between zest and rind.  The black-handled tool in the photo above is a zester, and is designed to only remove the top most layer of the citrus.  On the other hand, if you grate the fruit, you will also get the white part, called the rind (or pith), which is quite bitter.  Zest adds citrus flavor without the bitter taste.  

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