Determination and a surprise.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Usually when I'm looking around for inspiration on my next baked good the same thing happens. I'm always so anxious to make something that I usually don't take into account that I won't have the ingredients I need on hand at that exact moment I'm craving it. I'll see the recipe, think "that's delicious!", and start looking down the ingredients list. It'll be like, "Sugar, check. Flour, check. Eggs, check. Butter, check. [insert random ingredient like cranberries, pecans, dark chocolate, etc.], ... no." Well I grew tired of this time honored tradition. So on my latest sweet tooth blog search craze, I found a really technically challenging, unique dessert. It was something I usually don't have and it also had an interesting construction to it. But, after looking through the ingredients list I was faced with my usual dilemma. Lemon curd. I didn't have lemon curd This time, though, I had a solution.

With an empty day ahead of me I thought, "You know what? I can make that. How hard can it be?" I looked up an easy recipe for making lemon curd and, miracle of miracles, I had all the ingredients I needed. (My mom and I had recently went on a lemon buying spree. Aldi's, real cheap.) So I set off to make it. Oh, and you may be wondering what recipe I've been describing and would need this for. Well that's a secret for now. I'll post it sooner or later, you know once I actually make it. But for now, let's focus on the curd.

Lemon curd
on recipezaar (They give a microwave version and a stove top version. Since I used the stove top method, that's what I'll post)

Serves 18 , 1 1/2 cups

* 3 tablespoons lemon zest
* 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 4 lemons)
* 1 1/2 cups sugar

* 8 tablespoons butter
* 3 eggs, lightly beaten
* 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 Stove top Method:.
2 In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar.
3 Bring just to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.

4 Add butter and stir until it has melted and combined.
5 Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
6 Beat eggs into cooled lemon mixture until well blended.
7 Return to heat and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats spoon.
8 Remove from heat.
9 Cover and refrigerator at least 1 hour.

Okay, well, I didn't have a lemon zester. Kinda important. So I spent over and HOUR using my lemon peeler thingy, hoping the tiny strips would dissolve when it was heated. My advice, buy a zester if you don't have one and save yourself the trouble!

Waiting for the mixture to cool before I could add the eggs was pretty annoying. I did have a little help from the freezer though=)

Also, I was really concerned that I would make scrambled eggs or something when I began to heat the mixture with the added eggs. Amazingly, I didn't! You have to whisk them in really good though. But once you get to that final stage, it's amazing how your thin liquid starts turning into lemony goop.

In the end, I waited a few hours for it to cool and then tried a bit. YUM-O (as Rachael Ray would say)! The lemon taste really comes through and it tasted exactly like it would in say.. a lemon meringue pie. No, that's not what I'm making, but now you can narrow down your guesses.

On a slightly disappointing note, there were little tiny lemon peel pieces throughout my curd because I was unable to zest. Sigh, but it still tastes incredible.

So what to do with lemon curd. Well here are some ideas of things you could make with lemon curd:
-Use it to make different bar recipes, i.e lemon bars (which are my all time favorite dessert. There are many memories from childhood.)
-It can be a filling for tarts or pies
-Use it as a cake or cupcake topping or spread
-It can basically be used in place of any jam
-Use it in cookies (thumbprints, any cookie with berry fillings, use lemon curd)
-It's a great topper for things like: waffles, pancakes, toast, muffins, scones, whatever
Use this curd! It's genius=)

Still none of these are what I'm going to attempt to make.


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