Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lemon Curd

A fruit curd is a fantastic mixture which includes butter (lots of butter), eggs (lots of eggs), and most commonly citrus juice and zest but you can also make it with strawberries, cranberries, and peaches.

These are one of my favorite things to make but there's a catch.  With something this delicious there is always a catch.  Fruit curds have a very short shelf life. Unlike most Boiling Water Bath canned items that are good for 1 year it is recommended that curds are consumed with in 2 months.

However you can freeze the curds and you'll get your 1 year of usability.

Uses for fruit curds: AWESOME desserts, including Lemon Meringue Pie, tarts, dipping a graham cracker in or if you're feeling a need for simplicity...just grab a spoon and enjoy.

I gave a recipe from Grow It Cook It Can It a try and really loved it.  Instead of using only zest from lemons for the lemon curd she used grapefruit and orange zest.  It gave the lemon an extra sassy kick.

Grow It Cook It Can It followed the recipe from the National Center for Food Preservation in the interest of safety first...which I totally agree with.

Lemon Curd with Zested Orange & Grapefruit
1/4 cup grapefruit zest
1/4 cup orange zest
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice (bottled is recommended...I used 1/2 bottled and 1/2 fresh, mainly because I ran out of lemons in the house)
3/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
7 large egg yolks
4 large whole eggs

Prepare 4 1/2 pint jars, lids, and your canning pot (if you're canning).

**Do not have canning pot water at a boil when you add filled jars.  Water should be 180 degrees when you add the jars because the curds need the extra time it takes to heat the water to process the jars.

Mix sugar and zest, sit to the side.

Heat water in the bottom of a double boiler or I used a pot and bowl combo.  The water should not be at a full boil because you don't want to risk having lemon juice with scrambled eggs!

In the top of the double boiler or in my case the bowl thoroughly mix eggs and egg yolks.  Add sugar/zest mixture and whisk until smooth.

Add lemon juice and pieces of butter.

Add to the heat and gently whisk...and get comfortable...quite a bit of whisking involved.  You're going to want to keep things going until mixture reaches 170 degrees.

Remove from heat and stir for an additional few minutes until the curd thickens.

And now you have a choice.  To strain or not to strain?

I did because I didn't like chewing the lemon curd but it you like the zest leave it.  Funnel into warm jars leaving 1/2 headspace.  Remove air bubbles and fasten lids. Process for 15 minutes.  Enjoy with in 2 months.

I actually froze most of mine this time and gifted 1 jar with instructions to eat ASAP.

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