What is it about yellow things that makes them so Easter appropriate? And why does Easter always remind me of lemons? Because lemons are yellow? It just doesn’t make any sense! Easter is supposed to remind me of eggs and bunnies, so why can’t I stop thinking about lemony things? Like lemon and poppyseed muffins, lemon and raspberry cake and lemonade?
Although I must admit that even when I was a little kid Easter has never been about eggs for me. Neither was it about bunnies. It was about chocolate. Duh! Chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies. So I guess it was a little about bunnies too. But only if they were made out of chocolate! Chocolate is what makes the world go round, remember? I knew that even when I was little. First lesson I learned in life… Well, right after I learned about all those things babies need to learn about, but that’s basically all instinctive, right? So, it doesn’t count…
Anyway, no eggs or chocolate in this post. Just lemons. ‘Cause hey, it is almost Easter and yellow stuff does look really good on Easter tables, so why not give in to those lemon cravings?
The first lemony thing I made – because yes, I totally embraced the lemon cravings – was this deliciously smooth lemon nectar, aka: lemon curd!
Let’s just talk about the word ‘curd’ for a moment. It’s not one of those words that make you hungry, is it? In fact, it conjures up images of cheese curdles and whey and other salty things. It even makes this gorgeous, vibrant, fruity spread (it’s a spread!) sound cheesy. It’s like calling an apple pie an apple pizza! Seriously, why lemon curd is called, well, ‘lemon curd’ is beyond me…
So for those of you who are put off by the name, just give it a go and tell yourself that you’re actually eating lemon nectar… Sounds much more intriguing! Let’s make it a thing…
Anyway, this lemon curd, or nectar, is particularly smooth and silky, because it doesn’t just contain lemon juice (and sugar, and eggs and such) but it also contains a little cream. Just plain whipping cream. It makes this lemon curd that much more delicious! Especially with a little butter stirred into it too! The cream and butter not only help with the texture, they also give the lemon curd a more rounded flavor. Which is good!
And look at the color! Wouldn’t this stuff look absolutely perfect on an Easter breakfast table? It’s great slattered on some fresh challah or brioche… Or scones!
I didn’t make any scones to go with this lemon curd – even though lemon curd and scones go hand in hand – because I’m trying to save it for something else: a gorgeous, indulgent lemon cake with a lemon filling and sweet raspberries. Something simple but elegant and (again) perfect for Easter!
First thing I did after I took these photos though, was stir it into a bowl of yogurt and strawberries and make myself a gorgeously springy after-photographing-snack. And I had more for lunch a little later. And I made it again for breakfast the next day. See, lemon curd is great for that! Spread it on scones, stir it into yogurt, turn it into a muffin filling… Lemon curd is versatile, yo! And yes, that was me going all bad-ass on you. Never mind me, I’ve been watching too much ‘Breaking Bad’ lately…
Next post: lemon cake with lemon filing and strawberries!
- 90ml (or ⅓ cup + 2 teaspoons) whipping cream
- 3 lemons (about 110ml of juice)
- 6 egg yolks
- 120g granulated sugar
- 90g (or ⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Zest and juice the lemons. Combine the lemon juice, zest and the whipping cream in a small saucepan. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and a splash of the cream mixture. Place a fine-meshed strainer over a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture over medium-high heat and heat, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture reaches scalding point, remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully drizzle the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously to prevent the yolks from scrambling.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens to the point where it can coat the back of a spoon.
- Take the pan off the heat and immediately pour the lemon curd through the strainer into the small bowl. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool to body temperature.
- Once the lemon curd has cooled sufficiently, mix in the butter until smooth. If the lemon curd starts to look curdled, the lemon curd was probably too cold when you added the butter. If this happens, gently heat the lemon curd over a pan of simmering water (au bain marie) for about 1 minute, mixing continuously. Take the bowl off the heat and mix for 2 minutes. If the mixture still doesn't look smooth, heat again and mix again. Don't let the lemon curd become too hot for the butter to melt and become greasy.
- Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.