I know that we've coasted into summer, but over the past couple months, I simply could not get enough of all the springtime foods. Asparagus, rhubuarb, spring onions, garlic chives. And lemon. Oh, the lemon! Zested over salads, tossed into pasta, baked into muffins. Everything I ate HAD to have lemon. And so, enter my obsession with lemon curd.
This obsession started back in early April, after falling in love with it at Broder, a fantastic brunch spot the husband and I visited during our weekend getaway to Portland. We were seated next to the counter where the nearly finished dishes are garnished with a final dusting of powdered sugar or sprinkling of herbs. One can only dream of such a lucky spot.
It took just one plate of the Swedish style pancakes and lemon curd to pop up on the counter and waft past my nose before I knew that such a dish would surely change my life. Dramatic, I know. Immediately, I declared that we were ordering a skillet full.
Now, these were not your typical pancakes. They were round like an oversized doughnut hole, but soft and pillowy with just a hint of crispiness on the outer edges. I am positively kicking myself for not taking a snapshot, but if you want glimpse at these lovelies, there's a picture here. We slathered them silly with fresh lemon curd and washed them down with cup after cup of coffee and got completely lost in (as predicted) our life-changing meal.
And so, obviously I just had to try my own hand at lemon curd once I returned home. Since I hadn't really given lemon curd the time of day until now and had no idea what it entailed, I rummaged up a recipe online. I'm not a super technical cook, but I figured that Alton Brown would have a good idea of how much of this should go with that for such a simple recipe.
The Mother's Day brunch the husband and I hosted for our moms (and dads!) was the perfect occasion to debut our beloved lemon curd.
The ingredients here are simple - egg yolks, sugar, lemon, butter - and I left them well enough alone. But, I do think it would be nice to add some fresh chives or basil or lavender if you're looking to change it up a bit. For such simplicity, use the highest quality ingredients you can find.
It goes without saying that this stuff is LEMONY. A little goes a long way. The lemon curd is brilliant added to almost anything. We served it with good cheese and croissants at our brunch, but enjoyed it on top a stack of ricotta pancakes and swirled it into plain yogurt for the rest of the week.
homemade lemon curd // makes 1 pint
adapted from Alton Brown
5 egg yolks
1 cup organic, fair-trade sugar
4 small or medium lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup butter, cut into pats and chilled
chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, basil, or lavender (optional)
Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1 inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
Measure lemon juice and, if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture; whisk until smooth.
Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container to cool. Once cool, add a sprinkling of fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
The lemon curd can be stored in the fridge by placing a layer of plastic wrap directly on its surface, although I've found that spooning it into a Mason jar with a tight-fitting lid works as well.