How to Make Lemon Curd, Recipe for Lemon Butter Sauce for Fish Sauce
Lemon curd or lemon butter, (also known as lemon cheese) is a traditional British sandwich spread and dessert topping. The fundamental ingredients are beaten egg yolks (sometimes whole eggs), sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest which are cooked until thick and then cooled to form a soft, stunning yellow, smooth and intensely flavoured spread. Home made lemon curd has traditionally been served on scones, toast, muffins, biscuits, bread or scones and as a tangy filling for small pastries, cakes and tarts. It is also used as a flavouring for yoghurts and various desserts or yoghurt. The popular lemon-meringue pie is made with lemon curd, topped with meringue.
Lemon curd and lemon butter is different from custard. Lemon curd contains more of lemon juice and zest, butter that provides a much more intense and sharper lemon flavor. Lemon filling and custard, both contain little or no butter, and flour or cornstarch is used for thickening.
Oranges and limes are also used to make similar citrus curds.
The lemon butter used as a sauce for cooking fish is quite different and includes vegetable stock and has no sugar or eggs. A recipe for lemon butter fish sauce is included in this article.
Lemon curd like so many things is a thousand times better when made at home. You will need a high quality grater to remove only the outer layer of zest, which is not bitter like the inner layers. The zest needs to be very finely grated. Select ripe lemons that are soft enough to dent with your thumb, and warm them before extracting the juice. A firm rolling about on the table with the palm of your hand also helps to release the juice.
Lemon Butter/ Curd Recipe (1)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
125 g (4.5 oz) butter, sliced into small squares
- Place eggs and sugar into a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of water that is just simmering. Whisk continuously until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice and butter. Whisk (or beat with mixer on low) mixture for about 20 minutes until the butter has melted and the lemon curd smooth and thick enough to coat a spoon. Don't boil the mixture as it will curdle.
- Pour warm butter mixture into hot sterilised jars, seal and keep refrigerated.
Lemon Butter/ Curd Recipe (2)
zest and juice of 4 lemons
100 g ( 2 oz) butter
200 g (7 oz) sugar
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
- Cut the butter into cubes and add to the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
- Make sure that the bottom of the bowl does to come into touch with the water.
- Stir the mixture with a whisk for several minutes until the butter has melted.
- Mix the egg yolk and eggs lightly with a fork, then add to the lemon mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Let the curd cook for about 10 minutes, frequently, until it is thick and custard-like. It should resist the movement of the whisk.
- Take from the heat and stir regularly as the mixture cools. Pour into clean sterile jars and seal. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Lemon Tart Recipe
185g Marie, Nice or other sweet biscuits, processed to fine crumbs
90g butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pure icing sugar, to serve
1 cup caster sugar
125 g butter sliced into small squares
- Lightly grease a loose-based round flan pan.
- Combine cinnamon, biscuit crumbs, butter and nutmeg in a bowl.
- Push into the base and up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Cool by refrigerating for 1 hour.
The lemon curd:
- Finely grate the rind of one lemon. Put all the lemons in a juicer, or squeeze to collect the juice.
- Whisk the sugar and eggs to mix together in a heatproof bowl until well mixed.
- Add 2/3 cup lemon juice and the lemon rind, whisking constantly until well mixed in the bowl.
- Suspend the bowl over a saucepan containing just simmering water (avoid allowing the base of the bowl to touch the water). Cook while stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 18 to 24 minutes or until the mixture is thick and resembles custard. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Remove from heat and gently whisk the butter into the mixture.
- Pour the finished lemon curd into the chilled tart case. Cover the pan with a film of plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.
© 2012 Dr. John Anderson
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