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Lemon or Lime Curd

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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Living in one of California’s citrus belts, I have an orange tree, a lime tree, and a lemon tree in the backyard. Free food! The lemon tree is a Meyer lemon tree. They’ve become very popular among foodies, a soft-skinned variety that — unfortunately — doesn’t ship well. My limes are Persian, the large common type. Citrus has a magical property of keeping well on the tree, so I have fruit just about all year long. But there’s something about citrus and the winter, particularly the holidays — getting an orange in your Christmas stocking, for instance — so I often make and share my citrus bounty by making curds.

Use a bit on your toast or scones in the morning. Top a cake. I like to mix it half-and-half with mascarpone cheese and put it on graham crackers — sort of a really easy deconstructed cheesecake.

The amounts are given for both a small and a large batch.

Hint: Zest the fruit using a microplane zester before juicing.

Ingredients:

Small Batch (about 2 cups)
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch kosher salt
zest of 1 lemon or lime
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Large Batch (about 8 cups)
12 large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
4 pinches kosher salt
zest of 4 lemons or limes
2 cups lemon or lime juice
16 tablespoons (2 cubes) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

Directions:

Bring a pan of water to a boil. In a non-reactive bowl put all of the ingredients except the butter and whisk until well-blended. Place the bowl on top of the pan, making sure that the bowl isn’t in contact with the water. Stir continuously as the mixture warms. (You don’t want it to scramble.) When it’s hot but not boiling, start adding butter, two or three pieces at a time. Continue stirring, adding more as the butter melts in. When all of the butter is incorporated, remove the bowl from the heat. Place a large fine-mesh strainer over another bowl and pour in the curd, pressing to push through. Scrape the bottom of the strainer too. Discard what’s left in the strainer. Transfer curd to smaller containers with lids and refrigerate.

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