To honor the lemon-laden tree on our patio, I have spent the past few weeks focused on Meyer lemons as a key ingredient in all dishes. For last night’s dinner, I chose lemon curd for dessert.
I have to admit, lemon curd has never been my favorite. It can sometimes be too shockingly sweet and tart for me. I prefer it in minuscule doses or diluted in some way. Lemon curd spread in an impossibly thin layer between white sponge cake and buttercream–now that I can do–or folded into fresh whipped cream. But many people love it straight up, poured in a crisp sugar dough shell and topped with berries. I suggest finding miniature tart pans–2″ if you can–for a perfect lemon curd petit four.
You are going to cook the eggs, sugar, and juice in a double boiler, gradually whisk in butter, strain the curd through a seive, and fill your tart shells. Makes 3 cups of lemon curd: enough to fill 6, 4″ tart shells.
6 pre-baked tartlet shells – pate brisee, pate sucre, or puff pastry depending on your preference.
6 large egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice (~4 lemons)
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick butter, cut into cubes
Whisk together yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in double boiler. Cook until thick, 5-7 minutes. Hint: Don’t combine sugar and eggs until you are ready to begin cooking. Sugar will cook eggs and can give you an inferior curd.
Remove from heat and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time until incorporated. Run curd through seive into a container with spout for pouring. Pour into pre-baked tartlet shells. Chill to set.
Optional: Top with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
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