Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lemon Curd {Honey Sweetened}

I've talked before about how different times of the year I crave different foods. I've really started to notice this in the last few years. It's really fascinating to me. In the dead of winter I crave lemons. Not just lemons on their own. And not really lemonade (although I'm sure I wouldn't turn it down if you offered me some freshly squeezed lemonade right now). Mostly I just crave food made from lemons. Happy yellow, bright and lovely, lemon flavored food. Real lemon flavored, not that icky fake lemon flavor. Take this lemon curd, for example. I have totally been craving this for the past week or so. The other day I just held a lemon and smelled it for about an hour and it was so therapeutic. But I haven't stopped thinking about this lemon curd until I finally whipped up a batch today. YUM! I couldn't wait to share it with you because today I perfected my honey sweetened version of lemon curd. Beautifully perfect and perfectly delicious.

Maybe you're asking yourself right now, what in the world would I use lemon curd for? What is it? I was in your same boat a few years ago. Then one day I attended a tea party at my aunt's house where she served hot cocoa  instead of tea (we don't drink tea). But she had all the courses that a real English tea party would have. I love tea parties. And she had lemon curd. And I just basked in it's deliciousness. Served on top of a hot scone. Oh my. Tea party heaven. I can't really describe the taste. Tangy, but sweet. Smooth and melt-in-your-mouthy. So please don't wait until your next tea party to make this lemon curd. Honestly, that may be too far in the future (even if it's tomorrow). This lemon curd is delicious in pies, cute little tarts, trifle, as a filling for cakes, with scones, served with fresh berries, etc. Let your imagination run wild. Or better yet, go make some and stick your finger in it and just lick it to get your winter lemon fix every few minutes. That's what I plan to do.

Lemon Curd {Honey Sweetened}
Printable Recipe

*Makes 1-1/2 Cups

3 large eggs
1/3 Cup honey (or 3/4 Cup white sugar)
1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1-1/2 medium lemons)
4 Tbsp. butter, room temperature, chopped into pieces
1 Tbsp. lemon zest (finely grated outer part of lemon)

Heat a large saucepan half filled with water over medium high heat, until it simmers. In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk the 3 eggs together. Then add the honey (or sugar) and fresh lemon juice. Yes it needs to be fresh. Whisk together until combined. Put this bowl in the pan of simmering water and whisk it constantly until it thickens (like sour cream). This should take about 5-10 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat and stir in 4 Tbsp. butter, chopped into pieces and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest. At this point you can strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer if desired (I like to do this if there are any lumps in it). Then cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid getting a skin on the curd. Then cool at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 10 days.

*Variation: If you want a lighter lemon flavor, whip 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream and gently fold into the curd once it has cooled to room temperature.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Joy of Baking

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