You know how lemon curd is always so painstaking to make, with all that double-boiler anxiety and fretful stirring? It doesn’t have to be that way.
I had an epiphany in the weekend after coming across Stephanie Alexander’s revolutionary method. As so often happens with The Cook’s Companion, I was looking up something else when I stumbled across her lemon curd recipe. In it, she dismisses the received wisdom that it needs gentle heat and patience and instead gives some short-cut instructions.
I was a bit nervous – it’s a bit like setting out on a half-marathon to have some geezer pop out from behind a bush and say, ‘look love, here’s a short-cut that will get you there in half the time’ – but I can confidently report that it works a treat. I’ll possibly never remember what I was looking for to start with, but with this kind of knowledge now under my belt I’m not too bothered.
Did you know that if you Google ‘grapefruit’ most links are for the ‘Grapefruit Diet’. I find this profoundly depressing. Instead, I’m prescribing a course of the Grapefruit Curd Diet. Try some of this on your toast and see if you don’t feel better about life. Don’t worry about the butter and eggs, think of the vitamin C! The recipe is adapted from the one mentioned above in The Cook’s Companion, one of my most used, most loved books.
4 free-range egg yolks
2/3 cup caster sugar
100ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (one or two grapefruits should do it)
finely grated zest of two grapefruits
60g butter, diced
Put the egg yolks and sugar in a small pot and beat together until well blended. Add the grapefruit juice and zest, and the butter. Put the pot over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it comes to simmering point. As soon as the bubbles appear, remove from the heat. Keep stirring for another minute or so, then pour into sterilised jars. Makes about 450ml. Refrigerate when cold.
Now, I know you’re thinking, ‘but what will I do with four egg whites’? I have the perfect answer for you, but you’ll have to wait until Friday. Put them in a plastic lidded container and freeze them while you await further instructions.
Happy Waitangi Day to fellow New Zealanders everywhere. Hope you are celebrating with some appropriate feasting, whether it’s pipis and paua, asparagus rolls and whitebait fritters, roast lamb or a hangi. Cheers!
I've made lemon curd many times and it's just custard with juice and zest in it. Yes you have to watch it doesn't curdle but it's never failed me. I'm hoping your egg white recipe involves meringue or pavlova, I have a genius recipe for lemon curd pavlova. Will have to try the Grapefruit Curd Diet, it sounds just what I need!
You have inspired me!!!! I want to try my Lemon Meringue Roll with grapefruit curd! My mouth is watering just at the thought of it. Monique xx. http://www.mylittlechequeredkitchen.blogspot.nl
You give me an idea how to use up my lemon. Bookmarked. Thanks for sharing!
Nice one Lucy! I'm only a sometimes-grapefruit fan (eg pink grapefruit juice and gin for example) but I am a certain curd fan, and love the sound of this on toast (like marmalade, but better!). Shall await further instructions (and my impending house move) to try though!
Stephanie Alexander's Lemon curd recipe is the best, bar none. Not just the ease of cooking it, start to finish, ten minutes, the taste is so fresh and zingy. I've always enjoyed lemon curd, but the double boiler method using whole eggs is just too custardy.
I amped up the juice to 125ml, 1/2 a metric cup. It didn't thin the curd, just gave it a deeper lemon flavour. I also don't always use the zest. The extra juice makes up for it.
It is a very adaptable recipe. Use any acidic juice you can think of. The grapefruit is great, I have also made it with orange juice, lime, lemon-lime, blood orange, and a particular favourite, raspberry. Any berry would work well. You can use frozen raspberries, just defrost and push through a sieve or your juicer. Don't forget Passion fruit. That is sublime!
Sorry for such a long post, but I love this recipe, it has never failed me and I have passed it along to many people. Also, it never splits like some of the whole egg varieties are prone too. Freeze the egg whites in ziplock bags of two and save them for making marshmallows, meringues or another favourite of mine, white cake. Frozen egg whites are good for a year or more.
i always make my curds in the microwave, so much easier. only takes 8 minutes. i certainly dont bother seperating eggs. for lemon curd i just use 3 eggs, half a cup of lemon juice and the zest of 2 or 3 lemons, 1 cup of sugar and about 50grams of cooled melted butter. i just whisk it all together in a decent size jug and cook in microwave for 8 mins, stirring every 2 mins. easy