Only in the past two years have I become a lemon fanatic. The first time I made lemon curd was in my dorm room, during my research internship at Harvard. I was terribly, terribly homesick and desperately wanted to bake, but alas.. no oven. :( I had a limited hodge podge of ingredients, including lemon, honey, butter and eggs. (Jacques Pepin calls eggs his desert island food. I totally agree.) After searching the Google, I found this marvelously simple recipe by Flavour and Savour, which is made in the microwave. It turned out so well - silky in texture with a cheerful lemon flavor - the perfect spread for a poppy seed bagel.
Since then, lemon curd has held a special place in my heart, as a personal success when I was feeling all alone in the world. When I came back home to Wisconsin, I had to share my new favorite recipe with Mom and Dad. Now this is where the story gets amusing, because my dad "doesn't like" lemon. He just didn't have any appreciation of the flavor. So I started sneaking lemon curd into desserts every once in a while. I believe my Citrus Amuse-Bouche was the real turning point, when all of a sudden, Dad realized that lemon was actually quite delicious. Another success story!
N.B. At the moment, my favorite lemon curd recipe is this one from Taste of Home. I try a different recipe every so often, but this one has proven the easiest.
There are so many different ways to enjoy lemon curd. Here are five that I highly recommend:
As a cake filling
My most recent recipe revamp was this Taste of Home cake, which I recalculated to make a 2-layer, rather than a 3-layer. Instead of frosting between the layers, I chose to fill it with lemon curd, and I also swapped out the rosemary for lavender leaves. It was a winner all around. Dad even said it was "sublime." Ha! This would be an excellent make-ahead dessert, as interestingly enough, it tasted the best on the second and third day. Must be like a trifle, which has to chill for a while to achieve flavor-melding optimization.
Gingersnaps + lemon curd + roasted marshmallow = gourmet s'more
It sounds a little radical, I know. But trust me, it is fantastic. Try this new flavor combo at your next campfire.
Oatmeal need not be bland. Kick it up a notch with a generous sprinkle of poppy seeds and a swirl of lemon curd!
On toast, English muffins or bagels
Again, making breakfast a bit more interesting. :)
On vanilla ice cream with crumbled gingersnaps
As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy lemon curd. It brings to mind the poem...
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Do you have any creative uses for lemon curd? I would love to hear in the comments!
'Til next time,