Lemon Curd

For Christmas this year I did a lot of homemade gifts for friends and family. I know … super Martha Stewart of me. I’m not usually a clever, crafty, creator of things, but I was feeling inspired by the amazing ideas I discovered on Pinterest.

Which — by the way — have you joined the crazy, addictive world of Pinterest?

Do you know what it is?

No? Don’t worry friend, I got your back.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love, and “follow” collections created by people with great taste. People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things — wedding inspiration, recipes, style, home decor ideas — you name it, people are pinning it.

This is a pretty good description of how I felt — and now feel — about Pinterest. It’s awesome. Trust me.

*sigh* But let’s get back to the curd, shall we?

If you have a mother-in-law like I do, you may experience a conundrum each year on what to give her for Christmas. She likes to drop lines like, “I have everything I want” and “you don’t need to get me anything for Christmas. Being with you is enough.” Yadda, yadda, yadda.

This is where the lemon curd comes in. My mama-in-law is a lover of all things lemon and she and I share a deep love for curd, so I made her a batch. We love it on scones, toast, yogurt, or … just by the spoonful. I put hers in a cute little jar, tied a red ribbon around the neck, and “wallah!” a Christmas gift.

Lemon curd is a thick, soft and velvety cream that has a wonderful tart — yet sweet — citrus flavor.

What I like about lemon curd is that it doesn’t use “Martha Stewart-like” ingredients: just eggs, sugar, lemons and butter. Simple, simple, simple my friends. And the only “special” tool you need is a microplane grater. You can borrow mine if you’d like. 🙂

Go make some curd.

Lemon Curd
Makes about 2 1/2 cups

6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

In a saucepan, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt and beat until light and well blended. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5-10 minutes. To prevent the eggs from curdling, do not boil. Remove from heat.

Add the butter pieces and whisk until melted and smooth.

Pour the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Immediately place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool completely, then discard the plastic wrap, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

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