Monday, January 17, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons, you really shouldn't make lemonade.  You should make lemon curd.  That's what I think anyway.

We returned home from Christmas traveling to some lemons that needed using and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  I first made lemon curd about eight years ago, soon after Sam was born.  I was experimenting with cheese cake recipes because I would be making cheesecakes for my sister's wedding.  One of the ones we served was a Lemon-Swirled version that called for, you guessed it, lemon curd.

And that, my friends, is where the love affair began.  Lemon curd is lemony, sweet and tart all at the same time.  Oh, and luscious.  The butter and eggs make it luscious.  Now before you write it off because you're not planning on making a Lemon-Swirled Cheesecake anytime soon, please hold on because there are few other things you should know.

1) Lemon curd is very easy to make.
2) Lemon curd freezes beautifully, so it's always at the ready.
3) You can make my favorite lemon pasta if you have lemon curd.
4) You can make Fruit Pizza with Lemon Curd (recipe below).

I hope I've convinced you.  You know, in case someone gifts you lemons.  They really are the perfect gift.

Lemon Curd (Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001)
Yields about 1 1/3 cup.

3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind (optional)
2 large eggs
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
2 tbsp. butter

Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk.  Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color (about 3 minutes, see left hand photo below).  Stir in lemon juice and butter, cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens slightly (see right hand photo below).  Cool.  Cover and chill (or freeze).  It will set up and become thicker as it cools.


Fruit Pizza with Lemon Curd (Adapted slightly from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001)
Serves 10-12

1 16 or 18 oz. package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
Cooking spray
2-3 tbsp. red raspberry or strawberry jam
3/4 cup lemon curd
1-2 cups fresh or frozen red raspberries
1-2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1-2 fresh or canned peaches, sliced
2 tsp. sugar

Press cookie dough into a 12-inch pizza pan coated with cooking spray. (I covered my pan with foil because it's an ugly pan and it was a bit of a pain to get the pieces off the pan.  Learn from me.  Just use cooking spray.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool.  Spread jam over the cookie crust.  Spread lemon curd over the jam.  Arrange fruit on top.  (I used frozen red raspberries and blueberries, so I let them thaw on the fruit pizza for an hour before continuing.)  Sprinkle the fruit with 2 tsp. sugar.  Place under broiler for 3 minutes.  Serve immediately or let stand until ready to serve.  Best eaten the day it's made, but not too shabby the day after either.

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  1. Mmmmmm love lemon curd! I like it on my fingers.

    Someday cook your curd with a tablespoon of lavender buds then strain it through a sieve before cooling. Heaven!

    The Pizza is great made with philo (filo?) dough. Such a crispy critter!

  2. Oooh, I love, love lemon curd! One of my favorite ways to eat it is over plain yogurt, mmmmm. The pasta sounds wonderful.

  3. How about this Blueberry Curd recipe, which is really lemon curd with a paint job

  4. just discovered your blog,'s beautiful! I love when I stumble across bloggers that share a lot of the things I hold near and dear...Canning, gardening, cooking and baking...and a love of living simply and living for Him!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  5. This lemon curd sounds delicious!!

  6. Its also DELICIOUS on french toast with crispy bacon - my favourite thing in the world! Doesnt hurt to just eat it with a spoon, either!

  7. well I'll be: didn't know you could freeze lemon curd! It's time to make another batch. We're boring and just eat it with scones. But I like your ideas - thanks.


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