Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Lemon curd may sound and taste fancy, but you can whip it up in less than 10 minutes -- without a double boiler, and without separating a single egg.
Lemon curd takes less than 10 minutes to make -- and you don't even need to separate eggs for it, if you don't want to.
You can make curd with 3 whole eggs instead of 5 or 6 yolks -- it actually tastes brighter and better than way -- or meet halfway and use 1 whole egg and 3 yolks.
There is no need for a double boiler and no need to temper the eggs: the sugar and the acid from the lemon juice prevents them from curdling (and straining removes the few inevitable bits of cooked egg).
Just do this: Put a medium mesh strainer over a clean bowl near the stove. Put all of the ingredients from your favorite recipe (or mine, below) into a heavy non-reactive saucepan, adding the butter last, and whisk briskly over medium heat. After the butter melts, the mixture will thicken and start bubble at the edges; continue to cook and whisk (sweeping the sides and corners of the pot) for another 15 to 20 seconds. Strain into the clean bowl, pressing gently on any solids. Let cool and refrigerate.
Adapted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan, 2012)
3 large eggs or 1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 medium lemon
1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Alice's most recent book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts, doles out delicious dessert recipes that don't take hours of prep (a lot of them don't even require turning on the oven) -- everything from lattice-free linzer to one-bowl French chocolate torte.
Photo by James Ransom