January 21st, 2010

LemonCurd

Lemon Curd Tarts

This luxurious and velvety lemon curd recipe is very close to my heart. I have had this recipe for nearly 15 years and it’s been used in many of the restaurants where I have worked. I had to think really very hard about where I obtained this recipe but if my memory serves me well, it was from a grumpy old French pastry chef, no not my friend Fabien head pastry chef at Browns Hotel, he’s French but not grumpy….he’s lovely!

It’s interesting how I have changed the recipe overtime, at one stage I used only egg yolks but then I decided to make it a bit more cost effective by incorporating some whole eggs, as well as egg yolks, which made the curd rich and extra creamy without the use of any cream. I have also played with the method and adapted the conventional method for Thermomix users. Both methods are fool proof and work equally as well without any difference to the end result.

As I write this post I realised that this lemon curd recipe became a classic in my recipe collection and one I shall tresure for many more years to come.

I was doing a bit of research by reading a few lemon curd recipes to identify what makes mine different and indeed better than the rest. The conclusion I came to was that it was the stage when the butter is added and this makes this recipe unique, glossy and even more mouthwatering than the rest. I agree that the curd  would not possibly last for three months in a sterilized jar in the cupboard as most recipes advise, then I cannot imagine it would be that seriously fresh and delicious after three months either. Thinking about it, it would never last three months in my household either. It’s so easy to make, so my theory is to make it when needed, it’s lovely and fresh, so eat and enjoy there and then!…OK  if you have to….it will keep perfectly well refrigerated for up to 3 days.

There are so many things you can do with the lemon curd while it’s still warm, pour it into a freshly blind baked tart case, let it set and garnish with fresh figs and pomegranate seeds, mmm very pretty and delicious. Alternatively these mini puff pastry tarts, heavily dusted with icing sugar, are perfect and will take proud place of honour at any tea party.

I make the puff pastry cups a day in advance, let them cool completely and store them in a air tight container overnight then make the lemon curd the following day and serve the slightly warm curd in the crispy puff pastry cases, it’s delicious!

Lemon Curd

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 whole medium free range eggs
  • 2 medium free range egg yolks
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
  • pinch of salt

Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a gentle simmer.

Place the eggs, salt and sugar in a metal mixing bowl, choose one that will fit comfortably over the saucepan without falling in.

Use a whisk to mix the sugar and eggs add the lemon juice and mix well.

Place the bowl over the simmering water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, once the curd starts to thicken continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. The curd will coat the back of the spoon and you will be able to draw a path with your finger though it.

Remove the curd from the heat and quickly whisk the cold butter into the curd until it's completely dissolved leaving the curd rich, creamy and glossy.

Transfer the curd to a clean container and place a piece of clingfilm directly on top of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin, let the curd cool.

Themomix Method:

Using the built in weighing scales weigh the freshly squeezes lemon juice, caster sugar, salt, egg yolks and whole eggs directly into the Thermomix bowl, blitz for 10 seconds on speed 8, scrape the sides down, insert the butterfly whisk. Set the timer for 5 minutes at 70°C, speed 4.

Cut the cold butter into small even size pieces, set the timer for 2 minutes at 70°C, speed 2 and slowly drop the pieces of cold butter through the hole onto the curd.

Scrape the sides down, remove the butterfly whisk and secure the lid, blitz the curd for 20 seconds on speed 9, transfer the curd to a clean container and place a piece of clingfilm directly on top of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin, let the curd cool.

Once cooled keep refrigerated until needed.

Blind Baked Puffy Pastry Shells

Preheat the oven to 180°C, and turn a muffin tray with medium 12 size holes upside down and grease the back of the holes.

On a lightly floured work surface roll the pastry about 2- 3mm thick out, cut 12 x 10cm in diameter disks, let the pastry rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Cover the greased pastry moulds with the pastry disks and bake them for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, I suggest you check them every now and then as mine kept on popping off, this might sound weird but my pastry was cooked well all the way through and they puffed absolutely beautifully.

Let the puffy pastry cups cool completely on a cooling rack before filling them with the lemon curd and dusting them heavily with icing sugar.

Makes 12 individual tarts


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17 Comments to “Lemon Curd Tarts”

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  1. [...] posted here: Lemon Curd Tarts Recipe by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel; Chef … tags: favor, forget-the-james, heart, lemon, luxurious, not-one, only-problem, restaurants, [...]

  2. zurin says:

    Oh thank you!!! Im making this…it looks so so so lovely and yet does nt use many egg yolks! I m making it!!!

  3. my spatula says:

    i’ve been trying to muster up enough courage to try making my own puff pastry….you’ve inspired to do so. lemon curd is one of my favorite things – ever.

  4. I was interested when I saw the title, but when I saw the picture it was omgosh, I must make these. I’m not sure how you did it, but the look is unique. Local Lemons is looking for a lemon recipe to feature. You should go there and comment about this one.

  5. Anne says:

    Thanks a lot Madalene – I know what I’m doing this afternoon…

  6. My Grandfather hailed from Brighton and I was, from lap child on, treated to a marvelous array of delights by him.

    Lemon curd has been among the favourites since the first spoonful crossed my lips.

    Thanks for your efforts and photography. I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    Paul

  7. Anne says:

    What a great recipe! I have just got a thermomix for Christmas and lemon curd is high on my list. I also have a load of passionfruit – any ideas on adapting your recipe?

  8. Madalene says:

    Hi Anne, Congratulations on getting a Thermomix! You can make a passionfruit curd all you must do is replace the lemon juice with the passionfruit pulp.
    To get the passionfruit pulp, cut the fruits open, scoop the seeds out into a small saucepan and gently heat them till just warm then transfer the pulp to a sieve, use a small spoon and push the pulp through and to remove the seeds.
    Then replace the lemon juice weight with the passionfruit pulp and follow the rest of the recipe as per normal. It’s delicious!
    Happy Cooking! Madalene

  9. Damien says:

    I have some puff pastry and leftover lemons from making lemon tart. Would definitely make this! Thanks for sharing.

  10. James says:

    Definitely one to try. I only woke up to cooking the lemon mix seperately last year. No more last minute panics. Lemon tart has to be right up there on everyone’s list of favourite desserts.

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