Lemon non-lovers need not apply! but I doubt we’ll find too many of these! The lemon curd is pure lemon seduction: I love to make these, not only because they are outrageous, but also because they are so low maintenance: Make your curd anytime and keep it refrigerated. Then make the crust even up to 3 days ahead, it will keep very well at room temperature. Assemble the pie or bars even minutes before serving. Any bars or pie you didn’t serve at meal time will keep beautifully for a good couple days.
You will enjoy this curd in several ways:
- Eaten as a jam, with bread
- Used as a filling for pies, topped with berries, or alone, dusted with a little powdered sugar
- Used for lemon bars. Pretty much the option above, but cut into bars, which works beautifully for buffets.
- Lemon Curd:
- lemon zest - 3 tbsp
- lemon juice - 3/4 cup, strained
- sugar - 1 1/2 cups
- eggs - 4, beaten
- margarine spread - 3/4 cup
- margarine spread - 1/2 cup
- sugar - 1/2 cup
- salt - 1/4 tsp
- eggs - 2
- vanilla extract - 2 tsp
- grated lemon zest - 1 tbsp
- flour - 2 1/2 cups, any flour including gluten-free
- blueberries - 1 cups, for topping, or powdered sugar for dusting
Bring water to boil in a saucepan, then turn the heat down to low, keeping the water at a simmer. Set a bowl securely on top of the water and add the zest, lemon juice, and sugar, whisking. When the mixture is hot, add the eggs, whisking constantly until thick. This step will take 3 to 4 minutes. Add the margarine spread and whisk just one more minute until it is incorporated and the mixture looks smooth. Cool completely. Store refrigerated in a glass jar. Makes about 3 cups.
Crust and Bars:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make the crust: In a food processor, cream the margarine, sugar, and salt. Add the eggs one at a time and mix each time until just incorporated. Add vanilla, zest, and flour and mix just a few more seconds using the pulse button. If you are making a pie: Working quickly, starting from the center toward the sides, spread the crust evenly in a 12-inch spring form pie pan, coming up the sides, patting firmly. Prick the crust all over with a fork. If you are making bars: Spread it flat (no side) in an 11×14 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown—don’t allow it to darken. Let the crust cool completely. Store it tightly wrapped at room temperature. At serving time, fill the crust with lemon curd and top with the berries. Makes a dozen ample servings. Variation: Lemon bars This is how my daughter-in-law Ruthie served them at a party, and we watched them disappear. Same pie crust, but bake it flat (no sides) in an 11-by-14-inch baking pan. Same baking time. At serving time, spread with the curd, top with the berries, and cut in squares. Another option: No berries, just the curd, and sift powdered sugar lightly over the top.
image via foodnetwork.com