Lemon Curd To-go

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You may (or may not) remember our post on the best summer dessert; fresh berries, lemon curd, and whipped cream. Lemon curd was definitely a revelation so when one of my employees gave me a cook book with a recipe for Lemon Curd Bars we had to give it a try. Now most of our readership will be familiar with the tried and true Lion House Cookbook recipe for lemon bars, and truth be told it isn’t a bad one (the real truth be told is that anything lemon is pretty good in our book). This new recipe makes a bar that is much thicker than you’re average lemon bar, but not in a bad way. We have purchased a lemon bar at a restaurant that was more like a lemon log and was way too dense to be as thick as it was. I was a little worried that this would be the case with this recipe.

The crust incorporates some cinnamon which isn’t noticeable in the finished product, but I think makes a difference in there nonetheless. Assembly is going to be pretty familiar for anyone who has done lemon bars before. No need to hash out the details here.

The end result is pretty good. The color wasn’t bad and after letting them cool they held their structure remarkably well and they didn’t come out too tough or dense either. Our batch didn’t cook real evenly, leaving the middle a little goo-y but I’d like to attribute that to Megan’s Philistine of an oven, which seems to enjoy pillaging and ruining things that are put into it, rather than placing the blame on the recipe or our baking skills (naturally).

The taste was what really made these Lemon Curd Bars stand out. The lemon flavor was really rich and kind of sneeks up on you, building slowly and steadily over the first sweet notes you get with the initial bite. The short bread crust and lemon custard top were distinctly different in texture which is what you want with a lemon bar. Be warned that these will not keep well (mostly because they are delicious and there won’t be any left) as they will get pretty melty and mushy sitting out on a counter. If it’ll be some time until they get consumed after they cool down we’d recommend putting them in a cool place or the refrigerator. A great topping both visually and taste wise would be a few glazed berried or just some mint leaves and sifted powdered sugar for a nice garnish.

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Lemon Curd Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 bars
 
Ingredients
  • For the Crust:
  • 1 C Flour
  • ½ C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ⅛ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ C Cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • For the Filling:
  • ¾ Granulated Sugar
  • 2 T Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest
  • 3 Eggs, room temperature
  • ½ C Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 T Heavy Cream
  • Powdered Sugar for Garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking dish, preferably glass.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse briefly until blended. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough forms moist crumbs and sticks together when pinched, about 1 minute. There should be no trace of dryness. Press the dough into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared baking dish, lightly flouring your fingertips if necessary to prevent them from sticking. Bake the crust until pale golden, 20-22 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a rack. Reduce the temperature to 325.
  3. To make the filling, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and zest. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and cream and whisk until just blended. Carefully pour the mixture over the baked crust.
  4. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a rack for about 30 minutes (if you can wait that long).
  5. Run the tip of a knife along the inside of the dish to loosen the crust from the sides, then let cool completely.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

 

I ate the whole bowl… really

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This weekend we went to visit Grandpa Saun in Logandale. The plan was to make some desserts and have a little party where grandpa could invite some friends over and enjoy a nice evening. But grandpa had been invited to an eagle scout court of honor. Most everyone he would invite to the dessert night would already be at the court of honor. Not wanting to compete, we decided we would just do a nice lunch for the three of us. We outdid ourselves.

We’ll get to lunch in the next post. But first, dessert!

We had lemon curd, whipped cream,and fresh berries. I made the lemon curd that morning so it had plenty of time to chill in the fridge. This was the perfect dessert for a hot (and I mean HOT) summer day. The tanginess of the lemon curd was a great complement to the sweetness of the berries.

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I had never made lemon curd before but was very interested in trying it. I couldn’t find a sharp peeler, until later in the day (after I wasn’t looking for them anymore). So I used a knife to peel the lemons. There was a little more of the white part of the lemon than we wanted, so Nathan used a cheese grater to get rid of the excess white part. Perhaps we should call this, double peeled lemon curd? He also didn’t have a food processor so we used a blender. The lemon peel was not as fine as it should have been, but using a food processor would have fixed that problem. It’s always an adventure at grandpas!

When heating the lemon curd, it didn’t look like it was going to thicken and become smooth. Stick with it, because like magic, all of the sudden it does. Mine took about 15 minutes, instead of 10 like the recipe says.

We hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Lemon Curd
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 3 lemons
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ pound unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
  2. Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.