After making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the chocolate cherry layer cake, I had 4 egg yolks left over. The weather is too cold at the moment for ice cream (a good way of using egg yolks) so I searched for alternative uses for the yolks and came across some lemon curd recipes that just used the yolks. This recipe works well but I have say that since I have made lemon curd both ways, I prefer my lemon curd made with whole eggs as it is lighter in texture and richness. The upside is this recipe is it does not need sieving afterwards to remove the little lumps of firm egg white that inevitable form due to the whites cooking faster than the yolks.
With several pots of lemon curd in the fridge, I thought I would try making a lemon tart. I pre-cooked a couple of pastry cases (shortcrust or paté sucré) and then filled them with the fresh lemon curd. I tried caramelising the tops by sifting over some icing sugar and then browning under the grill – unfortunately all what happened was I burnt the pastry. But despite this the tarts were still delicious. Next time I will try topping them with some meringue for a lemon meringue tart.
I also must extol the virtues of a Microplane grater. Having struggled with all kinds of zesters and graters over the years, I gave in and asked for one for Christmas. And it truly does grate lemon zest faster and finer than anything else I have used. Try it for yourself.
Yolk Only Lemon Curd
4 egg yolks
175g caster sugar
zest and jiunce of 2 large lemons
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract/oil
In a heat proof bowl over barely simmering water, place all the ingredients. Stir until the butter is melted and then frequently stir until the mixture thickens. This takes 15 to 20 minutes. When thick enough to leave a clear path through the back of the spoon when a finger is drawn through, it is done. Pour into sterilised jars and leave too cool entirely. Refrigerate until needed but also freezes well. Eat within a couple of weeks.