Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe
My neighbor lemon bombed me again (~60 lemons), with a hint that he was looking forward to some more of my lemon curd. When I had processed the fruit I had 14+ cups of juice and zest. If I turned all of this into lemon curd it would get very expensive—19 cups of sugar, 15 sticks of butter and almost 5 dozen eggs, as well as all of the jars to put it in.
I still can not make the same recipe the same way twice. This time, I decided to add some fresh ginger to the lemon curd. In the end, I decided to make a double batch of lemon curd and turn the rest into lemon micro marmalade. The marmalade also keeps longer than the lemon curd—which must be eaten fairly quickly.
Karl’s Ginger Lemon Curd
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (1½ sticks)
6 large eggs
2 Tbs. lemon zest
2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated
1½ cups fresh lemon juice
1. Set the butter and eggs on the counter and let them come to room temperature, about one hour.
2. Zest the lemons with a micro plainer.
Tip: Three lemons will produce about one tablespoon of zest.
3. Put the lemon zest in a small bowl and add the sugar. Mix well, breaking up any clumps of zest, and set it aside.
4. Juice the lemons and strain out any tiny seed bits and pulp and measure out 1½ cups. Set the measuring cup aside.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min.
Tip: I found that mixer could not break up all of the lumps of butter. Halfway through, I tool a rubber spatula and mashed the butter bits into the sugar and then continued mixing.
6. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one egg at a time.
Tip: Mix the eggs in for two minutes on medium high between eggs. You want to break up and separate all of the bits of white.
Note: Do not skimp on this mixing step. Any bits of white that do not get broken up might turn into cooked strings of egg white in your lemon curd.
7. Beat in the lemon juice and continue beating for 2-4 minutes, until most of the juice in incorporated into the mixture.
Tip: Stop beating and push the mix out of the way, if there is still a lot juice puddle in the bottom of the bowl, keep beating. When free juice gets down to about a quarter of a cup you are done.
Note: The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
8. Pour the mix into a medium, heavy-based saucepan. Start cooking the mixture over low heat until starts to look smooth.
9. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, until the mixture thickens, about 15-30 minutes.
Tip: Constantly scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. You do not want any hot spots or bits sticking, where they may get over cooked.
Note: Never let the mix come to a boil! This would cause the eggs and butter to “break” and you would end up with a flavorful mess.
10. Cook the mixture until well thickened and it sticks to the back of the spatula.
Tip: Fine Cooking says to cook it to 170° F on a thermometer, but I prefer to go by eye. I cook the curd until it “looks right” and the spatula leaves a trail when you pull it through the lemon curd.
11. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and transfer it to a bowl or prepared jars.
Tip: If using a bowl, press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator.
Note: The curd will thicken further as it cools and will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.