Raspberry Curd for Santa Baby

‘Twas the night before Christmas and what should appear

But Raspberry Curd in a glass ever clear.

A quick pause for Santa all loaded with gear,

While a mouse in the corner did hear him recite

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!”

Snack for Santa

Just in time for Santa! A Raspberry Curd with perfumed brightness that will add a punch of color and flavor to any holiday table.  In lieu of fresh berries, we use individually quick frozen raspberries, easily accessible in the frozen food section of most grocery stores.

In about ten minutes, a luscious curd is created by suspending raspberry essence into an egg-based cream and gently cooked while butter is whisked in until thick and voluptuous. Cornstarch also ensures perky firmness for filling tarts and cakes.

Raspberry curd is the basis of many exquisite specialty desserts.  With little effort you will have a handcrafted gourmet accompaniment for anything chocolate, pound cake, fresh pears, ice cream, and other delights.  Fill individual shells, cookie squares, a chocolate tart crust, or layer a cake with the curd.  Create a fast parfait or mousse by folding the raspberry curd into sweetened whipped cream. Treat it as you would any exotic jam or jelly.

Raspberry Curd

This is a quick and easy curd if all ingredients are prepped and ready to go.  

2 ½ cups fresh or 12-oz frozen raspberries, thawed
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
½ c cold butter, cut in ½” cubes

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the raspberries with cornstarch and press through a medium sieve into a 1-quart non-reactive saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the puree thickens, remove from heat.
  2. Rinse blender and pat dry; add the eggs, sugar and lemon zest; blend until light, about 1 minute.
  3. With motor running on low, slowly pour in 2/3 cup warm puree and blend to distribute evenly.
  4. Rinse the pan, pat dry, and pour in the egg-berry blend. Over medium to medium-high heat slowly whisk a piece of butter in at a time. Continue whisking and cooking until mixture approaches a boil; steam will begin to rise and the curd will thicken (about 8 minutes). Do not boil.
  5. Pour through a clean, dry sieve and cover the surface lightly with plastic wrap to avoid a film from forming. When cool store in refrigerator for two weeks. Yield: 2 cups.

 

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Lemon Curd, a League of its Own

Lately I’ve been experimenting with Lemon Curd and I’m more convinced than ever that lemon curd is in a league all of its own.

colorful curd.2 IMG_0195Lemon curd is not a pie filling nor is it a custard.  Rather, in baking parlance, it is more of a cream in which milk or dairy has been substituted for lemon juice—or any other fruit for that matter—then further fortified by the addition of butter.

Its luscious, tangy, creaminess makes everything better: savored as an accompaniment with fresh fruit, dabbed on muffins or scones, and as a brilliant topping or filling for cookies, cakes and tarts.

Traditionally lemon curd is made with egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, and varying degrees of butter that are all cooked until thick and creamy.  In some circles lemon curd preparation is even regarded as challenging—mostly due to egg yolks reputation for unexpectedly curdling over excessive heat.

big curd IMG_0205

 

Perhaps that is why a gift of lemon curd ranks high as a housewarming or hostess gift. Here’s my solution to the lemon curd dilemma: a light, easy curd that uses whole eggs rather than only egg yolks. The inclusion of the egg whites helps to make a more forgiving curd—one where a double boiler is not required, and is far less likely to curdle from overheating.

If you tend to use more egg whites than yolks in your cooking, this is also a great opportunity to put those extra yolks to work.  For a richer, deeper yellow curd, start with 3 large eggs and include the extra egg yolks.

 Luscious Lemon Curd

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 4 large eggs (or 3 eggs plus up to 3 egg yolks)
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, and corn syrup. Add the lemon zest, salt, and the chunks of butter.
  2. Place the pan over medium low heat, stirring with a spatula until mixture begins to thicken and barely reaches a simmer; a few bubbles will form on the edges of pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, and then beat in about 1/3 cup of the hot lemon mixture to temper the eggs.
  4. Whisk the egg mixture into the pan mixture; continue whisking over medium-low heat until the curd is thick and a few small bubbles surface on edges, about 3 minutes. Do not boil.
  5. Strain the curd into storage container and cover the surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming. Chill well. Yield: about 2 cups.

 It will keep 3 weeks or longer if stored well sealed in the refrigerator.