A good tart or layered Cloud Cake begins with lemon curd. This English classic can be a dessert on it’s own, but is generally used with a crust or cake, or of course a British scone. There are only four ingredients but does require some skill with a bain-marie (double pot), but it’s not as intimidating as it sounds and not as hard to make as say a Cream Anglaise.
- 1 TBL Lemon zest – zest before juicing
- 3 Lemons – juiced
- 0.75 cup fine sugar – pulse regular sugar in food processor
- 4 oz. Butter – unsalted, sliced, room temperature
- 4 Egg yolks
- 1/8th tsp Salt
- Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients and cooking equipment prior to starting.
- Prepare Bain-marie
- Find a bowl that fits into a pot but does not go all the way to the bottom.
- Fill pot with water to below the depth the bowl sinks, so bowl does not touch water.
- Bring water to a boil and then reduce to a firm simmer.
- Place bowl over water.
- Mix sugar, egg yolks, lemon, and zest into bowl and whisk together.
- Do not mix in advance or the sugar will dry out the egg yolks
- Using a rubber spatula, continuously stir the curd and scrape the edges until the curd thickens.
- Remove bowl from Bain-marie and add the butter. Keep stirring until the butter fully melts.
- If you got lumps from cooking the egg yolks (water too hot or not stirring enough) strain curd through a fine strainer.
- Pour curd into an air-tight container with a piece of film over the top of the curd to keep a film from forming as it cools.
- If you are using this as part of a molded desert put in molds instead of the container and keep a film against the exposed surface. It will need a few hours to thicken and set
- Put container in fridge. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Note 1: If you struggle to get a firm set on your curd, consider adding some gelatin in step 3. Your issue could be you are not letting the curd cook long enough.
Note 2: Will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.