Lemon curd. I don’t even know where or when I became infatuated with it. I’m pretty sure we never had it in the house growing up [correct me if I'm wrong, mom...]. I don’t remember my grandma having it at her place. I somehow developed this insatiable desire for lemon curd. Whenever I see it available for slathering on anything [or spooning into my mouth...] I’m all for it. I don’t know the last time I bought it, though. I look at it lovingly nestled in with the other jellies and jams at the
fridge New Seasons, but never toss a jar in my basket mostly because I’m crazy, but also because I never really have any reason for it. There’s hardly any bread in the house unless it’s a garlic-romano baguette for immediate consumption. I don’t even want to think about that combination. What else would I put it on?
The lemon curd inspired me for my cranberry contribution to Thanksgiving this year. I’m making rolls. I need cranberry. PERFECT EXCUSE. I hadn’t ever made a curd before, but this recipe make it pretty simple. The hardest part is my patience in mashing the cranberry pulp through the sieve. I got so fed up during the first straining that I threw it all in the Vitamix to start. I just couldn’t handle mashing and mashing and mashing and mashing. It made the second time through the sieve a hair more tolerable. It still took a good 10 minutes probably to really get it done. By the end of it all, I took a 12oz bag of cranberries and reduced it down to about a 1/4 cup of pulp. I ate it. Because I’m weird.
The end result was delightfully curdy and sweet and tart. Contrary to photographic evidence, I actually prefer to tear the rolls apart and dunk them into fat pools of the curd. Higher curd:bread ratio that way. Significantly less photogenic.
Inspiration: Kitchen Simplicity
- 12oz or about 4 cups of fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice from two oranges
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 whole egg plus 3 egg yolks, whisked together in a large bowl
In a large pot on medium heat, stir together the cranberries, water, and orange juice. Put the lid on and stir occasionally for about 20-30 minutes until all of the cranberries have popped and everything smells amazing. You can try pressing everything through a fine sieve now, but like I said, I got impatient and ran everything through the Vitamix.
Once pressed, return the cranberry mixture to the pot. Add the butter and sugar, bringing it back up to a simmer while the butter melts into the sugar. Stir together until the sugar is fully dissolved. This should take another 5-10 minutes.
Add the cranberry mixture to the whisked egg mixture one tablespoon at a time. Whisk constantly as you continue to add tablespoons. The mixture should turn velvety smooth with out any chunks. Return the mixture back to the pot and stir until it’s thick enough to stick to the back of your stirring spoon.
Press the mixture through your fine sieve into a bowl. You’ll need to use your spoon or hands to really work it through the sieve. It took me awhile to get it all through, but resulted in a nice creamy mixture. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, making sure to press it to the top of the curd. Place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Stir before serving.