Archive for: lemon curd
My Sugar Donut Muffins are always a favorite when I bake a batch. They’re tasty plain, but they’re also a good base for donut-like variations. For instance, you could fill them with preserves to make jelly donut muffins or with lemon curd to make these Mini Lemon Donut Muffins with Lemon Curd.
These mini muffins have a buttermilk and lemon cake base and are baked in mini muffin pans to produce bite-sized treats. The muffins are dipped in butter and rolled in sugar just after baking to give them a slightly crisp, sugary exterior that is reminiscent of the exterior of a deep fried donut. They’re fluffy and tender, and the cake itself is not too sweet, which means that their sugary exterior balances well with the cake. After baking, I piped a little bit of lemon curd into the center of the muffins for a spring twist.
I make my own lemon curd for the filling of these muffins, usually using a recipe for Lower Fat Lemon Curd to keep in the spirit of lightness with the baked donuts (and because it is delicious). Store bought lemon curd can be used if you don’t want to make your own. Similarly, I used fresh lemon zest in the muffin batter, but you could use lemon oil or lemon extract in place of the vanilla extract if you don’t have a lemon on hand to zest. Fresh zest and homemade curd are going to take your muffins over the top, but these are tasty, lemony treats no matter how you put them together.
This recipe could also be made into regular sized muffins for a larger treat. Follow the directions for the full sized Sugar Donut Muffins for baking times and fill them with lemon curd after baking.
Lemon curd is such a versatile product that I love to have it in my kitchen. I’ll happily eat it plain, but I also regularly reach for it as a cake (or cupcake) filling and even add a dollop or two to buttercream for flavoring. One other dessert I like to make with lemon curd is a simple Lemon Mousse that is made just by folding lemon curd into some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Lemon Mousse Verrine consists of layers of simple lemon mousse stacked with a layer of lemon curd. I definitely recommend using homemade lemon curd or homemade meyer lemon curd for the best results (I used meyer lemon curd in this dessert), but you can get away with store-bought, too. I topped my dessert off with some gingersnap crumbs to add a little crunch to each bite, and set a few on the side for dipping (which I also recommend!). Graham crackers also make a great accompaniment to the dessert.
A verrine is simply a dessert that is layered in a small glass. This kind of presentation is a great way to dress up a relatively simple dessert and make it look very elegant. Any kind of small glass will work, including brandy and wine glasses, although I personally am partial to straight-sided glasses because it is very easy to see the layers. I don’t use glasses that hold more than 6-oz for desserts like this, but this recipe is very easy to scale up or down to make it fit your glasses and the number of people you’re serving.
Meyer lemons are a hybrid citrus fruit that are a cross between mandarin oranges and lemons. Meyer lemons have a bright lemon flavor, but are much less acidic than a regular lemon. This makes them seem a little sweeter, and their slightly milder flavor allows honey and floral notes to really come through in the juice. Meyer lemons can be used in recipes that call for regular lemons, and I put some to work in a batch of homemade Meyer Lemon Curd recently.
This curd is made just like your average lemon curd recipe – with eggs, lemon juice, sugar and butter – so it has a smooth, silky texture and a lot of flavor. Thanks to the Meyer lemons, it has a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor than some other lemon curds, although it still has plenty of zesty lemon flavor. It is delicious on its own, and makes a great accompaniment for vanilla scones or ice cream.
The butter stirred into this lemon curd and other fruit curds to finish them after cooking serves to make them even smoother and creamier than before. The butter also helps to thicken the curd up a little bit more. That said, I often make a Low Fat Lemon Curd that uses no butter at all, and you can actually omit the butter in this recipe if you are looking for a slightly lighter lemon indulgence.
Lemon curd is a thick, creamy spread that is made by cooking together lemon juice, egg yolks and sugar. Fresh lemon juice and sugar provide the flavor of the curd, while the egg yolks serve to thicken up the mixture as it cooks, just as eggs thicken up a cooked custard. Most curd recipes also call for butter to be added to the finished curd, just to add a little extra richness and an extra-silky mouthfeel. Lemon curd has a bright, sweet-tart lemon flavor. Other citrus fruits are often used to make variations on lemon curd, but you can also use purees from non-citrus fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries, to make other types of curd.
Lemon curd can be used for a variety of different things. The simplest way to use it is to spread it onto a homemade scone, into a crepe or onto a toasted English muffin. Folding some in to a plain batch of buttercream will make a delicious lemon frosting for a cake, and plain lemon curd can also be used as a filling for a cake, or as a sauce on the side. It can also be incorporated into a variety of recipes, including ice cream and tarts.
Whenever I have a lot of lemons in my kitchen, I usually make a fresh batch of lemon curd. I am a big fan of the creamy, tangy curd and will put it on fresh fruit, scones, slices of cake and just about anything else I can think of. Another great use for it is putting it into a batch of ice cream. With the zesty lemon curd as a base, you get a very bright and fresh tasting ice cream with loads of lemon flavor and very little effort.
I use my favorite Low Fat Lemon Curd as a base for this recipe. The curd is low in fat because, unlike other lemon curds, it doesn’t use any butter but still delivers a smooth and creamy finished product. I also like the fact that the curd is quite tart, which makes it work very well in this Lemon Curd Ice Cream. The basic method is to make your lemon curd and chill it, then mix it with half and half and a small amount of additional confectioners’ sugar (when served cold, ice cream will taste less sweet than the base alone, so it’s always a good idea to have a little extra sugar). Chill it in an ice cream maker and you’re ready to eat!
The finished product is very light and creamy, with a great lemon flavor and a tangy finish. It actually reminds me a lot of lemon sherbert – only better than just about every kind I can remember tasting. You do need an ice cream maker to get the best result. You can make a slightly more granita-like version by pouring your base into a shallow container and putting it in the freezer, then stirring it every 30 minutes with a mixer or a fork until well-frozen. Serve this on its own, with fresh fruit, whipped cream or put a small scoop into a flute and top with champagne for a zesty spring cocktail!