I have a recipe for lemon cream cake that calls for lemon curd filling. What is lemon curd? I can't find it anywhere and no one seems to know what it is. Can you help me out? —I.W., Somerset, Kentucky
Popular in England, lemon curd is a soft custard that's often used as a tart filling. It's made from lemon juice, sugar, eggs and butter. The flavor and texture are similar to lemon meringue pie filling. The simple ingredients are cooked together until they become thickened. After the mixture has cooled, it can be used as a filling for baked desserts or as a spread for scones, biscuits or other baked goods. Commercially prepared lemon curd is available in larger grocery stores alongside the jams and jellies or with the baking supplies. If you cannot find lemon curd, or would just like to try making it yourself, here is one of my favorite recipes:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup butter or margarine,
1 tablespoon grated lemon
In a heavy saucepan, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Yield: 1-2/3 cups.