This is one of the nicest desserts to serve after a heavy savoury dinner.
The lemon curd is light and tangy and cleanses the palate, while the sweet crispy crust is sheer delight to bite into.
Always serve this chilled.
I’ve discovered that the key to a good smooth lemon curd is patience. When I cooked it slowly over pot of steaming water instead of over direct heat, it turned out smooth and thick and really curdled nicely. This curd can also be used as a topping for cheesecake to get lemon cheesecake.
Adapted from the JoyofBaking.com
For the Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup caster sugar
60g salted butter
1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the Pastry Crust
1 1/2 cups plain flour
120g salted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
Preheat an oven to 200°C.
Line a pastry pan (20 – 23 cm in diameter or width/length) with a sheet of parchment/baking paper at the bottom.
Lightly grease the entire pan, including the parchment paper well. Set aside.
Place 120g soft butter in a bowl.
Add 1.5 cups of plain flour.
Using your fingertips, rub the flour into the butter.
When the butter has been rubbed evenly into the flour, the mixture would resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Don’t use essence! Use a good extract.
Add 1/4 cup of caster sugar.
Add 1 large egg.
Mix it all together and knead well till the mixture becomes a nice elastic dough.
Lightly flour a table surface.
Roll out the dough to a thin layer that would fit the pastry pan.
Gently lift the pastry layer and place over the pastry pan. Tuck in the sides and corners gently. It’s ok if some parts break or crack, just use your fingers to pinch the dough and patch it back.
Use a knife and cut off the excess dough.
Prick holes evenly on the base of the pastry with a fork.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on the dough and add beans/rice/baking weights to hold the paper down. This will prevent the crust from popping up when it’s baked.
Place in the oven and bake at 200°C for 20 mins.
Remove the pastry shell from the oven and discard the parchment paper and beans/weights. If the base looks uncooked, place it back into the oven for another 5 to 10 mins till the pastry shell is a light golden brown.
Set aside to cool.
Using a microplane grater or a lemon zest grater, grate 3 lemons to obtain about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. Be careful to avoid grating into the white bitter pith of the lemons.
Get a pot of water boiling on the stove and reduce the heat to a slow simmering medium.
In a bowl that will fit over the pot, place 60g of butter.
Let the butter melt and add 3/4 cup of caster sugar.
Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
Using a hand whisk, whisk the mixture well.
Prepare 3 large eggs in a bowl.
Add the eggs in 3 parts into the butter mixture.
Whisk quickly and evenly each time.
Add 1/3 cup of lemon juice.
Continue cooking the mixture over the simmering water and whisking occasionally till the mixture becomes a thick curd. It will thicken some more when it’s cooling.
If the mixture takes a long time to curd, increase the heat of the pot of water. The curd is done when it is thickened and starts to simmer lightly.
Set aside the lemon curd to cool for a while.
Pour the warm lemon curd into the pastry shell.
Using a spatula, spread the lemon curd evenly in the pastry shell.
Add some grated lemon zest to garnish.
Chill for at least 2 hours. It’s also easier to cut when it has completely set and chilled.
This lemon curd can also be used as a cheesecake topping. Simply bake a cheesecake like Blueberry Cheesecake and replace the blueberry topping with lemon curd and make a pure biscuit base with no nuts.
The printable version of this recipe is here -
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