Lemon curd is a classic cake filling that has been a favorite for ages. It is good paired with almost any kind of cake base- vanilla, chocolate, coconut, white chocolate, etc. It is also used for other desserts such as pies, tarts, trifles, and other sweet treats.
I like this lemon curd recipe because it uses whole eggs as oppose to just using egg yolks (I don't know what to do with the whites most of the time). It has an intense lemon taste that is balanced with just the right amount of sweetness.
But if you want a richer lemon curd, you can replace the whole eggs in the following proportions:
1 whole egg + 4 yolks or
2 whole eggs + 2 yolks or
Of course, the more yolks you use the yellower and richer the curd will be.
It is best to use fresh lemons than the bottled ones as this gives the best flavor. Choose lemons that are firm to the touch. Avoid ones that are hard and looks dry.
I like using a wooden lemon squeezer to take the juice out of the lemon. I get more juice this way. An orange juicer can also be used.
If you don't have either one, simply use a spoon. Use it to break the membranes by twisting it into the lemon.
To take the rind off the lemon, I like to use a zester. It takes the rind out perfectly without the danger of taking of the pith which is bitter. The pith is the white part underneath the rind and you don't like this stuff in your curd. A grater is also good for taking the rind out but just keep an eye that you don't grate the pith as well.
When making lemon curd or anything with eggs, do not use aluminum pans. A chemical reaction takes place between the eggs and aluminum, and this makes the eggs turn green.
One important note when making lemon curd is be careful that the mixture does not boil. When it starts bubbling, lower the heat or take it out of the heat. Make sure to always stir the mixture with a whisk or a wooden spoon. The curd is ready when it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. If the mixture is lumpy, you can still save it by straining it. The mixture will thicken more as it cools and the addition of butter also helps.
You can also make an orange curd or a lime curd by replacing the lemons in the recipe.