Lemon Curd Using All Yolks

I love lemon curd and the variation I usually turn to uses both whole eggs as well as yolks. Every now and then – well, actually Every time I make Italian Meringue Buttercream – I’m left with 6 yolks. Sure, my dog loves ’em, but here is a lemon curd recipe that will use them up in one fell swoop. I now make this side-by-side with my Italian Meringue batches. It’s great to just have around in the frig.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

6 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Place yolks, sugar and juice in heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Whisk together to break up the eggs. Add butter. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking frequently. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, lower heat and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 180 degrees F. (The temperature is more important than the time it takes and the cream itself should not boil). The curd will thicken and form a soft shape when dropped by spoon. It will also begin to look a bit translucent. If desired, stir in zest after removing from heat. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to release heat. Refrigerate in airtight container at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.

Tip: There are four ways to approach the “zest” issue. Citrus zest holds a lot of flavor, but cooking with it or adding it raw result in different levels of intensity. If cooked, it can lose its bright, fresh quality, and of course, if left in the cream, it adds texture. It all depends on what qualities you want. In terms of strength, from least to most intense flavor: leave it out completely, add it after cooking, add it before cooking at strain it out, or add it before cooking and leave it in. Try each to see which you prefer.