I know the word "frugal" has been mentioned on this blog. That is definitely a primary value of mine, but not on Easter (or Christmas or Saturday mornings.) Lemon curd contains warehouses full of eggs and butter, isn't eaten for nutritional value, and is, in fact, quite sinful. The Judas Iscariot of custards.
I made a double batch today to take to Sue's house tomorrow for our traditional Easter brunch. She is cooking up stacks of crepes right now. They wait to receive this lemony blessing (and other fillings like bechamel, mushrooms, Gruyere, or nutella). Tomorrow can't come soon enough.
In the meantime, here's my tried-and-true recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook, the most dog-eared cookbook on my shelf. No photos or fanciness, but every single thing I make from that tome turns out perfectly. A few years ago (before this reliable cookbook came along), I tried a Martha Stewart lemon curd recipe and ended up with scrambled eggs. That's happened to me several times with Martha, come to think of it.
I like to eat lemon curd with yogurt and granola, on crepes, or use it to fill tartlet shells. Today, we were all sucking it straight off the spatula.
1 Tb. + 2 ts. finely grated lemon zest
1 c. fresh lemon juice (about 3 large lemons)
1 1/3 c. sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 Tb.) unsalted butter, cut into Tbs.
Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, eggs, and salt in a 2 qt. heavy saucepan. Add butter and cook over moderately low heat. It will look like this:
Whisk constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubbles appear on the surface, about 10 minutes.
Immediately force curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate in an airtight container until cold.