Continuing with the early winter citrus theme, in the last weeks I have been making and freezing curds. When citrus is easily available and not expensive, I like to freeze curds to have all year. On a Pavlova, in a tarte, between layer cakes, simply with fruit, a pound cake or yogurt, fruit curds are a silky, intensely flavoured and not too sweet custardy treat.
According to “British Food History”, the earliest references to curds appeared in 1844 in “The Lady’s Own Cookery Book”. At that time, the recipe was essentially acidulating the curds from cream making it more like a lemon cheese. Today curd recipes include any variety of citrus, a small amount of sugar, butter and eggs. For the Pavlova pictured here, I made lime curd with toasted coconut and fruit. If you prefer lemon, switch up the limes for lemons.
No time to make the Pavlova? Buy pre-made phyllo cups instead.
Citrus curds are like sunshine. Bright with flavour, smooth like a summer’s day and delicious any time of year.
For further information:
- Lime Curd Ingredients:
- 1 kg limes (or lemons) juiced to equal 1 cup juice
- 2 TBSP lime zest
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 whole large eggs
- 2 cup sugar
- Pavlova Ingredients: (serves 4; double if you like)
- 2 egg whites brought to room temperature
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp white vinegar
Lime Curd: Beat softened butter and sugar until light gradually adding in one egg at a time. Add zest and juice to blend. It will appear curdled but don’t worry it will incorporate over heat. Place in a medium saucepan and gently cook on low heat whisking constantly for 15 – 16 minutes. The curd will thicken and coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Cool. Put into container (I use 250 ml Mason jars) and put plastic wrap on top touching the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely. Refrigerate over-night unless using immediately. For freezing, ensure there is a 1-inch headspace. Put lids on label and date.
Pavlova: Preheat oven to 275. Place parchment on cookie sheet. Beat egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until whites hold a stiff peak. Gradually add sugar a tablespoon at a time beating until the whites are stiff and shiny. Beat in vinegar, corn starch & vanilla. Spoon onto the cookie sheet in a circle making the edges higher than the centre. Bake for about 1 hour. The outside of the meringue will be crisp and the inside soft. Once cool, put on a serving plate. Just before serving add the curd, fruit and/or whipping cream.