One of my favourite desserts is so simple. Take a few spoons of thick, creamy good quality Greek yoghurt and add a few swirls of lemon or orange curd….. done!
It’s so easy
Lemon curd is often feared by inexperienced cooks, probably because it combines eggs and lemon juice and the name almost implies ‘curdling’ but I assure you it is really simple to make.
By definition this curd must not be confused with the jelly-like white lumps that are part of soured milk! It is a mixture of lemon or other fruit, mixed with eggs and butter and has been cooked to a thick smooth paste. This delicious paste is used as jam spread on toast, scones and cake fillings.
When I first made curd my scientific brain told me that all that acid mixed and heated with eggs will result in a curdled mess. Strangely this does not happen, but my ‘secret ingredient’ just to ensure that the curd is smooth and stable is the addition of a tiny quantity of potato flour. I notice that some other cooks sneak in some corn flour. I seldom use corn flour as potato flour is a ‘new generation’ starch that provides a creamier ‘gel’ and it binds the water better….. oh, I’m not going to off on as a technical bore…. it just presents yummier food!!
Some recipes also call for the use of a double boiler or a bowl perched over hot water. I find that this is not necessary. The only watch point is to use a good quality stainless steel or enamel lined pot as the eggs and acidic fruit will discolour when in contact with other metals.
You will see that I add some lemon juice and extra egg to the orange curd. I find that 100% orange juice does not set as well as there is less acid and you need the sharpness of the lemon to elevate the orange flavour.
If you have fresh granadillas you can add 50% pulp to lemon or orange juice. This makes a sublime cake or pie filling.
For a “cheats” lemon or orange tart fold 250ml curd into 250 ml whipped cream and place this in a pre-baked tart shell.
For a special breakfast treat layer good quality granola with lemon or orange curd and Greek yoghurt in an elegant glass. It looks spectacular and is a real winner.
My favourite breakfast or dessert is to simply swirl the curd with Greek yogurt. When I serve it as a dessert it is always a wow!
Lemon curd mixed with whipped cream makes a lovely filling for Pavlova or meringue roulade.