You’ll need about 10-15 minutes to dedicate to the curd: it needs constant stirring while it’s slowly heated. Then, suddenly, it thickens all at once and must be whisked off the heat to prevent curdling.
But don’t worry, it’s easy. All you need to do is watch for the change – it happens fast, but it’s obvious.
Recipe courtesy of Alice Waters, from the great cookbook The Art of Simple Food.
Zest one of the lemons, save the zest. Juice all four lemons – there should be about 1/2 c. juice.
- 4 lemons (zest one of them)
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Next beat together in a non-reactive saucepan the eggs, yolks, milk, sugar, and salt until just mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, then add the cold butter cubes.
Turn the heat on medium low and slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Do not overheat or stop stirring or the eggs will curdle. If the mixture begins to look grainy, or unsmooth in anyway, take it off the heat immediately and stir vigorously to cool it down and prevent curdling.
When thick, pour through a strainer to remove any errant curdles. Store in glass jars in the fridge.