Lemon Curd Tarts
They take a little patience, but they're definitely worth the wait!
Susan and Rab move on to fillings: lemon curd and vanilla custard, both of which make Rab anxious. She can see it on his face as he stirs and stirs, and she knows what he’s thinking: Why isn’t it thickening? What’ve I done wrong? I screwed it up!
Lemon curd is one of my favourite things to make. I'm a big fan of all things citrus, and I love how, in the space of a moment, this loose, watery mixture suddenly turns into this smooth, unctuous, amazing spread. Soooooo good! You can eat the curd plain, on toast or a crumpet, or pile it into tart shells, as Susan does in the book.
Lemon Curd Tarts
4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
200g/7oz unrefined caster sugar
100g/3½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
Pie pastry of your choice (feel free to use store bought, or you can check out this recipe from Bojon Gourmet, which is what I use)
If you're making tarts, roll out the pastry and cut to fit either mini tart tins or one large tart tin. Line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans, rice, or dried beans. Bake at 370 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, until it's golden and toasty. Let cool completely.
Put the lemon zest and juice, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10–13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into your prepared tart shell(s) or into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Give the gift of All Stirred Up! Visit Penguin Random House's website to find out where you can get your copy!