Poll
How do you know when lemon curd is finished?
I check the exact temp 2
I can tell by the consistency and color 4
The way it coats the back of a spoon 2
My arm gets tired of stirring. 1
Total Votes: 9
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Lemon Curd 196 degrees?
Posted: 10 April 2011 12:56 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The recipe for Lemon Curd in the Pie Bible calls for the curd to reach a temperature of 196 using an accurate thermometer. I tried this today and the result would be closer to a starburst candy than lemon curd. Has anyone else ever tried to determine the optimal temp for lemon curd?

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Posted: 10 April 2011 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I use a combination of two methods.  First, 196F normally works for my thermometer.  Second, I make sure it coats the back of a spoon thickly enough that a track made in the coating doesn’t fill in.  It is generally steaming at that temp.  Are you using stovetop or double boiler?  Are you following the recipe in the P&PB;?

This won’t affect the final temp, but have you seen the update on Rose’s blog? It is to stir in the softened butter with the other ingredients before adding the lemon juice, to minimize coagulating and having a minimum amount left in the strainer at the end.  Works really well.

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Posted: 10 April 2011 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Julie! The only thing I did different from the P&PB; is that I juiced the entire lemon (including peel) using a juicer, instead of zesting. This was purely exploratory in lemon curding. Thank you for your suggestions!

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Posted: 10 April 2011 10:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Honestly lemontree, I have had occasion when the curd was not thick enough for my taste- most likely due to too small egg yokes that were not the correct weight. If you don’t weigh yet, try it and you’ll never go back to measuring. I have lately tried Shirley Corriher’s method she describes in Bakewise(but she says she’s too chicken to do herself) that brings the curd to a plopping boil and immediately strain it. I have done it several times and find the sacrificed amount in the strainer in the end was worth the time saved. Noon e who has tasted has been able to detect a difference compared to the batches I stood over for 18-20 minutes to completion.

k
http://adventuresingoodfood.wordpress.com/

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kyle

http://www.adventuresingoodfood.com

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Posted: 10 April 2011 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hey, Lemontree!

If you want to juice something yummmy, try watermelon rind!!!!  It’s sooooooooooo green and sweet.  Just like watermelon, but with that little coolness of the white, and all the good green of the rind.  One of my fave things to juice!

Also, if you have an auger juicer and haven’t tried making your own nut butters and/or nut flours yet, you ought to try.  If you want, I can give some ideas of how different nuts work, but I won’t bore you unless you’re interested (plus, you may already do this). 

I used to juice constantly—so much fun except for the cleanup!  How did the whole lemon work, tastewise, with the pith and all, in your lemon butter?  Looking forward to hearing about your baking!!!

—ak

Ken—thankms for the tip on the lemon curd.  Rose mentions it, but prefers the ‘normal’ method, but I"m glad to hear you’ve had good experience with the boil and strain method!  May try it myself sometime.

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Posted: 10 April 2011 11:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Anne,

Thank you for your response! I have a twin gear juicer and a very productive lemon tree. I feed the entire lemon through the juicer and the taste has been incredibly sweet. My thought was that by juicing the lemon peel I would get the lemon oils. I thought this would also be a very productive way to juice to make the lemon curd.

I would love to hear about how you proceed the nuts. Also, I have a new cuisinart food processor. Love to hear your thoughts about creating nut butters in the food processor vs. juicer.

Thanks!

(What a great community!)

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Posted: 11 April 2011 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Lemontree, The first few times I made curd, I went by temperature—but I found the 196 on my thermometer to be way too thick by the time it cooled down.  185 or so seems to be better.  But after having made it now a half dozen times, I can rely more on looking at the texture/consistency rather than the thermometer.  So, I use both, but I count more on what I’m seeing in the pot and the spoon rather than on the thermometer now.  Happy lemon curd making!

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Posted: 11 April 2011 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi, Lemontree!

I don’t have a food processor, so I can’t give you the comparison except to say that you don’t have to add any additional oil to make prefectly smooth nut butters with the juicer, but I do know some folks do with food processors.

I have a Sampson, so all this is from using that juicer:

You can make nut flours with hard nuts if they’re not roasted.  For example, almonds work and hazelnuts work, but soft nuts like cashews and walnuts generally don’t, because they immediately get pasty first pass from the juicer.  Basically, you use the ‘mincing cone’ or ‘blank’ or whatever you call it—not the juicing cone.  Also, if you have a thingy you put on the nose to add more pressure—sometimes you get extras of different kinds for pasta shapes and such—leave this off entirely.  Pass the nuts through once, and you have nut flour.  Be careful with almonds, though.  Put them through in a continuous stream, but one at a time, or you risk cracking your cone from the pressure.  Soft nuts can go in much more quickly.  Almonds still don’t take too long, though.

For nut butters, you can make them with roasted or unroasted, but roasted go much faster!!  Essentially, you put the same nuts/paste through repeatedly until you have the level of creaminess you want.  In this case, rather than leaving the end nozzle thingy off, use the regular one at its tightest setting.  Again, put almonds through the first pass in a continuous stream, but one at a time.  Maybe two, but any more than that is at your own risk!!!  If you roast them, make sure they’re completely cool (even refrigerated) or you will get oil separation.  I usually loosen the cones every couple of passes so the suction doesn’t build so much that I can’t get them off when I’m done.  Raw almonds take about 7 passes, but roasted about 4.  Roasted cashews take about 3-4 passes.  Ditto hazelnuts.  Walnuts I do raw—they’re so soft, they only take about 2-3 passes, anyway. Ditto pecans.  You will LOVE these nut butters!!!!!

To make the word’s greatest nut frostings, refer to the Sicilian Pistachio Cake in RHC.  (Don’t have it with me).  See the weight of pistachios in the frosting part (in this recipe, it’s the pistachios that you put all over the outside of the cake)?  Incorporate that weight of nut butter into ‘that’ amount of completed frosting.  The proportion is perfect!  I’ve done it with that particular frosting and put my own hazelnut butter into a recipe of caramel Silk Meringue Buttercream—so amazingly delicious!!!!  (Note that nut butters have 1/2 the volume of nuts, though—1/2 c. nuts = 1/4 c nut butter).

Have fun!!

—ak

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