Lemon Curd and Scones
Lemon curd may be my favorite thing ever. And nothing impresses people like bringing homemade lemon curd to the party (depending on the party). I personally like lemon curd with pretty much everything: on toast, in between cake layers, in tarts, with scones, on meringues, dolloped on pancakes, stirred into yogurt, with ice cream... you get the idea.
Scones are the most traditional pairing for lemon curd so I'm including an easy but delicious scone recipe here. They're not too sweet and if you want to stir in 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate that's definitely an option and won't affect the rest of the recipe (just stir them in after adding the cream).
One of the most important steps in this recipe is letting the dough chill in the freezer before baking it. This step ensures that the butter is cold and that the scone will hold its shape when it's baking. I made the mistake of putting my first batch straight into the oven without freezing them because I'm lazy and you can see the difference here (top scone was chilled, bottom scone was not):
Also remember to have patience when you're making the lemon curd (patience is apparently a theme today). You may be tempted to raise the temperature when you're waiting for the curd to thicken, but trust me when I say that all you'll end up with is scrambled eggs in your curd. If this does happen to you don't worry too much - the solids will be removed when you strain the curd.
Makes about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
In a saucepan over low-medium heat combine juice, zest, sugar, and yolks. Continue to heat, stirring constantly, until thickened so it coats the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl to remove any solidified pieces. Stir in butter until completely melted. Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, pressing down so that the plastic comes in contact with the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for patting out
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup whipping cream, plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
Preheat oven to 450F.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub butter into the flour mixture until butter chunks are pea-sized.
Add whipping cream and use a spatula to stir until just combined (the mixture will be very wet and sticky).
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into two even pieces. Pat each dough piece out to a 6-inch round, wrap in plastic, and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Place wedges 2 inches apart on two parchment-lined sheet pans and brush tops with remaining tablespoons of cream.
Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.