Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Freeze It For Later: Yolking Around
....ok, that one was bad, I admit it.
Much like egg whites, yolks are easy to freeze and easy to thaw. And-just as with the whites-there are plenty of recipes that only call for yolks. But there is one that came to mind first....and for good reason-it's delicious. Lemon Curd. Say it with me, Baby. Lemon Curd.
Much like the Angel food cake recipe, Lemon Curd (see, it's so good, I keep capitalizing it like a proper name) is a staple in bakeries everywhere. And this girl's kitchen. Fill your cakes with it, fill pavlovas, fill butter tarts, fill your belly. Delicious alone, amazing paired with fresh berries, divine with a dab of whipped cream in a pretty parfait glass.
And, yes, it's simple to make.
The following recipe makes approximately 1 3/4 cups--more than enough to fill a cake or to serve on the side of Angel food or fill an 8 inch tart, topped with berries.
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice (this is about 3 lemons)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter, diced in 1/2 inch cubes
*You'll notice that you only need the zest of one lemon but that doesn't mean you can't zest all 3 lemons and --you guessed it! freeze the extra zest for later.
In a saucepan, over medium low heat, whisk together the yolks, zest, sugar and juice. As this mixture cooks, it will thicken so keep whisking and keep an eye on the heat--too hot, too fast=lemon omelet (the anti-yum).
When the mixture has thickened and turned a lovely opaque yellow, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks until smooth. At this point, I like to run my Lemon Curd through a fine mess sieve to remove any possible chunks (it will also remove most of the zest, giving it a smoother texture).
Pour into heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the entire surface of the curd, to prevent a "skin." Chill.
You can also use lime and grapefruit for this particular formula. And there are other "curds"--raspberry and cranberry come to mind; but they are not so simple and they demand a dinner party be thrown for them. Lemon Curd, on the other hand, is simple luxurious elegance that never disappoints. And it makes freezing extra yolks here and there totally worth it.