Wednesday, August 30

When you have lemons; Make Lemon Curd Cake

We live in the Arcadia area of Phoenix.  Historically, this area was all citrus farms.  The neighborhoods are all still laid out for irrigation.  So, it's funny to turn into our neighborhood in the middle of the desert and see green grass, and tall trees.  One nice bonus is that we have quite a few citrus trees.  We have an orange, tangelo and lemon.  While it's not citrus season yet, you can still buy it all reasonably cheap this time of year.

So, a bushle of lemons and one Martha Stewart Baking Cookbook later, I've got myself a project.

I decided to attempt to make a Lemon Curd Cake, partically after seeing the Cupcake Queen's success with Lime Curd Coconut Cupcakes, and partically because of said bushel of lemons.

After jumping head first into this recipe, I remembered how many steps Martha baking involved.  It's not just add this, mix that and whip it all together.  It's add part of that, separate this, then put it back together kind of cooking.

What I've found so far, is that I have to bake her cakes about 10-12 minutes longer than the book recommends.  The crumb of the cake is dense, but not as moist as other recipies.  So far I've had a lot of luck with the Williams Sonoma basic cake recipies.  Maybe I'll try that next time.

The funnest part of this recipe was making the lemon curd.  I tried to find how this type of curd differed from say a dairy base curd, but didn't have a lot of luck.  Here's the recipe from Martha's cookbook:

8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice an dsugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, untilthe mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8 to 10 minutes.  It should register 160 degrees on an instant-readthermometer.

Remove sauce pan from heat.  Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth.  Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  Regrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

One lesson I learned here, was that when they said a "fine sieve" they didn't mean a cheesecloth.  It was too fine and the curd was too heavy for the cloth.  I made a last minute switch to a mesh metal strainer and that worked much better.  The curd was the consistancy of a mousse, it was tangy and bright.  It was actually quite pretty.

I combined the cake, the curd and a lemon icing that called for 4 sticks of butter!

Martha Stewart Lemon Curd Cake

 Now I've got this cake that's bigger than most  babies, and I should have taken to work to share, but I can't.  I'm selfish.


Have fun!


Anonymous Thom said...

I can't beleive it you actually made a cake bigger than your head!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Cupcake Queen said...

I love it!

bring a piece of it to the wedding! i'm going to be making cupcakes while I'm there!

6:28 PM  
Anonymous EricaLucci said...

Looks yummy!

9:33 AM  
Anonymous payal said...

I'm so jealous - 3 types of citrus trees!! The cake sounds del-lish!

1:17 PM  

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