Recipe leftovers: Egg Yolk Edition

Those candied nuts have been a big hit around here, but with all the batches I’ve made, I ended up with nine egg yolks hanging out in the fridge that I couldn’t bear to just throw out. And then I thought about what recipes require yolks, but no whites.

Lemon curd.

Delicious, creamy, tart lemon curd. Perfect on scones and pancakes. I’d never made it before, but the recipe seemed straightforward enough, even without access to a full size food processor. It is useful to have either an immersion blender or a good handheld mixer for this one, though.

Plus, the finished product is beautiful:

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Note that I had nine egg yolks, so I basically doubled the recipe and ended up with just over 1.5 pints of lemon curd.

Lemon Curd

7 lemons
1.5 cup sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces
9 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt

Zest the lemons using a microplane then cut them in half and juice them, setting aside 1 cup of juice. the rest can be discarded or used for another recipe.

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Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and use an immersion blender or handheld mixer to combine. The butter will look curdled at this point, which is fine.

Cook the mixture over a very low heat. If you have a cooking thermometer (it doesn’t need to be a candy thermometer given the low temperatures required by the recipe), affix it to the side of the pot. Cook until the mixture has started to thicken, which will take up to 15 minutes. If you are using the thermometer, you want to reach 170°F. If you do not have a cooking thermometer, you can test for doneness by coating the back of a spoon and running your finger through it. You should be able to wipe a clear path in the curd if it is done.

Do not leave the curd unattended while it is cooking! If the temperature gets too high, it can actually curdle. You don’t even want it anywhere near a simmer.

While the curd is cooking. place a fine mesh strainer over a medium mixing bowl. When the curd is done, pass it through the strainer to get rid of any remaining pieces of lemon zest or coagulated egg. Then funnel into jars for storage. Allow jars to cool for an hour before capping and putting in the fridge. The curd will thicken more as it cools.

Lemon curd will keep for several weeks — up to a month — refrigerated. It also apparently freezes well!

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