Tangy, zesty, absolutely to die for, sweetness that makes you pucker and salivate all at the same time; that’s a lemon curd experience.
Today’s taste of lemon curd was part of the after meal pudding for end of harvest dinner; a wonderful way to finish a delightful meal. Lemon curd is basically a finessed mixture of lemon juice, zest, egg yolks and sugar. The ingredients are cooked slowly and gently until they become thick and creamy. Fruit curd can really be made from almost any fruit or berry, however, lemon is by far my favorite. Curds are different from pie fillings, custards or jams because they tend to retain a higher amount of the actual fruit flavor.
From a culinary perspective, fruit curds are amazing and versatile for sweet and even savory dishes. I have to admit that the very best lemon curd I have ever had in my life is made by my dad from the lemons off the meyer lemon tree in my brother’s back yard. Nothing compares, although, tonight’s pudding was very close. Lemon curd is an amazing filling for pies or puddings, topping for scones or biscuits or even just toast and it even goes well on a baked sweet potato!
From a health perspective, okay let’s face it, it’s dessert (for the most part). However, because it is slow cooked, it does retain some of its lemony goodness, not to mention the nutrients found in the egg yolks. Remember that adding lemon to foods can help the flavors brighten and become more complex. If your dish is missing a little something, reach for a little lemon before you reach for the salt and it can add just the right notes....even better reach for a little lemon curd and you can also include some healthy fats and creamy mouthfeel to complete the experience.
Research suggests that adding fresh citrus to foods can help people with difficulty tasting and smelling enjoy their food again. I think lemon curd would be a nice surprise for someone with muted taste buds, both for the mouthfeel and for the increased flavor from the volatile oils.
Lemon has a long list of benefits. It aids in digestion and stimulates peristalsis. It is antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibacterial, so it helps with wound care and can help tissue heal without scarring. Lemon is a great addition to ginger and honey to make an awesome tonic for cold and flu....or slow cooked into a curd it can brighten someone’s palate if they are feeling a bit under the weather. (: