Just as jewelry accessorizes outfits, condiments can accessorize recipes. Around this time of summer when blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are abundant, a jar of lemon curd stashed in the fridge is the key to instantly dressing up quick and appealing fruit desserts.
Rich and tart lemon curd is the perfect foil for fresh and juicy berries, particularly blueberries. You can make up a batch using our favorite recipe below, or just buy a jar from the store. Once you have lemon curd on hand, you’ll keep discovering new uses for it. Here are some of our favorites:
- Serve it with freshly baked scones or biscuits.
- Whip heavy cream and fold in lemon curd; use as a filling for tarts, as in this recipe, or serve it in small dishes with berries and shortbread or wafer cookies on the side.
- Swirl it into the filling of your favorite cheesecake recipe right before baking.
- Layer it with whipped cream or yogurt and fruit for a classic fool.
- Use dabs of it as a filling for thumbprint cookies.
We’re currently adoring these impressive but easy no-bake lemon-ginger ice cream sandwiches. Crisp and spicy ginger cookies soften in the freezer and provide a contrast to a smooth filling of lemon curd folded with premium ice cream. The flavor is decadent, but the portion size is perfect for when you want a satisfyingly cool and sweet nibble.
Easy Lemon-Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches
From Linda Faus, former test kitchen director for The Oregonian
Makes small 16 sandwiches
These cool and refreshing four-bite treats hit the spot. They make a wonderful sweet midday snack or light dessert.
- 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream, softened
- 1/2 cup lemon curd, storebought or homemade (see recipe below)
- 32 thin, crisp ginger cookies
In a medium bowl, beat the ice cream briskly with a sturdy wooden spoon until it is smooth. Return to the freezer for 15 minutes to firm.
Lay 16 cookies, bottom-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a small ice cream scoop, dole about 2 tablespoons of the ice cream mixture onto each cookie and top with the remaining 16 cookies, pressing to flatten slightly.
Clear out a space in the freezer where the sheet will lay flat. Freeze for at least 3 hours before serving. To freeze longer, wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and place carefully in a plastic freezer bag. Use within 2 weeks.
Adapted from Lynne Sampson for The Oregonian
Makes 1⅔ cups
It takes time to make lemon curd, but it can feel meditative to stand at the stove and stir. If you don’t anticipate using all of the lemon curd within a month, simply freeze half to use later.
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- 6 tablespoons butter
In a medium stainless steel, nonstick, or enameled saucepan, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar with a whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan. The mixture will slowly turn more opaque and the spatula will start to make visible swaths through the mixture, 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring until the curd is as thick as sour cream and coats the spatula, 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until it melts and the curd is smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon curd to prevent a crust from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours before using. Store the lemon curd tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 1 month or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
by Sara Bir