Lemon Curd Tart problem

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by mezzaluna, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I just made Ina Garten's Lemon Curd Tart. By luck, she made it on Food Network recently, after I'd decided to make it as one of three pies for a dinner with friends Saturday night. On the show, she said you can pre-bake the shell and pre-cook the curd. I did both, as the party is a few days away. You're supposed to gently re-heat the curd before pouring it into the shell.

    The crust, by the way, is a nice shortbread crust. It's the filling that got me:

    4 lemons at room temperature I used Meyer lemons, and added a bit of regular lemon juice to make 1 cup.

    1-1/2 cups sugar

    1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

    4 extra-large eggs at room temperature

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Method (summarized): peel lemons; put in food processor with sugar and run until the zest is very finely minced. In a mixer cream the butter with the sugar/lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time, then lemon juice and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until about 175 degrees. I used an instant-read thermometer and waited until it got to 175 degrees.

    Here's what happened:

    I got bits of cooked egg white in the mixture, so I ended up having to strain it, which removed the zest and a good amount of flavor. When I chilled it, it didn't seem to get any thicker.

    It's supposed to fit into a 10" tart shell, but it doesn't look like it's enough to fill it. Any ideas, in case there's not enough curd? I do have most of a jar of lemon curd I purchased last week. I probably should have found a recipe that used only yolks, right? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. chefross

    chefross

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    I won't take on Ida on this one but I have always used egg yolks and whites together. I'll use 3 yolks and 2 whites.

    It seems as though you may have not mixed everything well enough and that you may not have been stirring as constantly as you thought.

    I zest my lemons then squeeze their juice. I melt the butter 1st before I combine it with the sugar and eggs. I mix this very well and then cook this over a simmering pot of water in a stainless steel bowl until it thickens. Just before I pour the mixture into the pie crust my recipe calls for a 4th egg yolk to be added before baking.

    On a side note....it is not uncommon to not have a recipe come out the way you want it the fist try. Keep a note of what you do and try again.
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Try putting all the eggs in a blender first. This will insure thorough mixing, better then by hand . Sounds like you did not do this . And stir, stir, ,stir.  Good luck..
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Thank you, Chefs. I'm going to make another batch, using a recipe with yolks only - someone else's recipe, this time. I love Ina, but this one (except for the excellent crust) didn't work for me. Now where's my Gale Gand cookbook?