Saturday, May 4, 2013

Meyer lemon curd pie

Lemon curd pie is my absolute favorite dessert ever. Eh. Vah.

I used Jamie Oliver's recipe for inspiration, and mixed Meyer lemons with regular lemons for a little something extra.

Perfect balance of sweet and tart. Melts in your mouth...


for the crust (2 servings, you will only use one for the pie but you can freeze the other half and you'll have pie crust ready for next time!):
- 2 whole eggs
- 250g butter, at room temperature (about 2 1/4 sticks)
- 200g confectioner sugar
- a splash of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cold milk (I used fat free, but any milk is fine)
- 500g AP flour
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- a pinch of salt

for the filling (1 serving):
- 7 whole eggs
- 7 yolks (you can keep the whites for a meringue topping, or macarons)
- 380g caster sugar
- juice and zest of 4 Meyer lemons and 4 regular lemons (you can use just regular lemons if you cannot find Meyer lemons)
- 320g very cold butter, diced in 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 3/4 sticks)

1) prepare the crust:
- preheat your oven at 350F
- cream the butter and confectioner sugar together until fluffy and smooth

- add the lemon zest and vanilla extract

- add the flour and eggs, alternating and mixing well between each addition until it looks a bit dry and crumbly

Note: the dough should look dry, but when pressed together it should form a ball and stick together
- form a flat patty, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour

Note: it is important to shape the dough into a flat patty and not just a ball, because you want the dough to cool down uniformly. If it is in a ball, the center of the ball will not cool as much as the surface.
- after the dough has rested an hour and feels harder to the touch, cut the patty in half. Keep one half for today and freeze the rest, wrapped in plastic.
- crumble the dough (or coarsely grate it) directly in a buttered and floured pie form and pat it down until it forms a uniform layer in the bottom and on the sides of the form. Trim the excess and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or 10 minutes in the freezer before baking.

- bake dry for 15 minutes at 350F (place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the dough and weigh down with baking weights, or dry beans or rice you keep only for that purpose). After baking for 15 minutes, take out of the oven and let rest while you prepare the filling

2) prepare the filling:
- add the sugar, lemon juice and zest to the eggs and yolks and beat until sugar is dissolved

- transfer to a pot and stir continuously on very low heat (even better to use a double boiler, but I just did not have one at hand)

Note: it is crucial to stir all the time: trust me, you do not want to have scrambled eggs in the bottom of your pan!
- after a few minutes, when the mixture is warm and starting to thicken a little, you can start adding the very cold butter, a few cubes at a time. Stir, stir, stir!!!

- cook on very low heat until the curd thickens and covers a wooden spoon evenly, and strain the curd through a fine sieve to remove any clumps that may have formed and gritty zest

- pour the filling in the cooled crust

Note: it may still look a bit liquid while hot, but as it cools down, it will set into a soft yet sturdy filling :)
- refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving
- serve with fresh fruit (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, kiwi, whatever you feel like!) and strong coffee.

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