Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lemon Curd Puffs

It's lemon season and my bandmate's wife treated me to a delicious spoonful of her lemon curd the other night at practice. Luscious, so sweet and tart! She sent Al to our next gig with a bag of lemons for me, so I made these:

Lemon Curd Choux/Puffs

Lemon Curd
3 large lemons
1 1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1/4 lb unsalted butter
5 large eggs
pinch of salt

Zest the lemons finely, mince if needed, and mix with sugar and a pinch of salt. Cream butter and sugar/lemon mix together, then add eggs one at a time. Juice lemons and add the juice into the mix. Heat gently over low heat in 2 qt saucepan, stirring continuously until custard thickens. Pour into container to cool. If using just for this recipe, can pour into shallow bowl and cover with plastic wrap (press into surface once not ridiculously hot) to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate once cool enough.

While lemon curd is cooling, make the choux

Puffs (this is Julia Child's recipe)
1 1/2 c water
9 tb butter
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 c flour
5-6 large eggs

Preheat oven to 425
Place water butter and sugar in saucepan and heat to boiling. Once butter is melted and water is bubbling, turn off heat and add flour all at once. Stir with wooden spoon until all incorporated and pate comes away from the sides of the pan. If needed, you can turn the heat back to low to get it to that state (I've never had to). Mix in eggs, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Batter should be thick and able to stand on its own, but glossy. If too thick and not glossy enough add the 6th egg in parts until glossy enough.

Form into 1 inch dollops on a lightly buttered baking sheet or two (this makes quite a bit, two baking sheets if you space them properly though I can fit almost all of it on one very big baking sheet when they're placed pretty close). I use two spoons. You might be able to use a pastry bag, though the batter/dough is pretty thick.

Bake at 425 about 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake 10 minutes more or until golden. Leave oven door open when you turn off the heat and leave them in a little longer to dry out.

If you're me and you started this escapade sometime after 11pm, you then tidy up the kitchen a bit, refrigerate the lemon curd and go to bed. If you started earlier, you can proceed whenever the puffs aren't too hot and the lemon curd is set.

Fill puffs with lemon curd, either with pastry bag or by slicing a slit and spooning a bit in, then top with drizzled melted chocolate. Serve soon or they'll get soggy. You can store the puffs unfilled in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two without filling, or longer in the freezer, but they should be eaten soon after filling which shouldn't be a problem.

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