Until today I was a lemon curd newb. I’m a little ashamed of myself. I will say that my waistband probably appreciates it. Unfortunately this recipe makes just enough to fill the 24 cookies I made, and I only had enough lemons on hand for one batch. But tomorrow I am going to the grocery store and by tomorrow afternoon I will be smearing everything edible in the world with this amazing lemon curd goo!!!
Why is it called lemon curd? Curd does not sound delicious. If I had invented lemon curd, I would have come up with a better name because it is absolutely scrumptious! Even “lemon goo” sounds better than “curd”… “curd” makes me think of lumpy milk.
Well I looked it up, and believe it or not the name “lemon curd” is actually an improvement on it’s original name of “lemon cheese”…um… yuck. I’m sorry if you were about to eat… nothing will take a way your appetite like the thought of lemon cheese goo…blame some 1800 Brit.
Anyways, despite its name, lemon curd is really very delicious. The macaron cookies can be a little bit of a challenge to get the little feet/ruffles on the bottom and to get the tops smooth and without cracks. Do not be shy about making them though, the cookies will still taste fine if you don’t get it quite right; they just won’t look as pretty as the ones you see in bakeries. For a more in depth guide for making these cookies, see this post! If you aren’t in the mood to worry about your macaron cookies turning out just right, make the lemon curd and eat it on toast, scones, fruit, or with a spoon!
The curd is not something you can walk away from. You have to stand with the double boiler whisking for ten minutes. If you walk away from it, you will have lemon scrambled eggs when you return. Even if you are diligently whisking, you will get tiny pieces of what looks like scrambled egg; just turn the heat down a little if they are making you nervous. Little pieces of egg aren’t a problem because they will get strained out, but if they start getting bigger than pea size, you’ll want to start over because your curd will start tasting like scrambled egg.
Happy lemon goo macaron eatin’!
- 200 g (a skimpy 2 cups) powdered sugar
- 100 g (1 cup) almond flour/meal
- 100 g (3 large eggs) egg whites, room temperature*
- pinch of salt
- 50 g (about ¼ cup) granulated sugar
- Food coloring (optional)
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons loosely packed lemon zest
- 4 Tablespoons salted butter, cut into chunks
- Sift powdered sugar and almond flour together twice, throwing the leftover almond pebbles out.
- In a separate bowl and with a mixer, beat the room temperature egg whites and salt on medium speed until they are white and frothy.
- Add granulated sugar and beat until you have soft peaks.
- Beat in food coloring and then continue mixing until you have stiff peaks. Do not over beat.
- Fold all of the powdered sugar and almond mixture into the meringue. Fold until the batter is no longer gritty and runs off the spatula like lava would, about 30-50 turns.
- Let the batter sit for 10-25 minutes.
- Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. If you want to use a pattern to help you pipe uniform circles, slip that under the parchment paper that you are piping on.
- Using a pastry bag (or a ziplock) and a ½ inch tip, pipe out the batter into uniform 1.5 inch diameter circles.
- Tap the pan on the counter to get rid of air bubbles and any peaks from piping.
- Let the cookies rest for about 30 - 60 minutes on the counter so that the cookies are tacky to the touch. Larger cookies will need more towards 45 - 60 minutes while 1 inch cookies will need less time. If the cookies have not sat out long enough, they will crack on the top and will not form feet.
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Bake one sheet at a time for about 15-20 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown. They should easily peel off the parchment paper. It is better for the cookies to be slightly overdone rather than underdone. Overdone cookies will soften up over time in the refrigerator whereas underdone cookies end up hollow.
- Let cool on the pan on a wire rack.
- In a double boiler with 2 inches of simmering water, combine egg yolks, powdered sugar, juice, and zest and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 10-12 minutes or until thickened. The mixture will start getting foamy on top and then the whole mixture will get foamy. It is ok to have little pieces of cooked egg but if you start getting scrambled egg, you'll need to start over.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.
- Strain the curd. You will have to push it through the strainer and scrap the curd off the underside of the strainer because it is so thick. Zest and small pieces of egg will be left behind in the strainer.
- Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd and refrigerate until chilled. Store curd in the refrigerator.
- Pair similar sized cookies together
- Smear or pipe one cookie with curd and sandwich it with the other.
Sources: Macarons- Entertaining with Beth YouTube channel
Lemon Curd- The Tasty Bite
Lovin’ the macarons?
Lovin’ the lemon?
Try my Lemon Squares…
…or Lemon Sugar Cookies!