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Top Pick Of The Week

July 21, 2009

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Lemon Curd Tarts

Become the queen of tarts by spooning lemon, lime, orange and raspberry curd from Curdelicious into tart shells (here, our favorite tart shells from Clearbrook Farms, another Top Pick Of The Week). Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Top-quality fruit curds.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: They’re made in small batches, and have a delightful raspberry curd in addition to the citrus flavors.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The line tastes better than most lines of curd we’ve sampled—particularly the lime, orange and raspberry flavors.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Curdelicious.com.
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Curdelicious: Lemon, Lime, Orange & Raspberry Fruit Curd

CAPSULE REPORT: Do you use fruit curd? Lemon curd is perhaps the most familiar variety, a creamy spread made with sugar, eggs and butter (in the richer recipes), flavored with lemon juice and often the zest (Curdelicious uses the oil from the peel fruit instead of the zest). Then, there are siblings lime curd and orange curd. Apart from the citrus family, you can find raspberry curd, strawberry curd, cranberry curd and others. We expect to stumble upon pomegranate curd any day now.

Fruit curd is refreshingly tart, as opposed to more sugary jams and preserves. The butter creates a smoother and creamier texture than jam. But if you only use fruit curd as an alternative to jam on toast, scones and croissants, you’re missing out.

Curd can be used to fill tart shells and meringues for easy, elegant desserts; and as a garnish for other desserts (pound cake, for example). You can make parfaits with curd, fill crêpes, top pancakes and waffles, make cookie sandwiches and substitute for custard. (Unlike lemon custard, for example, lemon curd contains more lemon juice and zest, which gives it a more piquant flavor as a cake filling.) There are many more uses, which we’ll explore in the full review.

Curdelicious makes everything more delicious, with fruit curds in lemon, orange, lime and raspberry. Read the full review below, and share your favorite fruit curd recipes with us. We may add them to this article!

     
THE NIBBLE does not sell the foods we review
or receive fees from manufacturers for recommending them.

Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.

 

Saints Preserve Us: Our Favorite Jams, Preserves & More

Strawberry Jam Pierre Marcolini Confitures Cherith Valley Hot Jelly
Strawberry Jam. We tasted 100 strawberry jams and preserves to find the 17 best. Dig in: Of the nine flavors that comprise 80% of the market, strawberry is at the top. Amazing Confitures. When we win the lottery, we’ll eat four jars of Pierre Marcolini confitures (jam) daily. Incredible fruit, less than 20% sugar (supermarket jam has 70%-80%). Some Like It Hot. That’s why they like everything from Cherith Valley, including the hot jellies: Jalapeño, Margarita, Cherry-Brandy Jelly and Peach Amaretto Jelly. They’re kickin’.

Curdelicious: Lemon, Lime, Orange & Raspberry Fruit Curd

INDEX OF REVIEW

This is Page 1 of a two-page article. Click on the black links to visit other pages.

MORE TO DISCOVER

Introduction To Fruit Curd

Homemade lemon curd was quite popular in late 19th and early 20th century England—served at afternoon tea with scones, toast and muffins; and as a filling for cakes, tarts and pastries (lemon meringue pie is lemon curd in a pie shell, topped with meringue). It’s quite easy to make: Once your ingredients are in place, the curd whisks together in 10 minutes or less.

Fruit curd is a rich and elegant bread spread, dessert topping and filling that delivers an intense fruit flavor. It’s a delicious gift, whether you buy it or make it (although homemade curd, without preservatives or pasteurization, stays fresh only for two or three days).

Egg yolks or whole eggs are beaten together with sugar, fruit juice and zest (if citrus) or fruit purée. Richer recipes include butter or heavy cream, which also serve as thickeners. Lower-fat versions often use cornstarch, flour or pectin as the thickening agent. The ingredients are gently cooked until they thicken into a soft, smooth, custard-like spread.

 

Lemon Curd
It’s the juice and the zest that makes Curdelicious so...juicy and zesty. Photo by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

Curd is ubiquitous in U.K. supermarkets, although in the U.S., you most likely need to go to a specialty food store to buy a jar. But, it’s worth the trip!

Lemon is the most popular curd flavor, followed by lime; but orange and raspberry are relatively easy to find. Don’t be surprised to come across anything from the berry group (blackberry, cranberry and strawberry) to tropical fruits (mango, passionfruit and pineapple).

Curd is different from custard in that it contains a higher proportion of juice and zest, which delivers a greater intensity of flavor. A curd made with butter is even smoother and creamier than custard (or commercial pie fillings). We prefer a buttery style like Curdelicious (which also uses whole eggs plus extra egg yolks for added richness), but try both and see which you like. And, take a look at the numerous uses for curd on the next page. One jar won’t last very long!

—Karen Hochman

Continue To Page 2: Curd Flavors, Serving Suggestions & Recipe Ideas

Go To The Article Index Above

 

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