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runny lemon curd

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We make a Meyer lemon curd at work which we are having problems with. My boss buys Meyers by the case and squeezes and freezes the juice. When we need to make the curd, we thaw the juice and then proceed to make the curd. Well, for some strange reason after the curd is cooked and chilled, it never firms up. It's totally runny. We cook it until the whisk leaves tracks. I'm suspecting it's the juice(because we make another curd with regular fresh lemons and have not had the problem)---or at least the freezing/thawing and sometimes re-freezing. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 13
I don't see how freezing the juice would change the turn out of the curd. The liquid is still the same. Acid, Alchalide, H2O...
Is the recipe the exact same for the fresh regular lemon. There is a difference in the citric acid of each. that could be a factor but not the freezing part.
post #3 of 13
try adding more eggs to your meyer lemon curd, do you finish with butter?
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Eggs, yolks, sugar, juice and butter last. It has been hit or miss with this batch of juice. Maybe the juice wasn't acidic enough??? Curd is one of the simplest things to make and this is the first time to encounter such a problem.
post #5 of 13
Strange. I wouldn't expect any fruit juice to behave differently from another. Frozen juice is not the culprit. I've done it with fresh and frozen with the same results.

If it's any help to you, I use 5 sheets of gelatin to 2 cups of juice. Add the soaked gelatin after the curd is finished, before it cools.
post #6 of 13
This is the curd recipe I have used for yrs.Its not the traditional way of cooking it, but it tastes and looks the same and Is thick
Lemon Curd - 20 Cups total
38 eggs or 9 Cups
12 cups Sugar
4 Cups lemon Juice
1 Vanilla bean split
1 1/2 cups A.P. flour
2 T salt
Bring to boil the lemon juice 8 Cups of sugar and the vanilla bean, mix remaining sugar and flour & salt and add eggs. Temper lemon mixture and return to boil and strain.

post #7 of 13
Angry Chef,

I'm a bit mystified by the problem for several reasons:

1. Meyer lemons are actually far less acidic than ordinary lemons. The acid tends to break down most starches. However, you say that when you use ordinary lemons, you don't have problems with thinning out--THAT is a mystery.

2. Flour is less prone to breaking down than cornstarch, but have you experimented with other starch thickeners such as potato starch or tapioca flour? You'd have to make a mini-batch to experiment, but it might produce a better resul

Finally, have you tried reducing the amount of juice? You could make up for it by zesting the lemons and processing the zest with a bit of the sugar, mixing the lemon sugar with the juice, then straining the juice at a later point to get out the bits of zest before mixing the juice into the curd.

As a last resort, try the trick with the gelatine that someone suggested.

Oh, by the way: you do cover the hot curd with plastic wrap pushed directly onto the surface of the curd, don't you? The condensation that would drip from a lid onto the curd might be contributing to the problem.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
There is no starch in the lemon curd recipe we use. I made another batch with the same thawed juice and just cooked it a bit longer and it came out fine. My pastry chef and I are suspecting it has to do with time and temp. of cooked eggs starting from cold eggs. Shirley O. in Cookwise wrote something about that but I'm busy at the moment to look it up.
Thank you everyone for the suggestions.:)
post #9 of 13
I always cook the curd to 82Celcius (180Fahrenheit) and it turns out fine.
post #10 of 13

Ina's recipe is still quite soft. I made alton's and it's runny.


I've mixed in some jarred curd (it's quite good) but that didn't help much. Now I'm going to try some gelatin and hope it firms up in time!

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post #11 of 13

I've never heard of using flour in a lemon curd before.

I've used a ratio of egg yolks to whole eggs, sugar, soft butter, and lemon juice.

It's the eggs that do the thickening and this mixture is best done over a pot of simmering water.

I stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.

When chilled, it firms up nicely.

post #12 of 13

My guess would be you're not cooking it long enough or like someone else suggested you are not placing the plastic wrap directly touching the curd while chilling.

post #13 of 13

Probably just not cooking long enough.


This is the one i've been packing for years-


Zest of 6 lemons

500ml total lemon juice

400gr sugar

12 eggs


Combine all on a dbl boiler until thick enough to leave tracks.

Strain, add 300 gr butter & chill.


Over the past four years of doing the banquet thing i cannot guess how many batches i've made.


When we did an offsite dessert gig where we needed 3000 pcs of dessert we made 16 litres of curd. Took the mixing bowl from the floor hobart & threw it over a stock pot. Worked great.

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