My mother made the best layer cake with the Lemon Curd,filling and icing. I asked her once why she called it lemon cheese as it has no cheese in it. She replied that when you boil it (as it thickens) that it resembles cheese because of the holes that appear while it cooks. She used all yolks -no whites. I like the lightness you get by adding the whites. It is more orangey with just the yolks.
This is the best (and pretty easy) Lemon Curd.
It not only is delicious between the layers and on top of a cake, but it mades a wonderful filling for a cake roll, served overy berries, etc.
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well blended.
Then add the and lemon juice and blend with the sugar/egg mixture.
Cook; stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling) until the mixture becomes thick. It will be the consistency of sour cream –or as Mama stated, until it looks yellow-orange and has holes like Swiss cheese. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps (If you only simmer it and stir constantly, you many not have lumps.).
Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form). While still warm, spread filling between 4 layers of cake; Pour filling over top of cake and let it go down the sides of cake (Or you can use a different icing from the filling).
Use right away or refrigerate for up to a week. I am having this spooned over some fresh berries tomorrow night. Yummy!!
NOTE 1: ** ALWAYS USE FRESH LEMON JUICE - do not use the bottled lemon juice.NOTE 1:
NOTE 2: I find that removing the stringy white substance (that balances the yolk within the albumin) and whisking the eggs and sugar - BEFORE adding the lemon juice helps to attain a smooth consistency that usually eliminates lumps from forming -no lumps = no straining.
NOTE 3: You can store it in a air-tight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (If you don't want to use it right away.) OR if you are good at canning, you can prepare it in canning jars and have the treat on hand all the time -also makes great gifts!
USING ONLY YOLKS: As I mentioned above, Mother used only yolks -this made for a darker yellowy-orange result. And the "holes" were more visible when cooking. I like it with and without the egg whites -but it is lighter (color and consistency) using both the yolks and whites. If you want to try it with just the yolks, use 6 large yolks.