Lemon Curd Pie with Shortbread Crust

We love lemons, and I made Glazed Lemonies for Mama's birthday, so I have a bunch stored in a glass mason pickle jar in my fridge.  You simply clean the lemons, put them in the jar, fill completely with cold water and pop a lid on and they'll keep juicy and fresh for up to a month.  You jut drain it, rinse it, and refill once a week. An added bonus to this method is that it makes it so much easier to zest the lemons and juice them.

I've been wanting to learn to make curds for awhile, specifically for pies and tarts, so I spent the morning researching and found a Homemade Lemon Curd from Wicked Kitchen. I simplified and changed very little from the original recipe.

Making the curd is time consuming.  This isn't for a day when you're feeling off or don't think you could stand 30 minutes at the stove. It takes some prep, and timing, but it is so worth it.  Cool, creamy and refreshing. I'm giving this recipe to you in the most time efficient order.

This is NOT a healthy recipe.  All of the butter should warn you.  This is completely a cheat day recipe if you're dieting.  Or a treat.  Not a pie you want to eat 5 slices of in a day.

For the Curd
8 large egg yolks
4 large lemons
Pinch of kosher salt
1 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 scant cups sugar

For the Crust
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 stick salted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

  1. Zest all 4 lemons.  Waste not want not. Put zest in bowl and set aside.
  2. Roll lemons under your palms across the counter top to loosen up. Cut in half.  Remove seed and juice into a cereal bowl.  I don't have a juicer, so I stick a knife into each section within the lemon, and squeeze with my hands until I can't get any more out.  If you have sensitive skin, wear gloves.  Lemons are acidic.
  3. Set aside juice.
  4. Throw away lemon husks and seeds.
  5. Cut softened butter, one stick salted, one stick unsalted, into pats.
  6. Combine flour and sugar for the crust, and cut in pats one at a time.
  7. Use your hands to smoosh everything together good in the bowl.
  8. Use a bit more powdered sugar on a surface, kneed dough until comes completely together.
  9. Section out, and press into your un-greased pie pan. Once pressed in, poke bottom with fork.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F. Set your pie crust nearby.
  11. Fill a medium saucepan with about an inch and a half of water, and bring to a simmer while you do the next steps.
  12. In a medium glass or steel bowl, add egg yolk, sugar, and pinch of salt. I recommend saving the whites in the fridge.  They keep up for 2 days and will make a lovely breakfast tomorrow.
  13. Whisk until yolks, sugar, and salt comes together smooth.  Will be a pain in the butt at first, but stick with it until smooth.
  14. Add lemon juice to yolk and sugar mixture and whisk until combined.
  15. Now your oven is preheated, and your water simmering, pop the crust in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
  16. Immediately put the bowl on the saucepan. The lemon mixture should not be touching the simmering water in the pan.
  17. As pie shell bakes, cook lemon curd, whisking constantly.  Constantly constantly.  Switch hands, but don't stop.  This can take 15-30 minutes depending on your stove top, bowl, and pot.
  18. At 15 minutes your curd should be thickening.  Once the yellow oil lines show up you're about half there.
  19. Check pie crust.  If it's not golden on the edges, and slightly in the middle, pop back in for 5 more minutes.  Otherwise, remove to cool.
  20. Get back to whisking that lemon curd immediately.  Once it starts to get hard to whisk, and the curd coats the whisk when removed, it should be ready.  
  21. Remove bowl to counter and turn everything off.
  22.  Add in 2 Tbsp. of lemon zest immediately.  Stir thoroughly.
  23. Pull the chilled butter pats from the fridge, and add one at a time.  Wait until each has melted before adding the next.
  24. Once butter is stirred in, fill pie crust.  You shouldn't have any leftover, but if you do it will store in a jar for up to 2 weeks.
  25. Let curd and pie cool for 10 minutes.
  26. Refrigerate and cool 15 minutes.
  27. Refrigerate until serving time. I put it in my cake tin.  Then sifted a spoon of powdered sugar over it.
Now you know how to make curd, and shortbread.  Try different fruits for the curd, and the shortbread is the same I use for Simple Lavender Shortbread Cookies, Pomegranate-Tangerine Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate Heath Shortbread Cookies, and quarters down easy for individual pies!

12 slices at 412 calories a slice