Sous vide lemon curd again

About a year ago, I posted a mistake¬†where I made lemon curd without butter. Since then, I made some with butter, but forgot to blog about it. Since I’m procrastinating some paper grading, I thought I’d try it again today. We also have some lemons that need to be used. Here’s what I did last time

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 0.5 c sugar
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • Some lemon rind scraped off with a microplane
  • There should have been 0.5 sticks of melted butter. Next time.

In my non-blogged version, I did this, melting the butter in a measuring cup hung off the rim of the Cambro box I use with my Nomiku. 


After blending stuff with my stick blender, I poured it into a couple of old jelly jars we had, where I ran into a drawback of the original Nomiku – the depth of water needed. I ended up using a small loaf pan to prop up the jars.

Today, Debby has the loaf pans at the annual cookie baking party. But I also have an Anova circulator that can work with less water.

Recipe review

I also thought that I might as well look at the ratios used by various lemon curd recipes. The non-sous-vide ones tend to use a much higher volume because most people don’t have really tiny saucepans. But as much as I like lemon curd, I’m not sure its good to keep it for long periods of time, so recipes calling for 8 eggs seem like overkill to me.

SourceREMcooksAlton BrownMartha StewartIna Garten
Eggs4 yolks5 yolks6 yolks4 whole
Butter0.5 stick1 stick1 stick1 stick
Sugar0.5 c1 c1 c1.5 c
Lemons0.33 c4 lemons0.5 c0.5 c (3-4 lemons)
yield1.25 c2 c1.5 c3 c

It seems that the REMcooks recipe I used has more eggs than the others. There also seems to be some variation in the order of addition of the ingredients. Most, but not all, add the melted butter last.

The plan

  • juice of 2 lemons + some zest
  • 0.5 stick butter, melted
  • 0.5 c sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 whole eggs

I’m going to try the whole eggs because they seem to be OK in the Ina Garten recipe, and because that’s all we have in the house after Debby took the rest of them to the baking party (yes, I could go to the store, but this is a lazy procrastination exercise, not an attempt to optimize). I’m melting the butter in the container that came with my stick blender so it will get mixed with the eggs first, not last.

I transferred the mix to a jar from some preserves and I put this in at 165 F, but a problem occurred pretty quickly. Not using a properly sealing lid, some thermal expansion pushed some of the mix over the top leading to a cloudy water bath, which is perfuming the setup to smell like lemon curd. I don’t think this should affect the final result though.

The Anova Culinary App

Since I’ve been using my Nomiku most of the time, I hadn’t gotten around to installing the Anova Culinary app on my phone. Pairing with the Anova was straightforward. I’m not sure how useful the app actually is, though, other than being able to set a cook time. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t display a countdown after the timer is set.

Because it’s Bluetooth class 4, it doesn’t seem to hold the pairing when I leave the kitchen with my phone, or remember the cooker when I get back in range if I’ve used another app.

Playing with the Anova and the app, it seems that if you set the time after a run has been set manually, the settings from the phone don’t really do anything unless you pause or stop what is already running.

Result

Either the lower egg content, the order of mixing, or the something about the configuration meant that the cook was incomplete at the top of the jar after an hour, but the curd was set at the bottom. Returned to heat for another 30 minutes. The final result came out fine.