Just had my first success with this, this past week, and I must say, I'm hooked.
I almost want to describe lemon curd as what would happen if you made a hollandaise sauce sweet, instead of savory, but worry that would discourage someone who would otherwise love it from trying it out.
Lemon curd is a dessert spread, used on bread at tea-time, or as a filling for cakes and tarts. It is rich, creamy, and much more intense then custard due to the acidity of the citrus.
I used it to augment some pound cake at a gathering with friends, and was very pleased with the results.I followed the instructions in How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table by Russ Parsons, but disagree with him on several key points.
First, I believe it's much easier to use a double boiler--no fancy equipment is necessary, only a metal bowl over a pot of boiling water. It's one extra step as insurance that all will go as planned.
I believe that his argument that one can always strain it if it starts to curdle is rather fatal, too, and will lead to a thin end result, with all the thickening of the egg yolks removed.
Next time, I'm interested in trying Alton Brown's approach, since he calls for much more lemon and egg to butter, I'm interested in the texture difference.
It would also seem that curd doesn't have to only be made with lemon: recipes for other winter citrus regulars, like lime, orange, and grapefruit, and even more exotic offerings such as raspberry, cranberry, crab-apple vanilla, or even pineapple or mango are easily found, if one knows what they are looking for!