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Jun 8, 2008 01:14 PM

Lemon Tarte - sabayon or curd?

I want to make a lemon tarte. I have a great recipe for lemon curd but the epicurious recipe I am looking at uses a sabayon. Would it make any difference? The epicurious recipe calls for browning under the broiler for a minute or two while still warm.

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  1. Curd and sabayon are very diff. Curd is thick--it's basically a custard with lots of yolks, sugar, and lemon juice and/or rind, thinned with lots of butter, all cooked in a double boiler. You can drop a spoon full onto a piece of toast, and it'll hold its shape. A sabayon also uses yolks for binding and thickening and is also cooked in a double boiler, but the proportions are diff, and, more importantly, you beat the yolks with a whisk while they're cooking, so they become foamy. There isn't any butter, so it's a lot less rich. I use it as a topping for berries. Were it not for the epicurious recipe, I'd think it's too runny for a tart filling. I think that curd is a lot more intensely flavored than sabayon, so it's probably a matter of how heavily flavored you like your tarts. My guess is that you run it under the broiler to caramelize the sugar and get a crackly crust, which would work with either one, esp if you sprinkled a bit of extra sugar on top beforehand.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Erika L

      Yes, chowser, this is the recipe that I found on epicurious. But it has butter, just like a curd, just added at a different time. Erika L, if you think it wouldn't matter which I use, I think I would rather use my curd recipe. I know it works and I like a bit of body. And thanks for the tip on adding a bit of sugar on top. That would make a nice crusty top. I think I will use the curd. Tried and true, ya know.

      1. re: sarah galvin

        My favorite lemon curd recipes add the butter at the end, like the sabayon one by Thomas Keller. That sabayon is very similar to the lemon curd I like, except the whisking to make it lighter.

    2. If this is the recipe from Thomas Keller's Bouchon that's on the epicurious site, I've had my eye on it but as Erika said, I prefer the denseness of lemon curd. If you use your favorite tart crust, I like Alton Brown's lemon curd recipe from food network. Very rich, dense, lemony taste. Sometimes, I'll add a cream cheese layer in between the crust and the lemon curd. I did find this blog of the recipe you mentioned:

      It looks good.