In our culinary toolbox, we have citrus curd, either lemon curd, orange curd, grapefruit curd, a thickened egg custard usually with a acid liquid, mixed with sugar and a touch of salt. In Beer Cuisine, I wanted to use flavors that are similar, to be able to achieve a custard like texture, yet using beer instead of citrus, to bring its flavor to the forefront. Enter Beer Curd to the pastry chef arsenal. In this case, For this version of Beer Curd, I wanted to used a Belgian Witbier, with its coriander and orange peel flavors, along with the wheaty, malty undertone, and a yeast bite, all combine together in this Witbier Curd recipe. The Witbier becomes a perfect beer to cook with, showcasing why cooking with beer can elevate a recipe.
Traditionally, strawberry shortcake is made up of whipping cream, shortcake, and macerated strawberries. I wanted to add another texture element to this classic summer dessert, building on flavors that enhance the dish and textures that redefine it. Using this Witbier Curd recipe adds a thicker ingredient, full of flavor that enhances the strawberries, especially when macerated in Hopped Sugar and layered in between a Barley Shortcake. Combining these different recipes into one dessert, creates a Hopped Strawberry Shortcake with Witbier Curd.
Instead of finishing off the curd with butter, which can veer too close to diacetyl when paired with beer, I chose coconut oil | butter. It still gives that same silky smooth finish and helps thicken the curd slightly when chilled.
This Beer Curd technique can be used with many different beers. Thinking about the egg yolks and sugar, how those flavors will work with cooking beer of choice. This Witbier Curd recipe can become a template for other beer styles and flavor combinations.
Makes: 1 1/4 cup of Witbier Curd