LEMON-CREAM CHEESE BRAID by LEMON-CREAM CHEESE BRAIDLemon-Curd Recipe Ingredients: 3 eggs 3/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 6 tablespoons cold butterDirections: Bring about 3 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler or a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in the top of the double boiler or in a glass jar or another saucepan that will fit snugly over the other saucepan.Cook the egg/lemon mixture over the simmering water, whisking and stirring constantly. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Cool to room temperature. Store any leftover Lemon Curd in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.This is Part 2: Braided Lemon Bread Sponge: 3/4 cup warm water 2 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon instant yeast 1/2 cup all-purpose flourDough: All of the sponge 3/4 cup Mexican crema "cream" or plain yogurt 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 2 large eggs, beaten 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons vanilla 5 cups all-purpose flour egg wash for brushing braid sparkling white sugar for sprinkling on braidCream Cheese Filling: 2/3 cup cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup prepared lemon curdDirections: In a small bowl, combine all of the sponge ingredients, except the warm water. Add the warm water, stirring to combine. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let set 10 to 15 minutes. Your sponge should look like little air bubbles. Add the dough ingredients to the sponge. Mix by hand, just until the dough forms a ball.Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 8 minutes. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rest until double in size. While the dough is proofing, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, beat together all of the ingredients for the cream cheese filling until creamy. Set aside until ready to use.The dough will look double the size. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each half into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Transfer the rectangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread half of the cream cheese filling down the middle third of the dough. Spread 1 cup of lemon curd over the cream cheese. (The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup, but I wanted more lemon filling!)Using kitchen scissors, cut the sides of the dough into 1-inch strips. Fold the strips over the filling. Cover the braids with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let set for 45 minutes. Brush the loaves with egg wash and top with sparkling sugar. (I used regular granulated sugar!) Bake the braids in a preheated oven at 375 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a light golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil and let set for about 15 minutes before serving.ENJOY!!!😄