A few days ago I made a batch of lemon curd. I do it once or twice a year when I get an urge for that lovely lemony tang on scones, toast or on a simple sponge cake. The only thing I did differently this year was post a photo of it on Instagram. Well, I got the nicest reaction! It seems lemon curd is one of those foods that sends people off down memory lane. Better still, I got a heap of tips on alternative ways to serve lemon curd – on ginger bread, on pancakes, in muffins, whipped into cream and dolloped into shortbread,… My mouth was watering all day at the thoughts of all the uses. I think a second batch is on the cards. [Edit: second batch made]
One thing I noticed people saying was that they have either never made lemon curd themselves or haven’t made it in ages. I suppose it is one of those things, like homemade jam or Christmas pudding, that has so much nostalgia tied up with it that people imagine it must be tricky or time-consuming . But I swear to you it is not. Easier and cleaner than jam-making, a lot quicker than boiling a pudding and hard to mess up. So what are you waiting for?
Here’s the recipe for making three jars.
135g butter, cut into small cubes
Juice and rind of 3 lemons
5 medium eggs
Begin by grating the rind of the lemons and then juicing the lemons. Place both into a large bowl and set it over a saucapan of water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer.
While the water is heating, add the butter and sugar to the lemon juice and rind. Stir now and again until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
While the butter and sugar and melting, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them lightly. Once the butter has melted and the sugar had dissolved, pour the eggs through a strainer into the lemon mixture and stir in.
For the next half hour or so you will need to stir the mixture every couple of minutes to avoid lumps forming. The water below the bowl should be simmering, not boiling. As the mixture heats, it will thicken. It is ready when it has the consistency of thick custard.
Pour into clean jars, seal and leave to cool completely. Store in the fridge.
I usually pour some into a small bowl or jug for immediate use.
If you are using straight away for a cake filling, there is no need to pour the lemon curd into jars.