Lemon curd is sunshine in a jar, sweet, sharp rich and light all at the same time! Now there are some good local producers making some pretty fantastic curds out there, but nothing compares to a batch made in your own kitchen.
This vibrant yellow curd with sweet tangy flavour, is perfect for so many things; fillings for cakes, tarts and muffins, spooned on top of teacakes or scones, flavouring mousses, even just spread onto buttered toast at breakfast. I’m quite partial to spooning it on shortbread and topping with raspberries. Regardless of your personal preference for this spreadable sunshine, there seems to be very few limitations to this zesty lemon butter!
Needing only a handful of ingredients, a single bowl, a pan and a whisk, this lemon curd could not be simpler to make. So simple in fact, I have very little else to say on the matter. Don’t believe me check out the video and recipe below!
Use straight away, save for something special or jar it up and give it to your friends as an edible gift *cough*CHRISTMAS*cough*! It’s yours to do with as you please!
— Al Brady
4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
2 egg yolks
Put the lemon zest, juice, sugar and butter, cut into cubes, into a heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the basin doesn't touch the water. Stir the mixture with a whisk continuously until the butter has completely melted.
Making sure the bowl does not touch the water is really important as this can easily overheat and curdle the curd! Don't go crazy you only need the water to be and inch deep.
Mix the eggs and egg yolks lightly with a fork, then stir into the lemon mixture. Cook the curd over the simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 73ºC and has thickened to a custard like consistency. Once cooked remove the bowl from the pan and pass the curd through a fine sieve. If you don't have a probe thermometer, don't panic, you can still make this curd. Just continue to whisk until you can see the curd starting to thicken. It should feel slightly heavy on the whisk and hold the impression of the whisk when lifted from the curd.
While the curd is still hot pour it into hot steralised jars, filling them as full as possible. Seal while it is still hot and leave to cool. Once cool the jars can be labelled, dated and stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Now all that is left to do is decide what your going to do with all that delicious curd!
Why not spread some on some crispy buttery toast while you mull it over!
WATCH THE VIDEO
DIFFICULT, DIFFICULT, LEMON, DIFFICULT
Pick A Lemon
When it comes to buying lemons most are sold with an edible wax coating. It is there to keep the lemons on the shelves, in good condition, for longer. Easily removed by running the lemons under a hot tap and rubbing thoroughly with a dry tea towel. I prefer to used unwaxed or organic lemons which are generally available at a higher price due to their shorter shelf life. Though they do have the added benefit of not adding wax to your lemon curd.
A Zest-er For Life
When it comes to zesting your lemon; you will need to be in possession of a good sharp grater. One that allows you to remove only the lemons' outermost zest. Anything beyond the fine layer of zest (the white pith underneath) will be bitter, creating a curd that bitter and acrid instead of sharp, tangy and refreshing. The zest should be so fine that it can barely be detected in the finished curd. I would recommend picking up a Microplane fine zester/grater! It has a ton of practical uses in the kitchen, but is second to none when it comes to zesting fruit!
Mix It Up!
Try this recipe with other citrus or sour fruits or a mixture of them all! Lime, orange, grapefruit, passion fruit all would work very well for this recipe. You may need to play around with the sugar content a little to suit your personal taste but we have no doubt it'll be delicious!
As the old saying goes; "If life doesn't give you lemons, then perhaps make curd with the fruit that’s available!"