Since I had rather a lot of eggs that needed to be used and also some lemons which would soon be past their best I decided it was time to make some Lemon Curd. Lemon curd is such a delicious spread, I love to eat it on toast, or in a scone as well as using it as the filling in cakes. The silky smooth texture combined with the wonderfully tart but sweet flavour really hits all the buttons.
Although I have made lemon curd many times before I decided to do it slightly differently today. Some people like to place all the ingredients into a pan and heat them up, stirring all the while until the mixture thickens. Others, like me, usually heat the lemons, sugar and eggs in a bain-marie(double boiler) until the mixture thickens. That method works well, but there is always a risk of some of the egg scrambling. But I read an article that made me think that maybe tempering the eggs, as you do when making custard, would help to eliminate the risk of scrambline. So that is what I decided to do.
I must say that it worked very well and I quickly had a lovely thick curd mixture, ready to take the butter as the last ingredient. Once I had put the curd into jars and allowed it to cool I checked, and tasted, it and I must say it really is wonderful.
The recipe is actually very simple and can be made in a very short time. I made two jars full, one was a 14 oz jar and the other was about 12oz. I also had a small amount left over which was ideal for my taste test.
Although I used 200 ml of lemon juice if you have less that would be fine too, and you could always use more lemon zest to give added flavour. As I mentioned earlier this is perfect to spread on some toast, or scones, and to add as a filling in cakes or toppings of cupcakes etc. So if you have some spare eggs and lemons give this a try, you certainly wont be disappointed.
- 200ml(1/2 cup + 1/3 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 200g(1 cup) sugar, granulated or caster
- 1 tbsp of lemon zest(optional)
- 127g(1 stick + 1 tsbp) unsalted butter, cubed (salted is ok but omit the salt mentioned below)
- 3 medium eggs(large in USA)
- 3 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
- pinch of salt
- Mix the sugar, lemon juice, salt and zest into a large metal bowl.
- Place the bowl onto a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water cannot touch the base of the bowl.
- Stir the mixture all the time as it heats up and the sugar dissolves.
- Whisk the eggs and additional yolks, in a large bowl, preferably metal.
- When the sugar is dissolved dribble a little of the hot liquid into the eggs and immediately whisk to temper the eggs. Repeat this process with a little of the lemon/sugar liquid at a time until it is all combined into the eggs.
- Place that bowl onto the pan of simmering water and whisk all the time until the mixture thickens. It will go foamy and as it starts to thicken the foam will disappear.
- When a spoon dipped into the mixture remains coated when removed, and dragging a finger through that coating mixture leaves a clean trail, the mixture is thick enough.
- Remove from the heat and, if you wish to remove the zest, strain the mixture.
- Add the butter and stir until it has fully dissolved and is fully combined into the lemon mixture.
- Pour the curd into prepared jars(sterilised is preferable) and allow to cool before placing in the fridge.
- This curd should keep for at least three weeks, if it lasts that long.