Friday, 10 February 2012

Sometimes Lemons are the Bestest Fruits - Lemon Curd for Weekend Brekkie or High Tea

Before we start you need to know some things about my family.  My mother was a marvellous plain cook, she could make proper pastry... you need to have seen her making puff or flaky pastry at 10.00pm on Christmas Eve in the days before frozen pastry, or pursing her lips at at a recalcitrant steak and kidney pudding that was refusing to leave its bowl.  However, her  major forte was the jam making BUT this was done on an industrial scale... for weeks, nay months we would collect the jam jars and she would smuggle extra bags of sugar used to convert Summer fruits into Autumn and Winter jewels into the larder.  

We are moving towards the Spring... so what better to make for Breakfast or High Tea on Sunday than some really special Lemon Curd and just enough to fill a couple of jars rather than trying to set up as alternate to the Tiptree Jam makers?
You will need:
2 lemons - unwaxed
2oz / 50g Unsalted butter
4oz / 110g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs and an egg yolk (use the left over egg white for meringues)
Weighing scales
Lemon Juicer
Tea strainer
Wooden spoon
Small saucepan
Fork or whisk
Kilner jars or other jam jars... but have a small Colman's Mustard jar on stand by

Turn on your oven to gas mark 4, 180'C or 350F, wash your jars and pop them into the oven for at least 15 mins to sterilise them unless you enjoy scooping through nasty looking blue mould and spending some time courtesy of your local hospital.

Beat your eggs together, and then strain them through your tea strainer, yes, I know this sounds odd but you want to to get rid of the squirly white bit called the Chalazae (bet you want me on your pub quiz team now) and putting the beaten eggs through a tea strainer is the most efficient way of doing this.  Put the eggs on the side and now start in earnest.

Grate both your lemons and squeeze the juice from them into a jug.

In your pan melt the butter gently, then add in the sugar and stir it in.

Now gently stir in the lemon juice and zest of the lemon, smells  great doesn't it?  Now add the eggs and stir them in... make sure that the heat is really low as you do not want to end up with lemon flavoured scrambled eggs

Over a low heat and using your  wooden spoon  keep stirring it... don't be tempted to wander off, keep stirring and you will feel it start to thicken.  You may also notice that the mixture is getting shiny, this is the oils from the lemon zest releasing themselves into your mix as it warms up. You think it will never thicken but stick with it and do not be tempted to turn it up... it will start to thicken, and what you want it to do is coat the back of spoon and not move... bit like a teenager who will not be moved from a sofa.  

Pour it into your jars and leave it to cool. This is where that little Coleman's Jar comes into its own for leftovers/tester pot.  Do not be tempted to put the lid on when the jar just feels warm because this will just allow condensation to form, which will create another mould related to the blue stuff mentioned above.

When it is cold, seal the jars, label it up with the variety, the date and your name.  Then pop it into the fridge and see if it will last the weekend!  The curd should last a couple of weeks.
You can make a lime curd, using four limes and more sugar (taste it to make sure) but same amount of eggs and butter.  Only warning is that it is not a pretty colour, a bit khaki if I am honest, so consider cheating with a touch of food colouring!

I doubled up the mix as I have a couple of friends, who have asked for a jar which will be doled out tomorrow. 
And just to help you stir your mix, here are Peter, Paul and Mary singing Lemon Tree.


Stef said...

Great choice of song :) I am sorely tempted to make lemon curd cos I love it and it is half term and I could use it and then I could take what is left into work and......... breath in!! Thanks!

Jennifer Lou said...

I simply adore Lemon Curd but I never know what to eat it with. I often make a Lemon Meringue pie when making the curd. Hmmm, delicious. x

Allison said...

Yummy! I love getting the lemon curd from Trader Joe's. I can't say I've ever used it in a recipe, but it's pretty good just by itself on a spoon!

CarolC1 said...

I left you a saucy comment on CF but I did say that I am going to try your recipe, it looks easy enough doesn't it. I will let you know how I get on.

Helen said...

I love lemon curd :) thanks for this!
My gran was a fantastic jam maker too. Unfortunately i never got that gene and my only attempt was an umitigated disaster! I am very tempted to give it a try again tho you have inspired me!

chrissie said...

I adore lemon curd so thanks for the recipe. I have lots of oranges Nd wondered if the same recipe could convert to orange curd. Have you ever tried this?

Ros Made Me said...

Chrissie - yes, you can make orange curd... you will need two oranges and a lemon. Use the zest and juice of both oranges and the lemon, and cook up just the same. However, the colour may be a little muddy, so if you need to, just use a little food colouring to make it look more appetising although it will taste delicious :)

eight by six said...

thanks for sharing your recipe one of my favourites. I have all the ingredients so I just might make this today

Roses & Rue said...

Knowing that I'm not much educated when it comes the joys of lemon curd - I was very grateful to receive your gift of a jar full. I have since been experimenting - scooping it from the jar and eating it by the mouthful, spreading it on toast, crackers, biscuits etc. So far the fave is defo lemon curd on toast! Anyway I can now heartily recommend it to your followers - this is not an attempt at grovelling for more (although you know where to find me) but a genuine endorsement of the recipe .... believe that and you'll believe anything xxxxx

mizdarlin said...

Hmmm...wonder how this would be in little prebaked tartlets...spoon a bit in for a great treat! Maybe half a fresh strawberry on top?

Annabellouise said...

Great. I often make lemon curd to use on the day. I may try this industrial sized method and put some in jars. Would make life easier.

Anonymous said...

I love your humor in a recipe. thanks for sharing.