Fresh, leafy, unwaxed lemons; it’ surprising what quickens my heart and makes my head spin with excitement. I found these beauties at my farm shop this morning and knew it was going to be a Lemon Curd day.
Gloriously smooth and buttery, sweet-sharp Lemon Curd is quintessentially a traditional English tea-time treat. It’s delicious piled onto scones, floury white bread, layered into sponge cakes or folded into freshly tossed pancakes.
Lemon Curd is surprisingly easy and quick to make; although there are a couple of watchpoints worth being aware of. The first one is to make sure the buttery/sugar/lemon mix isn’t too hot when the eggs are added. I usually judge this by eye and whisk in the egg just before the butter has completely melted – the temperature on a sugar thermometer will be approximately 50°-55°C. The second one is to make sure the temperature reaches about 80°C (by the way the eggs will pasteurise at 72°C), and no more. If the mix gets any hotter the eggs will scramble.
You will need:
- Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 4 or 5 fat lemons, or 250ml net
- 125g unsalted butter
- 300g granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, or 250ml net
Have ready 4 x 200ml sterilised jam jars and lids
Have ready a pan of simmering water that a heatproof bowl with fit snugly over without touching the water.
Put the lemon zest juice, butter and sugar into a heatproof bowl. Lightly stir the mix until the butter has barely melted – the temperature on a cooking thermometer should be no more than 50C.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs thoroughly. Then gradually add the eggs to the lemon-butter mix, whisking briskly with a balloon whisk for a minute until they are really well incorporated into the mix. Continue to cook the mixture for approximately 10 minutes scraping down the sides with a spatula and giving the mix a quick whip with the balloon whisk every minute or so until it is thick and glossy and the temperature has reached approximately 80°C Remove from the heat.
Tip the mix into a good pouring jug. Pour brimful into warm sterilised jars and seal at once with twist on lids.
Store in a cool place for up to 4 weeks. Once opened keep in the fridge.