Thursday, 18 March 2010
At last one of the recipes
4 large lemons or 5 smaller ones (if they are waxed wash them first in very hot water)
4 oz unsalted butter
8 oz caster sugar
3 large free range eggs or 4 medium ones
I like my lemon curd to be rather tart so add more sugar if you have a sweet tooth.
Into a large bowl, which fits inside a saucepan with an inch of water in the bottom, place your lemon zest. I have a tool which I scrape down each lemon and the strips of zest come off easily. Next cut each lemon in half and squeeze out the juice and add it to the zest. Cut up the butter into half inch pieces and place into the lemon.
Heat the saucepan and stir to melt the butter. When it is melted add the caster sugar and stir again. Beat the eggs together in a jug and add these to the mix last. Now you must stand over this pan and keep stirring until the curd begins to thicken, it can take about 10 minutes or be quite fast depending on your type of bowl. I use a hand made pottery one which seems to heat up fast and retain the heat quite well, so it usually takes about 5 minutes.
Have ready some clean, strerilised, warm jars and when the mixture is thick, spoon it into the jars, wipe them clean if there are any spills and screw down the covers whilst still hot. This should result in a proper seal. To test the seal press the knob in the top of the jar, if it goes down and stays down all is well, if it pops back up then you don't have a proper seal and the curd will not keep as long. Usually I keep my lemon curd for up to 6 weeks in a cupboard, but once opened it must go in the fridge. Lemon curd does not keep as long as jam so try to make small batches about every 2 months or so. You can mix oranges and lemons too but I usually make sure the lemons predominate. Well that is how I make mine but I am sure there must be many wise cooks out there who do it all differently. Variety is the spice of life.