Lemon Curd is lovely on pancakes, bread, toast, crumpets and scones – it can also be used for a pavlova roll with fresh raspberries, cake fillings or to fill pastry cases for quick lemon tarts. Success with Lemon Curd depends on your patience! You must cook it over very low heat and keep on stirring it, so don’t start this one unless you are in a distraction free zone.
Most recipes use a double boiler, I like this one which is slightly modified from David Herbert, as it can be cooked in the pan. You just need to make sure it doesn’t get too hot, I know it can be tempting to turn up the heat and speed things up – but it won’t work out in this recipe.
You will need a clean and sterilised glass jar, I haven’t added this as a recipe step – so see here if you haven’t done this before.
1 cup Caster Sugar
125g Unsalted Butter (cubed)
4 Medium Lemons (or 3 big ones) (home grown please – store bought ones have a waxy coating. You will need 1/3 cup of lemon juice..)
3 Eggs (lightly beaten)
Using a zester, scrape the zest from 2 of the lemons onto your cutting board, then finely chop. This works better than using a fine grater.
Squeeze and strain the juice from the lemons, you should have around one third of a cup of juice
Cooking the Lemon Curd
Place zest, butter and caster sugar into a small heavy based saucepan over LOW HEAT.
Using a wooden spoon, keep stirring until the butter has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
You can visually see when the sugar is dissolving, but it is always good to check by taking a small (cooled!) amount and rub between your fingers to check for granules.
Pour in a little of the juice (less that a quarter of the total) and keep stirring over the low heat. This bit of juice will just help to loosen up the butter/sugar mix and allow you to scrape down the sides of the saucepan.
Don’t let the mixture get too hot – it should NOT be bubbling away….if you use a thermometer it would be around 55-60 degrees centigrade at this stage.
Get a whisk ready – and then add the rest of the lemon juice and the beaten eggs, give it a brisk whisk straight away to get it mixed through and make sure it isn’t too hot, after which you can go back to a slow stir. If it is too hot the egg will cook and you will have a gross result (lemony scrambled eggs).
From here you are just stirring and watching for it to thicken. It takes time to heat through, but can then thicken VERY quickly, do not walk away!!
It is thick enough when it starts to cling to the whisk, or coats the back of your wooden spoon.
Bottling and Storage
Pour it into a sterilised jar and seal, allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge.
Theoretically this keeps for around a month when kept in the fridge, in my experience it is all gone within the week – especially if there are crumpets in the house.