If you haven’t had lemon curd before where have you been?
This is the most delicious sweet, sharp, zesty, zingy thing you have ever spread on a piece of bread. The intensity of the lemon is wonderfully redolent of summer holidays in the Med and it brings that taste of sunshine to cold winter days.
Be aware that, although this is technically a preserve, the inclusion of eggs means that it is a fresh product that will not keep in the same way as a jam might. You can expect a jar to last, unopened, in the fridge for two to three weeks (shop bought fruit curds contain added preservatives to give them a longer shelf life). Once you have opened a jar of home-made lemon curd don’t expect it to last more than a few days – but that has genuinely never been a problem in our house.
Lemon curd is delicious spread on a slice of crusty bread and butter, or on a scone or a crumpet. Try stirring it into Greek yoghurt or use it to make an instant lemon tart (with a blind baked pastry case) or in a lemon cupcake. The list is only limited by your imagination.
However you use it please take the time to make this lusciousness at least once in your life – I promise you won’t regret it.
Makes approximately 1 x 500g jar or 2 x 250g jars
4 un-waxed Lemons
200g / 7oz Golden Caster Sugar
100g / 3½oz unsalted Butter
3 large Eggs, plus 1 Egg Yolk
Finely grate the zest from the lemons and then juice them. Put the zest and juice into a large, heat proof bowl along with the sugar. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl.
Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water but make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then cook, stirring regularly, until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. It will keep, unopened, in the fridge, for two to three weeks.
NB the simplest way to sterilise jars is to put them through a hot dishwasher cycle before drying in a warm oven.