I love lemon curd and have done since I was quite young. I can, and regularly do, eat it by the spoonful – something along the lines of a bit for my toast…and a bit extra just for me. For everyday-use I love lemon curd on my morning toast – a little taste of lightness and warm days which provides a great reminder that spring is well and truly now on the way to Britain. But there are myriad ways to use it – try it on scones or crumpets, with meringues or as a filling for cake. My recipe isn’t too sweet (both J and I like our lemon curd with a bit of tangy sourness) so if you like yours very sweet, just add a bit more sugar. This makes 2-3 jars, depending on the size of the jar and how long you cook it for. As usual, all measurements were made using a 250 ml mug.
What you’ll need:
7 lemons (about medium sized)
2 1/3 – 2 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter (I used butter-flavoured marg)
What to do:
1. Grate the zest of 3-4 of the 7 lemons into a heatproof bowl (or the top of a double boiler, which I don’t have).
2. Add the juice of all 7 lemons to the zest. I usually squeeze the lemons over a sieve over the bowl to avoid getting pips and flesh in the mixture.
3. Add the sugar, eggs and marg/butter to the lemon juice and zest.
4. Whisk everything together well. The main thing is to beat the eggs, lemon juice and sugar thoroughly – don’t worry if you still have lumps of margarine or butter. Or even better, do what I didn’t do and whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and eggs together and then mix in the marg/butter.
(Thankfully, the end result looks and tastes much better than one might think from this picture!)
5. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook gently, stirring all the time with a whisk or wooden spoon (if you’re going to use a wooden spoon, start with a whisk, at least until the marg/butter has melted to ensure it all gets mixed in properly). Keep cooking until the mixture thickens, which will take about 20-30 minutes. If you’re not sure whether the mixture has finished cooking, put a bit of it on a spoon in the freezer for a couple of minutes to see what consistency it has when cold – you are aiming for a spreadable consistency and the mixture will thicken slightly as it cools. If you do do this freezer test, keep cooking the mixture on a very low heat whilst you wait for the mixture in the freezer to cool – just in case it isn’t quite ready.
6. Once the mixture has thickened, pour it into clean glass jars. If you’d prefer not to have bits of zest in your finished lemon curd, strain it before putting it into the jars. Leave the jars uncovered while the mixture cools, and then put the lids on the jars and store the lemon curd in the fridge.