Wednesday, October 6, 2010

#255 Lemon Curd

God, I love lemon curd. I once tried to make it a while ago and it was a complete disaster. Then, I was a mere amateur and these days I am a wee bit better at these more tricky recipes. The process for making lemon curd (or indeed any fruit curd) is to thicken lemon juice, sugar and butter with eggs. Any sauce that involves this process, like ice cream and custard can potentially end up in disaster, because over-heating scrambles the eggs and you end up with a horrible mess.


I haven’t found any lemon curd here in Houston and no one seems to know what I’m talking about at work, which surprises me for some reason. I don’t know why. So for those of you not in the know, lemon curd is essentially used like jam – use in sandwiches, to make tarts or as a cake filling. It has been popular since the mid-eighteenth century and is a kind of preserve, but doesn’t keep any where near as long as jam due to the butter and eggs. Therefore it is best made in small quantities, this is not a problem is it is much less of a rigmarole to make than jam. This recipe makes around two jars of lemon curd.

Grate the zest of two lemons into a glass bowl along with their juice, 3 ounces of butter and 7 ounces of sugar lumps (you could use granulated here too, I don’t know why sugar lumps are used here). Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Whilst that is happening, crack 3 large eggs into another bowl and beat well. Sieve the eggs into the mixture (this prevents any lumps of white going in) and stir until the mixture thickens. This takes a while, and if you’re not used to thickening sauces with eggs it is best to be tentative and not have the heat to high. It will thicken quite alot, as long as the water is simmering beneath. Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars and allow to cool. Keep them in a cool place, but once open it’s probably best to keep the curd in the fridge, especially in this bloody Houston heat!

#255 Lemon Curd. This is a brilliant recipe for lemon curd. It isn’t too sweet and has a lot of zing; the inclusion of the zest really gives it some punch. It took me right back to England eating this! Delish. 8.5/10

4 comments:

Rosie said...

I think that the sugar lump bit may be because in recipes from a long time ago they say lump sugar. Sugar came in a large piece and you had to scrape as much off as you wanted. (Sorry if I am teaching my grandmother to suck eggs - or make lemon curd) :-)

Neil B said...

Ah that is a good enough theory for it to be the truth!

Thanks Rosie and thanks for reading the blog!

Simon and Rach said...

We have a delicious jar of lemon curd in the fridge that Rachel's nan made. Must ask her what kind of sugar she uses. Well done for educating the locals on the joys of English food.
Simon

Neil B said...

Cheers Simon.

I'm trying my best to get the blog up and running again, though live keeps getting in the way!