Life giving you Lemons? Make Lemon Curd!
The alchemy of cooking is a beautiful story of serendipity - someone experimenting with ingredients & cooking techniques until they create something unique! In some cases, mistakes can create a fabulous new food sensation. Over time, these recipes turn into traditions carried through families and friends, and today, I extend that to you!
Who was the first person to work out that if you whisk eggs, add sugar, butter, lemons & heat you would come up with the most amazing flavour sensation of lemon curd? In 18th century England, it seems the Quakers were first to make lemon curd, serving it with fresh bread or scones. Today lemon curd is part of many delicious desserts, so it’s good to have a lemon curd recipe in your repertoire.
Image from Unsplashed Cristina Anne Costello
I love lemon curd best drizzled over a fruity pavlova. Here in Australia, pavlova is a Christmas party staple, as we celebrate in the summertime. A drizzle of lemon curd adds a beautiful tangy twist. A jar of lemon curd also makes for an excellent homemade gift, suitable for all the cooking lovers and sweet-tooth's in your life!
My friend Gai’s lemon curd is delicious! Partly because she uses lemons from her lemon tree, but mainly because she’s an amazing cook! Her lemon curd is a bit different to the usual because it is done in a microwave! I have also provided a more traditional recipe, cooked on stovetop.
Gai’s Microwave Lemon Curd
90 grams butter
1 ¼ cups castor sugar
Juice & finely grated rind of 2 lemons
1. Melt the butter in a 5 cup bowl on high for about 1 ½ minutes.
2. Beat together the sugar, eggs, lemon rind & juice. Stir into the melted butter, mixing well.
3. Cook on high for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
4. Stir every 30 seconds, stirring very briskly as the mixture starts to thicken, to keep it smooth.
5. Strain through a sieve into your sterilised jars to store or gift to friends. Cover, seal & label in the usual way. Alternately use directly in a pie, with fresh scones or my favourite is to make butterfly cupcakes!
6. Enjoy somewhere beautiful with family & friends!
Image from WIX media Cream Lemon Cake
Traditional Lemon Curd
2 egg yolks
165 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar (powdered sugar)
80 grams (1/3 cup) chilled unsalted butter
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 pinch of salt
1. Whisk the eggs & egg yolks together in a saucepan until nice & smooth.
2. Place saucepan over a low heat. Add the butter, zest & juice then whisk together continuously until to a thickened consistency. This takes about 8 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Strain through a sieve into your sterilised jars to store or gift to friends. Alternately, use directly in a tart, on fresh bread or in pastry.
4. Enjoy somewhere beautiful with friends!
Image from WIX media Lemon Pie
Sterilising jars to store your preserves.
If you plan to store curd, your jars need to be sterile. There are a few ways you can do this.
In the oven:
Start by washing jars thoroughly with hot soapy water. Rinse well. Pre heat over to 120 degrees. Put jars in oven for 20 mins & then fill with curd or jam straight away.
On the stove top:
Put the jars you plan to fill in a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil. Then reduce temperature to medium for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs.
Image from Unsplashed Jodie Tender
Place clean jars on a tray to air dry ready to fill with preserve. Make sure to use a clean sterile lid to seal in the usual way. Keeps for about 2 weeks in an airtight jar.
Now you are ready to store or or gift your lemon curd. Make pretty labels with the ingredients & date you made the curd. If you are gifting get creative with string, ribbon, cloth or paper to embellish the jar.