One of the best ways to enjoy the pure, unadulterated flavour of juicy, ripe lemons is to whip up a batch of homemade lemon curd. Whether in a tart or cake, or simply spread on a slice of sourdough toast, lemon curd will add a touch of sun to your food.
A versatile spread, homemade lemon curd is surprisingly quick to make, taking around half an hour from start to finish. It may seem indulgent at first glance, but even the smallest quantities will add flavour to your food. This powerful characteristic therefore makes lemon curd a surprisingly frugal ingredient. Oh, and it lasts very well in the fridge too.
When zesting your lemons, make sure you remove only the zest and none of the pith. The pith it where all the bitterness of the lemon lies, something you certainly don’t want to include in your lemon curd.
The same goes for the layer of wax generally applied to lemons to preserve their shelf life. While the was is edible it’s not something I really recommend incorporating. Try to find unwaxed lemons, or simply remove it yourself by giving the fruit a good, hard rub.
Makes 2 Jam Jars
4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
170g caster sugar
100g salted butter
Set a large heatproof bowl over a pan of gently boiling water. Tip in the zest, juice, sugar and butter.
Whisk together 3 of the eggs plus one egg yolk, setting the spare egg white aside for use in a meringue (or similar).
Add the eggs to the melted butter mixture and whisk until fully combined. Leave the curd to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it generously coats the back of a spoon.
Remove the curd from the boiling pan and set aside to cool, stirring intermittently. Spoon the finished curd into sterilised jars. The curd will keep for at least a month.
Cost: Now is the season for jolly nice lemons and you should be able to pick the requisite number up for £1. Add in the cost of the eggs, sugar and butter and what you’ve got is two jars of lemon curd for £2.50.