Liquid Sunshine. In a jar. Just looking at it will make you think of daffodils and buttercups. Or minions. Happy things in any case!

Lemon curd is a sweet and tangy lemon conserve. The texture is somewhere between a custard and a jam. Used warm it has a pouring consistency like a sauce, but once cooled it is smooth and spreadable. My search for a lemon curd recipe began after I used a jar of the shop-bought stuff in a recipe and was left very disappointed. It tastes so artificial in comparison to the home-made version!

Lemon Curd  is a must-have in any fridge, as it’s so versatile.
Here are a few ideas on how to use it:
– Spread it on scones, pancakes, or even toast.
– Use it to sandwich 2 sponge cakes together and top with buttercream/whipped cream.
– Fold it into whipped cream to make a lemon mousse.
– Freeze the above to make a quick lemon ice-cream.
– Stir into plain greek yoghurt and sprinkle with granola for a yummy breakfast.
– Use your left over egg whites to whip up a batch of meringue nests. Fill with lemon curd and top with whipped cream.
– Use it in this delicious Lemon and Ginger Cheesecake recipe.
– Pour into a pretty jar and voila! A beautiful home-made gift.

Use the freshest, juiciest lemons you can find for this recipe. Make sure they are unwaxed as you will be using the zest (a lot of it!). It’s actually the oils in the zest that give the fragrant lemony flavour, and the juice that gives the tart acidity to the curd. You will be straining the mixture at the end, so don’t worry about all the bits of zest in it.

I highly recommend using free-range eggs – they have lovely orange yolks which give the lemon curd an extra bright yellowy colour!

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Ingredients:

(Makes 400ml)

3 medium lemons, washed
125ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
250ml white sugar
115g unsalted butter, softened
5 extra large egg yolks
a pinch of salt

Method: 

  • Sterilise your jars first. Wash the jars in very hot, soapy water or put through the hot cycle of a dishwasher. Place the wet jars onto a baking tray and place into an oven at to 160°C for 10-15 minutes. If you are using jars with screw-top lids or rubber gaskets, don’t dry the lids or gaskets in the oven – just air-dry them in a colander after boiling.
  • Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the bitter white pith.
  • Squeeze the juice of the 3 lemons and measure out 125ml.
  • Process the zest in a food processor, then add the sugar and pulse (I just love the smell of the fragrant lemony sugar!)
  • Add in the butter, and cream together well.
  • Add the egg yolks in one at a time, mixing well.
  • Lastly add the juice and salt and blend together well.
  • Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook gently over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk. This takes about 10 minutes. Don’t walk away at this point, as the mixture burns very easily if you stop stirring.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve and pour the lemon curd into sterilised jars, leaving a 0.5cm headspace.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
  • Will keep in the fridge for about 1 month if unopened, or about a week once opened. The lemon curd can also be frozen for 3 months

 

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