I have a friend who once decided to make a cake. This might not sound particularly extraordinary, but let’s just say that baking wasn’t really his thing (although he was always a willing recipient of baked goods). He convinced himself that the cake was baking too slowly, so decided to turn the temperature right up to make it bake faster. And to switch the oven to grill mode. Perhaps it might have worked… if he hadn’t forgotten about it. As I said, baking wasn’t really his thing. And yet, despite the cake-grilling incident (I believe he declared that he’d never attempt to bake again), once he tasted my lemon curd, he somewhat sheepishly asked me for my recipe.
I adore lemon curd (indeed I can be a bit snobbish about it), and it’s one of my little life pleasures. Spread over toast, crumpets or little pancakes I can easily eat
half a whole jar in one sitting, particularly when slathered on Digestive biscuits (seriously, try it). The great thing about lemon curd is that not only is it a great way to use up lemons and egg yolks, it’s incredibly easy. If you can stir, you can make lemon curd. It is literally that straightforward. Granted it is a little time-consuming since you have to stir continuously until the curd is done and thus are rather tied to the hob, but the zingy, not-too-sweet results are completely worth it. So how did my aforementioned friend get on with the recipe? Well apparently he “didn’t destroy the kitchen” (his words) which means it was a roaring success. He even said he’d try it again. How’s that for a recommendation?
Makes enough to fill about two 350ml jars
Adapted from Waitrose
You can use curd in loads of different ways: on crumpets, on toast, on Digestive biscuits (my favourite), to make dessert canapés, on sponge cake, in cupcakes, etc. To sterilise the jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry in an oven pre-heated to just about 100°C. The curd will keep for about a week in the fridge (possibly longer, but I’ve never had a batch remain uneaten for more than a couple of days).
5 unwaxed lemons
4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
220g caster sugar
1. Zest and juice the lemons into a small bowl or measuring jug. In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks together well.
2. Melt the cubed butter in a large heat-proof bowl over a simmering pan of water (make sure that the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the bowl).
3. Add the sugar and the zest and juice from the lemons, followed by the eggs. Stir the mixture carefully and constantly with a spatula, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. Once the mixture coats the back of the spatula (turn the spatula flat and run your finger through the mixture coating it – if you can draw a line through the mixture and it doesn’t re-fill, then it’s done), remove from the heat.
4. If using the curd straightaway, pour into a bowl, otherwise, pour into a sterilised glass jar. Allow to cool (it will thicken further) before sealing and storing in the fridge.
PS – Since this recipe is made entirely from scratch, I’m submitting it to this week’s Made with Love Mondays blog event over at Javelin Warrior.
PPS – It feels a little strange not to mention the US elections since the results came through earlier and I’ve followed them for most of the day since unfortunately their outcome rather affects the rest of us, but it’s kind of difficult to tie them into a post about grilling cakes and lemon curd.