Recently I got a bit of a telling off from my friend Chantal after this post. She berated me for not making my own lemon curd for my lemon meringue cupcakes. Of course, feeling shamed, I set about to make my very first batch. In my defense, with the cost of dairy in Hong Kong, by the time i’d bought the butter and eggs, it ended up costing about the same as the ridiculously over priced imported jar i’d bought before. That’s not the point though, the taste of home made curd is amazing, it has a little more tang than the shop bought version, it’s creamy, smooth and thick.
I was worried the colour wouldn’t be as vivid as the imported jar, but I was wrong; it’s a wonderful, vibrant, sunny yellow. The alarm going off at 6am every morning its made a little bit brighter by spreading a generous layer of this on thick, rustic toast. How could you be sad if you have something this pretty for breakfast? It’s a little burst of sunshine, a little taste of summer.
I get a real sense of satisfaction over making things that go in jars. Screwing on the lid and writing a label gives me a real sense of pride and achievement. I couldn’t say why. Maybe the jar makes it feel like I’ve made something more tangible, more lasting than a cake or a cookie.
(from Nigel Slater)
zest and juice of 4 lemons
200g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
Finely zest the lemons. Put the zest and juice into a large, heatproof bowl. Add the sugar and cubed butter. Put the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Gently heat, stirring regularly with a whisk, until the butter and sugar are melted.
In a seperate bowl, gently beat your eggs and egg yolk with a fork. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and stir together. Cook the curd on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. It will thicken up and when it’s ready it will be heavy to stir and have a thick, glossy texture.
Take it off the heat and let it cool completely, stirring occasionally as it cools. Put into jars and seal. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.