I found I had a surplus of lemons, and although usually I would congratulate myself on this happy accident and crack the gin, on this occasion I refrained.
I remembered a family friend that would leave a jar with a checkered cap filled with lemon curd on our doorstep once a month, the jar of yellow happiness that would mark the start of badgering my mother to make lemon meringue pie.
I realised that I have never attempted to make lemon curd (or lemon butter as I knew it), assuming it came form the dark caverns of cooking knowledge that only the experts of the past possess (include here christmas pudding brandy sauce and bearnaise sauces that were made with much fuss at family dinners).
Turns out that I was completely wrong, and this simple addition can be added to the ‘look mum no hands’ category of cooking, where you feel quite cocky that it is hard not to get right and for others to be impressed.
There are a number of recipes kicking about, but the easiest one I found went thus:
Grab a bowl and put it over simmering water in a fry pan. (None of my bowls fit over the fry pan so my pro tip here is to put in into a strainer and set that on the saucepan. This comes in handy when you want to check on water levels as the steam evaporates.
- Add the juice of 4 lemons (fine zest of one)
- Sugar (I like unrefined) about 200g
- Butter cut into chunks, about 100g
Melt all this by giving a little whisk with a fork, and let allthe ingredients combine, before adding
- 3 whole eggs plus one extra yolk, lightly whisked with a fork
Stir this mixture continuously until it thickens (it should feel like gravy and look like a glossy sunrise), then stir occasionally as it cools, and jar.
This is by far the best addition to the infamous lemon meringue pie, but also a great addition to french breads, dipper for fresh strawberries, or a baby bellini topper.