Best Lemon Curd RecipeCourse: Frostings and FillingsCuisine: BritishDifficulty: moderate
There’s something about Lemon Curd that takes me right back to my childhood days.
Having Jam Tarts for Sunday tea and the mixed box of Raspberry, Apricot or Lemon Curd, I would always go for the Lemon Curd ones.
Although thinking back it was more like a Lemon Jam than the Lemon Curd I know today but it was that Lemony tangy taste, nothing like it. The Lemon curd I make today is not produced for a sell buy date of 2/3 weeks, but if kept in the fridge will last you up to a week.
There are four natural ingredients and no preservatives.
Eggs play a twofold role in the making of Lemon Curd, they give the thickening agent and they give the colour.
Depending on the colour of the egg yolks determines the brightness of the finished curd. Lighter egg yolks will give you a more custard-like colour, whereas the darker the yellow of the yolks will give you a more vibrant lemony colour.
The problem is, we can’t see through the eggshells to see the colour of yolk before they have been broken. So it is either pot luck or you go to a chicken farm and ask the farmer what he feeds his chickens on or more to the point what do his chickens eat.
Obviously, the best eggs to buy are those from chickens that are allowed to wander the fields pecking the natural elements of the ground, plants, grass insects and bugs.It’s from these natural elements that carotenoids are found, which are natural pigments found in some plants.
So either Pastured Hens eggs or totally free-range Hens eggs are going to give a more natural lemony colour to your finished curd.
Sugar Some recipes you will find go for granulated sugar,
I prefer castor sugar as I find it will dissolve quicker and easier when being whisked with the egg.
Always use white sugar, as golden castor sugar will give you a somewhat murky looking Lemon Curd
Lemons obviously the predominant ingredient here, but again choose wisely.
Firstly the most flavoursome element of a lemon is the zest, but producers also add a wax to the skins to keep the fruit looking fresh and shiny, so it is important to remove the wax before you zest any lemon.
Secondly, when choosing your lemons, determine if they feel heavy for the size.
The heavier a lemon feels the juicier it will be, go for large plump heavy lemons.
Butter it’s the butter that gives your curd the shine and the creaminess.
Only Butter will do, no margarine and no buttery spread.
Salted or unsalted not really an issue, your choice.
What You Will Need
large glass bowl
very fine grater
5 lemons unwaxed…see notes*
Zest of 3 lemons
225 ml lemon juice
225 g white castor sugar
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
100 g butter cold and cubed
- Place a saucepan ⅓ filled with water and place over a medium heat to come to the boil
- In a glass bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Turn the heat down under the pan of water to a gentle simmer, place the bowl over the simmering water (Do not let the bottom of the glass bowl come in contact with the water) and whisk the ingredients constantly until the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
The mixture should reach 165°F/74°C.
This will take approximately 8/10 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from heat, if you feel that there are lumps in the mixture from the eggs cooking too quickly, you can pour it through a fine sieve.
Throw the butter and lemon zest into the mixture and whisk until the butter has melted
- Cover immediately with cling film, making sure the clingfilm lays immediately on top of the curd so a skin doesn’t form,
Let it cool. You will find the curd thickens as it cools.
- Once at room temperature, if you are not going to use it straight away, you can place the lemon curd into sterilized jars ** (see notes) and store in the fridge for up to a week before use.