How I Make Lemon Curd
End of the Month means Eggs on Toast with a Twist of Lemon
Last week, when the Bay Area was basking in a glorious heatwave that now seems like it was just a dream, Fred and I were invited to a "Summer in Rabbit Land" dinner up in Marin. Our gracious hosts, Donna and Juan had prepared a wonderful Spanish spread for fifteen people. Arbequina olives and embutidos (spanish cured meats) accompanied by dry fino and manzanilla of Jerez, tomates y anchoas (ripe tomatoes, white anchovies in an ybarra vinaigrette), ensaladilla rusa (summer potato salad), tortilla de patata, rabbit with peppers in white wine sauce, iceberg lettuce salad with ybarra vinaigrette, lemon sorbet, quesos y membrillo (cheese and quince jam), chocolate 'sandwiches', andaluzan almond cakes and aguardiente. Wow! Did I really eat and drink all of that? Everything was totally delicious.
It was such a perfect evening. The summer solstice ensured us natural light for as long as is possible on this line of latitude, and the unusual heat meant that we could dine outside in their pretty garden, surrounded by fruit trees, oranges figs and lemons... Donna and Juan know that I am exactly the kind of person who cannot refuse when offered homegrown lemons, so it was with a smile on my face that I travelled back to San Francisco that night with a small bag of fruits, freshly plucked from their little orchard.
A few days later, Donna and Juan set off to cycle from San Francisco to LA. So, because I wanted to make something with their lemons that I could share with them later, I decided to make some lemon curd which also happens to freeze exceedingly well. Because it is made with fresh butter and eggs it only lasts a short while in the fridge, although I have never had a pot that went off, it always gets eaten long before it starts to spoil.
I used to make lemon curd as a child, but I can't remember the recipe I used. More recently I made a Tarte au Citron using a recipe Pierre Hermé from The Cooks Book and found that the excess filling made an excellent curd and so it is a slightly lazy version of Hermé's method that I now use.
A Recipe for Lemon Curd
Before starting, please note that this recipe requires your dedication. It isn't difficult, nor is it a particularly lengthy process, but you will be required to stand and stir and not be multi-tasking some other chores in the meantime.
- An instant read or candy thermometer
- Electric Immersion Hand Blender
- Glass jars heated in the oven to a temperature of 250F
(I used four x 6oz jars and fully filled all but one of them)
Grated rind of five unwaxed lemons
1 1/4 cups Bakers (castor) Sugar
1 1/3 cups room temperature unslated butter cut into cubes
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 room-temparature eggs
- In a large, heatproof bowl first rub together the lemon zest and sugar
- Set a pan of water to simmer.
*Important* This pan should be able to fit your bowl on top without it touching the water.
- Add the four eggs and whisk everything together
- Stir in the lemon juice until blended
- Place the bowl over your pan of simmering water. If you have a candy thermometer only, then attach it inside the bowl at this point.
- Constantly stir the mixture with a whisk until it reaches a temperature of 180F (check with an instant-read thermometer if you aren't using a candy thermometer).
- Set the mixture aside to cool to a temperature of 140F. This important. If you proceed to the next stage when the mixture is too hot you will end up changing the structure of the butter in an undesirable way and your curd will be ruined.
- Add the butter and mix everything together using an immersion blender for five minutes to make sure the curd is smoothly blended.
- Transfer to glass jars, cool, top with a lid and then refrigerate or freeze for future use.
To serve, spread on hot toast. Yum...
PS - This was intended to be an entry in Jeanne at Cook Sister's EOMEOTE (End of the Month Eggs on Toast Extravaganza) but the event is taking a hiatus for June. EOMEOTE will be back with a vegeance at the end of July, with a theme based on newspaper headlines (as well as the eggs and toast, of course!)
PPS - A new challenge has been launched here by Andrew at Spitton.
PPPS - Those readers who were interested in the Hangar One Kitten will be pleased to know she is doing well, growing fast and that her "mom", Laurie, has started a flickr set dedicated to pictures of her progress. She has a kitten aid just like mine. Check it out!
Links, Resources and Further Reading
Bay Area Resources:
Organic Butter | Straus Creamery
Fresh Farm Eggs | Marin Sun Farms
Currently my favourite recipe book | The Cook's Book, Jill Norman
Parisian Pastry Chef | Pierre Hermé
EOMEOTE | End of the Month Eggs on Toast Extravaganza
|Archive Alert! On this day in 2005: The Helmand, Afghan Cuisine|
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