Now that our websites is so close to going live, we’ve been madly researching keywords so that people will be able to find us. No sense working on a gorgeous site for a year if no one is going to see it! Anyway, one particular statistic prompted a blog idea: lemon curd. It seems that, every month, a good quarter of a million people try to find out how to make it and what to do with it.
The first time I ever made lemon curd was about fifteen years ago. I wanted o make Christmas gifts for my co-workers at NAB and, let’s face it, no one is ever waiting on pins and needles to receive yet another fruitcake. I had a wonderful breakfast cookbook by James McNair, and there I found my inspiration: I would make lemon curd for everyone! Never having made it before, I followed the recipe to a T. He said it could easily be multiplied, so I did, but something went horribly wrong. My large pot of lemon curd was more like lemon soup and I ended up having to throw it away.
I can’t remember what I gave everyone instead, but I never tried making lemon curd again until a couple of years ago. Using another recipe this time, and armed with years of experience, it turned out perfect! The most important trick, it seems, is to use a whisk instead of the ‘wooden spoon’ every recipe I’ve ever read seems to call for. I had learned that trick from years of making béchamel sauce, gravies, and polenta. Whisking not only prevents lumps, creating a beautiful smooth sauce, it helps to thicken it much faster than stirring.
I must have made this lemon curd a hundred times since then to top my famous lemon cheesecake and, recently, I made it using lemons from my friend’s garden – that was awesome! Lemon curd is also great for putting between layers of our lemon cake, spreading on toast, or putting in jars to give as gifts. So fear not! Give this recipe a try and see how quick and easy it is.
Makes 1 cup
125 ml (½ cup) strained fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
217 gr (½ cup) superfine granulated sugar
2 large eggs
30 gr (2 TBS) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
First, set a large fine strainer over a bowl – you’ll need it very quickly when the curd is done.
In a non-reactive saucepan with a heavy bottom (I like to use my Le Creuset), combine the lemon juice, sugar, and eggs and whisk until most of the sugar has dissolved.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the curd is thickened and steaming – DO NOT LET IT BOIL OR IT WILL TURN INTO SCRAMBLED EGGS! This should take anywhere from 3 to 7 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until it has melted.
Pour the curd through the strainer and into the bowl, pressing it with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula, to get ride of any bits of cooked egg. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Your lemon curd is now ready to use. If you’re topping a cake or cheesecake, then use it while it’s still a bit warm, because it’s easier to spread. (If it has cooled off and thickened, I find that giving it a good whisk also loosens it up again.) Otherwise, pour it into a jar while it’s still warm and allow to cool completely before topping it with a lid and storing it in the refrigerator.