Lemon Curd

Of all the recipes I brought back from England, I think the one that everybody likes most is lemon curd. Lemon curd is rather custardy substance that Brits spread on toast. They use it like jam. They also put it tarts. That’s all well and good, but I think the best use for just over poundcake. (No, I’m lying. The best way to use lemon curd is right out of the bowl. Like Peanutbutter only lemony)

Okay so why lemon curd? You can buy store for about six bucks a jar, or online for 8 to 12 bucks a jar. It’s good, if not a little strong. Homemade is best. But, it’s a pain in the butt to make. And if you make it wrong you will end up with sweet, lemony scrambled eggs. Once you learn how to make stuff, you’ll never want to buy in the store again. If you give it as a gift, the giftee will beg for more. They’ll never forget your lemon curd and you will be doomed to making lemon curd for everyone, forever. I honestly think that on my tombstone,  after wife and mother, will be a line that reads  “She made lemon curd”.

And so I will enlighten you on the art and science of making a good jar of lemon curd.

This recipe originally comes from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management. It was first published in 1858. I have a copy of the first edition. I treasure this book. It has also the wonderful recipes you can  still use today, just to update them.

To start, you need four large lemons, a quarter pound of butter, five eggs. Oh, and 2 cups granulated white sugar. I suggest you have a double boiler, or large pot and a mixing bowl to fit on top of it. You will need a whisk,  a wooden spoon,a small strainer and the grater. You don’t need fresh lemons, you can use frozen lemon juice, but I wouldn’t suggest using reconstituted Lemon Juice such as ‘Real Lemon’. You will also need a bowl to put it in once it’s finished. If you are really brave,  get 8 ounce Mason jars and can it. Unless you are experienced with canning, you will want to try this the first time.

And now the recipe:

In the bottom compartment of the double boiler, or the pot, put some water, enough so it isn’t touching the bottom of the top part of the double boiler or mixing bowl and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat so it is simmering, and the top part of the double boiler or a mixing bowl,in place. Add the butter, sugar, the juice of the four lemons (strained), and the grated rind three lemons. Stir and blend together as the butter melts. In another bowl, beat the five eggs until well mixed and then slowly, I need very slowly, add the eggs to the melted butter, sugar and lemon mixture, whisking as you Incorporate it. You must pour slowly and whisk continuously so the mixture does not curdle. This is very important. Now, change  to the wooden spoon and begin to stir. Keep stirring as it cooks. It will begin to thicken, just keep stirring until It is thickened and cooked. Pour the cooked mixture into a bowl, let cool and refrigerate. Now provided you follow the instructions you should have a batch of delicious lemon curd.

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