Made From Scratch: The Best Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

So you've got an oversupply of lemons and you want to make lemon curd. Dear Reader, I have the very best lemon curd recipe for you. I promise that it's the very best lemon curd EVER. I know that is a huge claim and one that I don't make lightly. But your feedback has shown me how much you love my lemon curd recipe.

You see I've always made lemon curd with a combination whole eggs and egg yolks. But using egg whites in lemon curd is a mistake. What happens is that the egg whites cook quicker than the yolks which results in wisps of egg white through the curd and a bubbly, lumpy texture.

My lemon curd recipe using just yolks and this makes it easier to cook as well as that bright yellow colour. It is tangy enough to give you that very lemony hit that you crave with lemon curd while the texture is smooth as silk.

As a child, the annual swimming or athletics carnival was either a) the highlight of the year or b) the time in which you'd try and hide under the bleachers to avoid being picked. Because not only was your class in front of you to witness your supreme level of co-ordination (or lack thereof) but the whole school was.

Due to my own pint sized machinations, I wasn't often picked. I was usually hiding away out of sight and teachers have enough to deal with on that day than chase down a child. One time I wasn't quite quick enough when it came to my turn (I believe I was distracted by a sausage roll with tomato sauce).

Still my teacher knew what to do with me. "We'll put you in the younger group, how is that?" she said. I didn't understand what that meant as I was too busy panicking at having to perform in front of the whole school. It was for me the physical equivalent of making a speech in the school auditorium with my underpants sticking out.

Lemon Curd

"On your marks, get so, GO!!!" the teacher yelled and they fired the cap pistol. The sun was oppressively hot that day and I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. Something odd happened though. I burst in front of the rest of the group and was at least a foot ahead of them. I had never experienced this view of life before and I was elated. I won the race and I jumped up and down buoyed by bliss for a few seconds before realising something.

That pesky detail that I had run against people that were younger than me by an entire year...hmmm. So I can't really claim any sort of victory or cite any sort of running skills.

If I can't run or offer any skills at athletics, may I at least offer you this recipe?

So tell me Dear Reader, what's your best skill? Do you have a hidden talent?

Lemon Curd

The Best Lemon Curd Recipe

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An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes about 350mls/12.36fl ozs.

  • 5 egg yolks (try and remove as much of the white as possible, if you have some egg white attached, strain the yolks through a fine sieve to get rid of the white)
  • 3/4 cup/165g/5.7ozs caster sugar for a tart curd or 1 cup/220g/7.7ozs for a sweet curd
  • 125g/4ozs butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 lemons

Step 1 - Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Set on low to medium heat (I set it on 4 out of 10 where 10 is the hottest temperature). Add the butter and heat slowly until the butter melts.

Lemon Curd

Step 2 - Zest two of the lemons and add the zest to the egg yolk mixture. Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice. Wait until the butter has melted to add the lemon juice. Stir using the whisk or a spoon - the egg yolks are more forgiving than if you use whole eggs. It takes about 15 minutes for it to thicken up and stirring every so often is good. It thickens on cooling and I remove it from the heat, put the lid on it and let it thicken from there. When cool, placed in sterilised jars.

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