Lemon curd is a bit of an old fashioned preserve, the sort of thing you might find at school fete, the sort that your grandmother might make and display in an old glass jar given a new lease of life with a topping of gingham cloth. Do not let this put you off however. It is incredibly delicious and highly addictive.
If you find yourself with a few lemons on hand, this curd is pretty easy to make and has a multitude of uses. It can be spread on hot toasted bread for breakfast. It can be can be spread between a simple butter cake for afternoon tea. It can be spooned into a tart case for an elegant dinner party dessert. With the caveat that you could get a little ill, it can also be eaten by the spoonful anytime at all! Here is a recipe.
Juice of 4 lemons
150 gm (5 oz) sugar
6 egg yolks
125 gm (1/4 lb.) butter, cubed
Choose a large heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a pot. Bring a little water to the boil in the pot, then reduce to a simmer. Place the juice, sugar and yolks into the bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over the simmering water (this is called a bain-marie) and start stirring the lemon mix. It is important to stir continuously until the mixture thickens, otherwise you could get scrambled eggs. This can take 10-15 minutes. A good tip to tell if the mix is thick enough; turn your stirring spoon on its side and run your finger along it, through some of the lemon mix. If a distinct line remains on the spoon, it is ready. Be careful not to overcook.
With the mixture still on the heat, add a few cubes of butter and stir until melted. Continue until all remaining butter is used. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Spoon into sterilized jars, gingham optional. Lasts refrigerated for 3 months.