Lemon Curd is a luscious English/Scottish type spread that is traditional with tea and tarts. It’s also fabulous on cheesecake or in a baked meringue bowl, spread on warm gingerbread or with gingersnaps! More on those later . . .
Lemon Curd is very simple and quick, but you have to be on your toes and make sure not to boil it! All these jams and jellies we’ve been making have been boiling away, but this just thickens. If it boils it gets too grainy.
Then juice them (you should end up with about 1 cup of juice):
Add the zest and juice to a stick of butter (1/2 cup) and melt and stir together with 1 cup sugar over low heat. Then turn off the heat.
Break 4 eggs and stir them well. Add a little of the warmed lemon/sugar to the eggs in their bowl and stir quickly. We don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs, we just want to warm the mixture a bit. If you use farm fresh eggs the yolks are darker and will make a lovely colored curd . . .
Next, with your whisk, quickly whisk the eggs into the lemon/sugar mixture and then whisk gently over low heat until the mixture thickens, or coats the back of a spoon (or a whisk) and then turn off the heat.
Strain through a strainer (you will get strands of unincorporated egg whites and zest) so that the mixture is satiny smooth.
Pour into hot sterile jars (makes about four 1/2 cups or two cups) leaving 1/4 inch headspace, apply seals and rings, and briefly submerge in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
If your jars are very clean (sterile) and your lids as well, as well as everything that has touched the lemon curd, and the curd is piping hot, you can pour the hot mixture into the jars, seal and skip the water bath. If you skip the water bath, then keep it refrigerated.
Lemon curd doesn’t last long, due to the butter and yolks (the fat) in the recipe, and it is best consumed within 3 months of canning. It will last longer if it goes right in the fridge, and often people can it for the fridge.
You can also freeze lemon curd. If you do, make sure to use a wide neck canning jar, or other container, and leave about 1 inch of headspace.