Thursday, August 20, 2009
I've officially got the handle on making and canning homemade jam. This summer has allowed me to put up dozens of jars of strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and peach jam, so I decided it was time to tackle another canned good that I love: Lemon Curd. It's easier than I imagined, so don't be afraid to try this recipe at home, it is worlds better than any lemon curd you can get at your local supermarket.
4 whole eggs
7 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
A few basic ingredients are all you need to make this tangy toast topper. Lemons, sugar, eggs and butter plus a little elbow power turn seemingly ordinary ingredients into some extraordinary. Start by zesting your lemons with a rasp or microplane. I used 5 big lemons to yield my 1/2 cup of zest and 1 cup of juice, but you may need more of less depending upon how big and juicy your lemons are.
Set a medium pot with three inches of water in it on the stove to come to a simmer. Make sure you have a large non-reactive (i.e. stainless steel or glass) bowl that will sit nicely on top of the pot of water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. While the water is coming to a simmer, carefully separate the egg yolks from the whites and place in the non-reactive bowl (do not set it over the pan of water just yet!) along with the whole eggs. Whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar and lemon zest until smooth.
Now add the lemon juice and finally the chilled butter pieces. At this point now you can set the bowl over the pan of simmering water.
Cook this mixture, stirring gently until all the butter has melted. Continue to cook and stir the mixture over the double-boiler until it reaches 170 degrees. It will look weird along the way, as my pictures above illustrate, until it just seems to come together and thicken. Remove the bowl from the pan of water and place on a clean towel or wooden cutting board. The bowl will be hot, so be careful when removing it from atop the double boiler.
You can fill a jar with the hot curd and stick them directly in your fridge to be eaten within two weeks, or you can freeze the curd for longer term storage. I also had great success canning my lemon curd in a boiling water canner. First wash and sterilize your jars, fill the jars with the hot lemon curd and process in a boiling water canner for 12 minutes. Lemon curd that has been processed in a boiling water canner will keep on your shelf at room temperature for up to a year.
In addition to being a delicious toast topping alternative, lemon curd is also delicious on ice cream, as a filling for crumb bars or coffee cake and makes a great addition to your morning yogurt/granola. Enjoy!