Recipe: Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

We are famous for making our signature lemon curd and hot fudge sauces every Christmas to pass out to neighbors and friends. We have given this recipe out so many times I can’t believe I haven’t shared it here yet.

Last Christmas I made a bunch and sent it to school for Atti’s teachers, and I became the most popular parent. Since then I’ve made it a couple of more times and passed out the recipe, and in return Atti’s teacher just brought me two huge grocery bags stuffed with fresh lemons from his tree. I made 12 pints of lemon curd prepared to can it all, but after processing the first batch I discovered that the stuff was absolutely ruined. You have to boil the jars at such a high temperature to kill any dangerous bacteria that it completely destroys the texture of the curd. And the texture is what makes it so glorious. Instead of silky lemon custard, I had 10 half pint jars full of lemon flavored scrambled eggs.

Luckily I only lost one batch to the canner, so the whole top shelf of my fridge is stocked with bright yellow jars of sunshine. I’ve passed a bunch out to friends and come up with a great twist on lemon bars I’ll share next week, but I’ve really been enjoying just eating it out of the jar on anything that comes in my direction. Toast, yogurt, a spoon, just about everything works that will get this stuff into my mouth faster.

Lemon Curd
8 lemons
8 eggs
1 lb 8 oz sugar
12 oz unsalted butter

Grate the zest off of the lemons and juice them.

Use a heavy saucepan that is not aluminum. Stainless steel is best. Aluminum makes a chemical reaction with the lemon juice that will make your curd taste nasty. Before bringing the pan to the heat, beat the eggs and sugar together thoroughly. Add the rest of the ingredients.

With the heat on low, let the curd come up to boiling while stirring continuously. Let it cook until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a bowl, and pour the curd into it while still hot. This step is crucial. To get that great texture you need to sift out the lemon zest as well as any bits of egg that cooked up hard during the boiling.

You can store this in the fridge for weeks in whatever container you typically use. I love to use canning jars because it’s such a convenient container to store in the fridge as well as to use, and looks so great when you pass them on to friends.

While this is *safe* to can, due to the high acid and sugar content, I would obviously not recommend it. Learn from my mistake, my friends, some things just have to be enjoyed in the moment.