Sunlight in a jar

It is that time of year, where the Meyer lemon shrub in the backyard tries to take over the world, and I do my best to call its bluff. And what better way to clear out half a dozen lemons than a double batch of lemon curd?

Curd is one of those things that is easy to make, as long as you are paying attention, because you’re dealing with eggs and if you wander off and leave it alone, you get lemon-flavored egg scramble. It needs to be cooked low and slow, and you need to stir it constantly the entire time (it’s a lot like gravy in that regard). But if you are patient and follow the steps, you end up with a lovely thing at the end.

This is the same recipe I have used ever since I first made curd, back when we moved into this house in 2007. It’s half a cup of lemon juice, 2 eggs, zest from a couple lemons (it usually takes about 3 lemons), 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks. You whisk everything but the butter together in a metal bowl until it’s blended, then put the bowl on top of a pot of simmering water, add in the butter, and start whisking non-stop. Eventually, if you did it right, the mixture should start to thicken, and start to turn a lovely bright yellow. That’s when you pull it off the heat, and then run it through a fine sieve, because no matter what you did, there’s probably some tiny bits of cooked egg lurking in there, plus that will also filter out some of the zest, which is no longer needed.

I’ve tried actually canning lemon curd in the past (following approved recipes) but it doesn’t turn out as nice after the hot water processing, so instead I just freeze mine in batches, so that throughout the year, I can pull out out whenever I need it.

Making a thing a day for Thingadailies.

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