When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon Curd!
You thought the old adage was ‘When Life Give You Lemons, Make Lemonade’. Well, it is. But I am going to spin it and tell you to make lemon curd. Unfortunately, I do not have a lemon tree in my back yard so I don’t have an over abundance of lemons. If you have a lemon tree in your back yard, I am envious of you!
I remember when I was in college I visited my great Aunt who lived in Florida and she had and orange, lemon and grapefruit tree in her back yard. I was in awe of the fresh citrus she had growing feet from her back door. I had never seen citrus growing on trees in real life. It had always been apples or pears but never citrus. The north east is not conducive to growing this delicate fruit.
But I DO have chickens and every once in a while I get an over abundance of eggs, depending on our consumption and I make lemon curd. How did I just draw that line from eggs to lemon curd? Lemon curd has a high percentage of egg yolks, 5 to be exact for this recipe. Read my post 4 Lessons Keeping Backyard Chickens Have Taught My Kids.
Making and Canning Lemon Curd
Curds come in all sorts of flavors to include not only lemon but orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, passion fruit and cranberry, just to name a few. A curd is a highly concentrated dessert spread that is bursting with flavor. Lemon happens to be a favorite of my youngest daughter so this is what we make.
So Let’s Get Started!
5 Eggs, Separated
3 Larger Lemons or 5 Small Ones
Zest the lemons using a microplane grater.
Combine 1 cup of sugar with the egg yolks.
Stir to combine.
Allow the yolks and sugar to set for at least 5 minutes while you squeeze the juice from the lemons. Letting the yolks and sugar set will help speed up the dissolving of the sugar.
Squeeze the lemons and hopefully you will have 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice. If you don’t have a full 1/2 cup go ahead and add bottled lemon juice to make up the difference.
Don’t have lemon juice? Water will work but you will be sacrificing some of the lemony goodness.
Add the 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the sugar and egg yolk mixture and place over a pot with boiling water in it. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. A couple of inches of water should be all you need.
Now start to whisk.
Whisk and whisk and whisk.
Whisk like you don’t want the eggs to cook but you want to sugars to dissolve and thicken….because that is what you are going to be doing.
Keep the lemon curd moving and whisked for about 8 minutes. This is a good time to put on some music and get your grove on as you whisk.
This is when you know that you have whisked enough.
When your curd coats the back of a spoon and doesn’t run back together when you draw your finger through it.
Keep in mind it will continue to thicken as it cools.
While the curd is still hot, stir in a stick of butter.
A whole stick.
Stir the curd until the butter melts.
Pour into clean jars and allow to cool completely.
Use within 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator or freeze for up to a year.