Lemon curd, (also known as lemon cheese) is a traditional British dessert topping and sandwich spread. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavoured spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter.
In late 19th and early 20th century England, home made lemon curd was traditionally served with bread or scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, and as a filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts.
This recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook makes about 2 cups. It’s dead easy to make, keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge and has a myriad of uses. Don’t even think about using bottled lemon juice.
- Grated zest of 2 large lemons
- 6-7 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1/4 pound butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
Put the zest, lemon juice, butter and sugar in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water. Don’t let the water boil. Stir occasionally, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until thoroughly blended. Stirring constantly, spoon a little of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the lemon mixture, still stirring constantly, and continue to cook until the curd is thick. This may take up to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool and store in the refrigerator.
Lemon curd is good on toast . . .
mixed with Greek yoghurt or whipped cream . . .
It’s also good for stuffing crepes, filling eclairs, spreading on toasted muffins or sandwiching between two slices of soft, thick-crusted white bread. Oh yeah and slathered between the other cake layer left over from the Day of the Victoria Sponge.
I found a recipe for St. Clement’s Trifle which I’ll make with my next batch of lemon curd. Until then . . . bon appetit!
P.S. It really is this yellow. John gets free range eggs from a little farm stand near Payhembury, Devon when he cycles to work.