What do you do when life gives you lemons? Make lemonade? Throw them back at life and childishly yell that you don’t want any of his damn lemons? If you are anything like me then you will take lemons and apply to everything. Lemon is by far my favourite sweet flavour, and the basis of most of my favourite lemon dishes begins with this – lemon curd.
The problem I’d always had with lemon curd was the effort involved with standing over a double boiler for half an hour desperately hoping it wont scramble or split or curdle, because while I love lemon flavoured sweets, I’m not a huge fan of lemon scrambled eggs. I know, call me crazy. So for a while I gave up on the idea of making it homemade and simply bought it from the supermarket, which as we know if simply not the same. The lemon curd of my dreams is rich, custardy and tangy; but the lemon curd I was buying was thin, syrupy and more like a lemon scented glue than anything I would want to put in a tart shell.
So I begged the advice of an old Greek Nonna who had been growing lemons longer than I’d been alive (roughly 70 years longer). She waved a hand at her over flowing lemon tree and said “go fill bag, I write down recipe.” So I did. And she did.She handed me a scrap of paper and pushed me out the door, commanding me to bring her some of what I made “when you get right.” God forbid that I would go against a Greek Nonna, I went home and industriously set home to practise.
This is what resulted. Thick, sour just before the point of puckering but also sweet enough that you know it’s dessert, rich and eggy and almost a custard. This is the lemon curd of my dreams. And the best part of it? It only takes six minutes to cook. From there you can do just about anything you want with it. Fill miniature pie shells with it for a portable snack, slather it over thick slices of french toast for a twist on an old classic, or my favourite spread over slices of brioche, scatter with raspberries and pour over a egg custard mix to make the most delicious bread and butter pudding you’ve ever tasted.
Or… if you’re home alone… you could just eat it with a spoon straight out of the jar. I promise not to tell.
Six Minute Lemon Curd
3/4 cup of lemon juice (I prefer to use meyer lemons)
The zest of one lemon
3/4 cup of sugar
125 grams unsalted butter
Combine all ingrediants in a bowl over a pan of boiling water on the stove at a medium-high heat.
Start whisking, and whisk constantly for six minutes until the mixture has thickened and is bubbling – constant whisking is important to stop the eggs from scrambling.
That’s it! Transfer into a sterilised jar and leave in the fridge until cool or preferably overnight.