Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I have recently been discovering the art of preserving. I’ve made jam, chutney and marmalade, and recently my attentions turned to curds.
Vivien Lloyd is one of the UK’s leading preserves experts and her latest ebook entitled Fruit Curds: Make and Bake has been guiding me through every step of the way.
Curds are an often forgotten preserve, but are absolutely delicious, much more so homemade than shop bought, and have all manner of uses in cakes, desserts and ice creams. The first time I tried homemade curd, I was absolutely blown away by the flavour – it is in a completely different league to anything else I have tried.
Making curd is not difficult and the process is shown in much detail at every stage with photos and videos which are really useful as you know exactly how the curd should look and feel throughout the process.
Vivien’s book shows you how to use your homemade curds in baking producing a range of incredibly delicious cakes and desserts. If you’re interested in starting to make your own curd, I highly recommend this ebook, as it contains all the information you’re ever likely to need, and some really special recipes to make, too.
Vivien has very kindly allowed me to share her extra special Lemon Curd recipe with you here. Do give it a go and let us know how you get on. Vivien Lloyd can be found on Twitter as @vivienlloyd.
Lemon curd is the best known and my favourite curd with its rich flavour and bright colour. This is a traditional, tried and tested recipe and one to consider for competitions. I first made this recipe during my early days of preserving and it has become the one I return to most often. This recipe was first published by HMSO in 1929, Home Preservation of Fruit and Vegetables.
Makes about 1.25kg/ 2¾lbs
300ml (½ pint) freshly squeezed lemon juice ( 5-9 lemons) 215g ( 7½oz) unsalted butter 700g (1lb 9oz) granulated sugar 300ml (½ pint) fresh eggs (5-6 eggs)
1.Wash the lemons and peel them very thinly with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife before squeezing out and measuring their juice. Place the butter and sugar in an ovenproof bowl over a large saucepan of barely simmering hot water. Add the lemon juice and lemon rind, and leave until the fat has melted.
2. Lift the bowl off the pan and leave to cool slightly. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl but do not whisk them. Gradually stir in the fat mixture, then strain the curd through a sieve (leaving the peel behind) into a clean bowl and place it over a saucepan of barely simmering hot water.
3.Stir continuously until the mixture is slightly thickened- the curd is ready when it just coats the back of the spoon. This will take about 15-20 mins. Do not over-cook or it will curdle. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 5 mins, during which time the curd will thicken slightly.
4. Sieve the curd for a smoother texture. Pour into clean jars, taking care to fill them absolutely full. Press a waxed disc waxed side down on the surface of the curd and leave to cool. Cover the pots with a cellophane cover when cold. Store in a refrigerator and eat within 4-6 weeks.