Posts Tagged: Vivien Lloyd

May 13

Homemade lemon curd with Vivien Lloyd

The ingredients to make lemon curd

The ingredients to make lemon curd

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.

Making lemon curd

Making lemon curd

Lemon Curd

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.

FIRST PRESERVES CURDS ebook cover2 sm 02

Feb 13

Marmalade Monday with Vivien Lloyd

Last Monday, I returned to Vivien Lloyd’s Somerset home to participate in one of her seasonal workshops on how to make marmalade. Vivien is one of the UK’s leading preserves experts, and won the Best of the Best category for her Seville Orange Marmalade at the World’s Original Marmalade Festival in 2008, so I knew I’d be in good hands.

Viv’s legendary marmalade has featured on The One Show and Channel 4’s Four in a Bed recently, and is so widely regarded, I couldn’t wait to see what we managed to make for ourselves.

Preparing our Seville oranges

It is, of course, marmalade season at the moment, which runs from late December to the end of February, so if you’re ever going to make the traditional Seville orange marmalade, now is the time of year to try and get your hands on the exquisite Seville oranges, which are now making an appearance on the shelves of an ever-increasing number of supermarkets and farm shops nationwide.

Viv showing us what to look for

As a novice marmalade maker, I was feeling a little daunted as I arrived at Vivien’s house. Preserving can feel rather intimidating, and I was a little apprehensive about my lack of knowledge about the process. I was warmly greeted as I arrived at Viv’s beautiful Somerset farmhouse with a cup of coffee and some delicious homemade chocolate brioche spread with some homemade Seville marmalade. This first taste of Viv’s legendary marmalade really blew me away. Sweet, sharp, bitter, tangy with meltingly soft pieces of peel, it was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before, and in a league of its own.

Viv instructed me to bring a plastic container with me on the day, as it turns out that making marmalade is a two-day process, following her recipe in First Preserves. So, firstly, we started to prepare our Seville oranges according to Viv’s exacting instructions for the best results. She carefully showed us how to prepare our oranges for the best results and then guided us through the process, showing us precisely what to do. We then set aside our prepared fruit to take home and complete the recipe the following day, and picked up the recipe at a later stage with fruit that Viv had prepared in advance.

The prepared fruit, ready to cook

This was the stage I was most apprehensive about, cooking the fruit and finding the setting point. I need not have worried, as at every stage of the recipe, we were shown what to look for, how the marmalade should look and feel.

We then potted up the marmalade and moved on to other preserves, including a delicious curd, some amazingly good marmalade muffins, and some scrumptious homemade ice cream.

With a stop for a delicious homemade lunch, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions, I left on a high, feeling excited to return home and eager to make my first batch of marmalade for myself.

So, the next day, I set about making the marmalade for myself at home. I made very few notes on the day, as I had everything fixed in my mind. I followed every step carefully and potted my marmalade, leaving it for a few hours to cool and set. It looked stunning sat on the side waiting to cool: a beautiful amber-like colour, with the transluscent strips of peel evenly distributed throughout the jar.

Then, the moment of truth: had it set? Well, yes it had done. Perfectly. I was so chuffed that my marmalade had worked. And I thought it was pretty much as good as they jar I had taken home from Viv’s the day before.

It was a genuinely exciting moment, and I have since gone on to make five subsequent batches from Viv’s book this week alone. The process has crystallised in my mind, and I feel as though I have the knowledge and skills to successfully make marmalade at home.

My homemade marmalade at home

Of course, marmalade does not just have to be made from Seville oranges, but they do make the ultimate traditional marmalade. Vivien’s fantastic preserving book, First Preserves (Citrus Press, 2012) features a whole range or jam, marmalade and chutney recipes using a variety of fruits and vegetables. I have subsequently made a number of recipes from the book most successfully at home, including grapefruit and lemon, made using pink grapefruits, and lemon and lime.

This year’s Dalemain Marmalade Awards take place on 2nd and 3rd of March in Cumbria.

And if you are thinking of investing in a book to guide you through the process, I recommend First Preserves most highly, which is also available as an iBook. Complete with a wide range of excellent recipes, helpful guidance and plenty of photos of every stage of the process, it really is the only preserving book you’ll ever need.

For more information, please see:

With thanks to Vivien Lloyd for an exceptionally informative and fun day.

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