Isabella and I love to go to high tea. We were extremely excited to go in England at Fortnum & Mason, two summers ago. Our favorite treat are the scones covered in clotted cream and lemon curd.
Imagine our surprise when a lovely tea service showed up at our fancy table with no lemon curd. Our waiter (though I wish I had a fancier word for him, because he was fantastically attentive) seemed to think my need for lemon curd was strange. I figured since high tea in San Francisco always has lemon curd on offer, that this was a traditional English-type thing, too. I guess I was wrong. But, after a bit of explanation, our gentleman did bring us our preferred topping. And, it was worth the fuss. There was a much more real lemon flavor to the one he supplied than the ones we had been getting here at home.
My friend has a Meyer lemon tree that seems to be producing an inordinate amount of fruit at the moment. I seized the opportunity and decided to make homemade lemon curd. Though it was time consuming, it was well worth the effort. As I've mentioned before, I'm not much for measuring and paying close attention to precise instructions. I tried very hard last night to be as attentive as possible, and I have to say, the lemon curd turned out excellently.
With just 4 lemons, I managed to produce eight four ounce jars. The flavor is nice and tart, and there is no cream in the recipe I found, just sugar, eggs, butter and lemon. Wow, I will be making this for years to come.
And, next time we go to England, I may just bring a bottle with us, just in case they look at us funny again for requesting lemon curd for our high tea scones.
Oh, and if you're interested, here's a link to the pictures from our tea at Fortnum & Mason. Beware: lots of shots of teapots and even some of the beautiful bathrooms!
makes 32 ounces
- 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
- Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add thelemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
You'll need to boil the jars before putting the final lemon curd into them, to make sure they are germ-free. Here's a how-to from a previous post, if you need help.
Boil your jars and lids while the fruit is bubbling away in the other pan . Take a large wide pan, fill with water, enough to submerge the jars and lids, and place on the heat to boil. Once the water has boiled, lower to a simmer and keep the jars in the water for five minutes. When the lemon curd is ready, remove each jar and lid one by one onto aclean cloth, right side up, to keep them as sterile as possible.
Fill your jars and seal them:
Ladle chutney into each jar, filling up to the bottom of the neck of the jar, leaving headspace for the sealing to go well. Wipe down the top of the jar to make sure nothing is sticky on the outside, so that you can seal the jars, and they can be opened again. Put the lid on and close it as tightly as you can. Turn the jars upside down and leave to cool. This will seal the jars.
some people re-boil the filled jars, but I opt not to. if you want to, this is the time to do it!