Well, with the weekend coming up fast I had to get on and make a batch of lemon curd for my shop. As I was getting the ingredients ready it occurred to me that you might like to make some too. Its great if you have weekend guests or as a gift if you are the visitor.
With just four ingredients and 5 minutes prep and 5 minutes cooking time there is no reason not to make some just for yourself!
I do get asked what do you eat lemon curd with? I just reply 'a teaspoon'.
You will need a heat proof bowl, a jug, grater and a fork - oh and a couple of clean jars if you want to use them or you could keep it in a bowl - it has a six week shelf life but must be refrigerated at all times.
Please bear in mind that the contents of the bowl in these photographs are for my batch for the shop which is five times the recipe - don't think you haven't got enough!
Start by putting 75g/3oz caster sugar into the bowl. Zest 2 lemons and put into the bowl with the sugar.
Cut up 50g/2oz butter into even sized pieces and add to the bowl.
Cut up the butter into cubes and squeeze the lemons - this is my sooper dooper electric squeezer which is very efficient and saves me a lot of pain in my hands and arms when I have to squeeze a lot of fruit. I thought it was a trivial luxury but now regard it as must-have kit.
Now, pay attention - squeeze the juice from the lemons and put into the jug, crack in 2 whole large eggs and whisk together with the fork. Pass through a strainer onto the mix in the bowl. Don't push through with a spoon or spatula, let the egg drain through naturally and remove what is left in the strainer.
TOP TIP: Wash the sieve upside down under a COLD running tap to remove the strands of egg. If you use hot water or put it into the dishwasher, the egg will cook and you will need to buy a new sieve.
All of the butter cut up in small cubes which enables it to melt more evenly. Straining the egg and lemon juice through a sieve stops the thicker white of the egg going into the mix which would create white strands in the finished curd - don't force through with a spoon
What is left in the sieve - see TOP TIP above. The mix after 1 minute cooking
For the next bit, you can put the bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir for around 20 mins until the curd has thickened. However, this is the only preserve that I cook in the microwave. I put the bowl in for 1 min at around 600-700W setting, then 30 sec blasts with a stir in between each one. You have to be careful not to overheat or you will end up with lemon flavoured scrambled egg. Be patient. Short bursts are best and then the mixture cooks evenly - it will suddenly thicken which is when you stop heating. It should coat the back of whatever you are stirring it with, and as it cools the butter will solidify a bit and it will become thicker, so don't over cook. It should only take about 5 minutes total to cook
The mix is ready when it coats the back of your spoon. Jar while hot, seal immediately, cool and refrigerate
Jar up into warm jars and seal, refrigerate when cool. You could put it into a pretty bowl if you are giving it as a gift - I collect pressed glass sugar bowls from charity shops which I use for this purpose. If you are going as a weekend guest what better present to bring than some freshly made scones and a bowl of lemon curd? ( Do give the advice about refrigeration though.) Once you have eaten this you will never buy it again.
Try sandwiching a summer sponge cake together with lemon curd and/or whipped cream
Making 'Eton Mess' with meringue and banana or chopped peaches
Slightly soften some good quality vanilla ice cream, ripple through some lemon curd and pop back in the freezer to firm up.
It is of course, fantastic on scones, toast, or croissants
A pavlova with summer fruits and whipped cream
There are lots of other fruits to experiment with - lime is fantastic, apple curd, banoffee curd - banana - there are many delicious flavours to try.
When you have found your own favourite leave a comment below so we can all try it.
The lemon curd needs to be refrigerated at all times and will keep for up to six weeks