Have you ever tasted real, tingly delicious lemon curd? Flavours that’ll you want to spoon in mouthfuls without waiting to spread it over hot white toast, or a freshly baked croissant. Well I just have. Made with fresh, organic eggs it was super simple to make, as super-preserver Rosie Jameson demonstrated to an online group of us this week.
Forget the fake neon coloured jars you’ll find in supermarkets and shops that really shouldn’t be selling food. They’re all powdered eggs, chemical flavourings and synthetic lemon and should be avoided. Yuk!
Make your own. If you have a free 20 minutes, you have time to make a batch of lemon curd, or perhaps Seville orange, grapefruit and I’ve even seen a recipe for lemon and banana curd.
Rosie, Rosemary Jameson, is a self taught expert on preserving all kinds of foods and using them to create delicious dishes and ingredients. Over an evening zoom call with several other invited food writers Rosie’s took us through the process and instructions and within half an hour we were pouring fresh curd into jars.
We’d logged hoping to learn what at first glance appears to be a simple process with just a handful of ingredients, eggs, lemon zest and juice, sugar and butter. Indeed, the list of equipment Rosie recommends is three times the length of the ingredients. (Rosie’s Lemon Curd recipe can be found below).
I love attending cooking classes, online and in real life, as I learn so much more than than just how to work through the recipe. Rosie generously shared her knowledge of how preserving evolved, how lemons of the 1970s and 80s were much smaller and less juicy than todays, and to rinse sieves (see below in the recipe instructions) in cold water first as hot water will cook the egg making it almost impossible to remove.
Although I may say it myself, I did a fine job. My curd was delicious, fresh, fruity, light and zingy and likely to be eaten over the next couple of days. Made with fresh, uncooked eggs it has a fridge life of around six weeks.
Rosie’s next term starts on 14th April, 2021 and includes everyday brown sauce, elderflower cordial, stem ginger in syrup, herb salts, dehydrating, and blackcurrant jam. Jam is another preserve that is so quick and easy to do and yet people buy the ones full of artificial preservatives. Details about Rosies's classes can be found here ... https://www.lovejars.co.uk/rosies-preserving-school/2021
A life long advocate of extending the life of seasonal produce and with a full freezer, Rosie sees joy in following traditions that have been refined and perfected over thousands of years.
Traditionally lemon curd has been synonymous with the coming of Spring. Domestic hens restart egg laying as the days grew longer and lighter. Today’s farmed hens live in tightly controlled environmental conditions and have brief lives, pumping out eggs over winter months when they really need a break. Likewise cows began calving and milk flowed again allowing for butter making, and citrus fruits began arriving in northern European markets.
Three top tips
You’ll want lemon oil (in zest and peel) and juice. Remaining white pith is no use in the kitchen
- After juicing lemon halves, soak them in white vinegar Delicious on salads. Halves can be frozen or later use.
- Modern lemons are larger and juicier than in the past. So you might get a get volumes of curd made than suggested in the recipe. Likewise, with using different sized eggs.
- Once the lemon has been zested and juiced, it’s ready for the compost.
More information about Rosie and the courses she hosts can be found on her website www.rosiemakesjam.com
Her online recipes include a handy ingredient calculator. Enter the quantity of one or more of the ingredients that you have and the quantities will be adjusted to match as up- or downscaling recipes is not always a straight forward doubling or halving of ingredients. Have seven eggs to use? Well up the sugar content to 262.5 gm, use 3.5 eggs and 175 gm of butter.
Our workshop started with Rosie picking over the bones of history and following the ways vinegar, salt, sugar and air have been used to preserve foods, before telling us about the virtue of lemons, a fruit with healing properties packed with vitamin C, and for use as an anti-bacterial cleaner. The we got cooking.
ROSIE MAKES JAM’s LEMON CURD
What you’ll need
Large jug or bowl
Citrus squeezer/ juicer
2x 220 ml/8 oz jars or equivalent
Lids & labels
2 large lemons
75 gm/ 8 oz caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
50 gm/2 oz unsalted butter
Wash the jars in warm soapy water, rinse and place in a warm oven to dry.
Place sugar into the large bowl and grate the lemon zest into it.
Squeeze the juice from the lemons and place in the second bowl, add the eggs and whisk together with a fork.
Strain this mixture through the sieve onto the sugar mix – do not push the residue through the sieve. Top tip: rinse sieve clean in cold water first, otherwise egg will cook and stick like glue).
Add the butter cut into small pieces.
Microwave in short bursts of 30 secs to 1 min depending on the power of your microwave – you don’t want the mixture to become overheated as you will end up with lemon-flavoured scrambled egg!
(Alternatively place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat whilst stirring. This will take approx. 20 mins).
Stir between each burst of cooking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon – it will thicken on cooling.
Pot into warm jars and refrigerate as soon as it is cool enough.
Keep refrigerated and use within six weeks.
- On breakfast toast
- Spread on a fresh croissant
- Eton Mess (meringue, double cream, fruit (pineapple/ banana chunks)
Click the links below for more of Rosie's lemon recipes! Preserved Lemons Limoncello Candied Peel Lemon Antibacterial Spray