I always see people making lemon curd on Masterchef and I never fail to be impressed by its beautiful lemon colour. It really catches your eye and you can almost taste it through the television screen (or is that just me?). I had never tried making it before, but after seeing my friend Steph making it on Snapchat, I thought I should have a go as well.
I must admit, I was rather apprehensive about making lemon curd for the first time. I was worried I would have the heat too high in the bain-marie and accidentally scramble the eggs. After watching copious YouTube videos of chefs making lemon curd, I decided to finally take the plunge. And it turned out beautifully! I’m not going to lie, I was pretty stoked with the outcome (less stoked with the amount of washing up required though…). Anyway, all this is to say that you needn’t be afraid of making lemon curd. It’s easier than you think!
It can take quite a while for the curd to start to thicken (long enough for the self-doubt to creep in and cause you to think that you’ve done something wrong), but once it does, it will thicken very quickly. At this point, it is essential that you keep stirring the curd so that the eggs don’t start to cook. So stir quickly! The curd is ready to be removed from the heat when it has the consistency of custard and coats the back of the spoon in a nice even layer (you should be able to run your finger down the back of the spoon and create a line through the middle of the curd).
Another important thing to know about lemon curd: it is essential that you sterilise your jar beforehand if you do not intend to use the curd straight away. Sterilising jars isn’t hard, and it will allow you to keep the curd for longer without it spoiling. Google will provide you with various jar-sterilising methods.
This curd has a very strong, very tart lemon flavour, but the aftertaste is beautifully creamy. It is the perfect acidic accompaniment to a sweet shortcrust pastry, meringues, or fresh raspberries, and its vibrant colour is lovely in and of itself. You can use it as a filling for a lemon tart, as a garnish for desserts, or as a filling for layer cakes and sandwich cookies. To be honest, I have been known to just eat a teaspoonful out of the jar as a snack, too… Don’t judge till you’ve tried it.