Preserve-making champion and author Midge Thomas was an occasional tutor at Denman, the spiritual home of WI cooks, and a WI member since the age of 16. She brought her considerable expertise to bear in many WI books on preserving and her name is synonymous with jam making. This particular recipe is apparently one of Midge’s favourites. The original recipe came to her from HMSO’s Bulletin 21 publication, when she was at college in 1963. It’s one of those rare recipes that works really well in a microwave. Midge’s original recipe made nearly three kilos of curd so we’ve cut it down, unless you are making it as a gift or for use in recipes, it doesn’t keep longer than a week. As well as being perfect on toast and with scones, lemon curd makes a wonderful filling for cakes and Swiss rolls, can be stirred into whipped cream to sandwich meringues, or folded into yogurt. Midge’s preserving recipes continue to have a life of their own, and a new collection, Homemade Jams and Chutneys, came out in 2012.
|350g||sugar, granulated or caster|
|Grated rind of 2-3 lemons|
|150ml||lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)|
|150ml||beaten eggs (about 2-3 free-range eggs or 2-3 egg yolks plus 1 egg)|
You will need 3 350g jam jars.
Place the butter, sugar, lemon rind and juice in a medium bowl and microwave on full power for a minute in 30-second bursts until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
Add the beaten eggs and keep microwaving in 20-30 second bursts, stirring after each and reducing the time to 15 seconds as the mixture thickens, until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. (To make on the hob, put all the ingredients in a bowl set over a pan of hot water. Once the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, stir the mixture until thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon – about 15 minutes.)
Strain the curd through a sieve into a wide-necked jug to remove the lemon rind and any egg bits. Pour into cool sterilised jars and cover with wax discs and cellophane. Leave to cool then store for up to 10 days in the fridge.
For passion-fruit curd:
Add the seeds and pulp of two passion fruit just before potting. For elderflower curd carefully strip the tiny flowers from the stems of 2 handfuls of elderflowers and add to the curd when cooking.
Preparation: 15 minutes. Cook: 8-10 minutes in microwave or 40 minutes on the hob.