My copy of Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess cookery book is wrecked. It’s not from a lack of care or love but due to being a source of great baking wisdom and recipes that work time after time. One of my favourites and has been for years is her Chinese Plum Sauce, which from having two plum trees in my parents garden you get sick of making plum jam each year. This sauce is used for stir fry, glazing gammons and as a chutney for cold meats. When the plums are ready later into Summer, I’ll post some pictures of my efforts.
One recipe that stood out straight away for me to try is the Passionfruit Curd. From the first time I made it (actually for my A Level Food Science project) me and my family have been hooked. Whether on toast, over vanilla ice cream or my mum’s favourite – straight off the spoon, it’s a real treat!
I’m not the most patient person, I’m a bit bish bash bosh however there are certain things I will take my sweet time over and making curd is one of those things. Unfortunately, I was a bit short of passionfruits on the weekend so resulting in making the classic lemon curd. There tends to be multiple ways of cooking the mixture; in a bain maire on the stove, over direct heat or thickened with cornflour. I prefer the direct heat method as I’m a bit slap dash with the starch and find the bain marie is more time consuming. Direct heat is more risky to turn to sweeten lemon scrambled eggs but for me, I’ve always had the best results from this method. I also doubled Nigella’s quantities as one jar is never enough!
|Lovely zested lemons|
|Mixing it up|
|Getting there slowly but surely…|
- 4 large unwaxed lemons (I had some old-ish small lemons to use up but depends how tart you like your curd)
- 450g white sugar
- 6 free range eggs (the passionfruit recipe uses 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks)
- 120g unsalted butter
- Using a grater, zest all the lemons into a large bowl. I use my Microplane – the holes for the grater as laser punched rather than mechanically punched, so the the lemons are shaved rather than torn with the grater allowing more zest to be collected and less pith of the lemons. Juice all the lemons and add to the bowl of zest.
- In the bowl, sugar and eggs and stir until the sugar starts to dissolve.
- In a large saucepan over a very low heat, gently melt the butter, then stir in the sugary egg mix and keep stirring until you want to throw the pan across the kitchen! Seriously you want to take your time with this part and slowly cook the mixture until it thickens, around 20 minutes. Any higher heat and you run the risk of having coagulated egg in your silky lemon curd. At the start of the process you have more flexibility to not stir it continuously, so I use this time to sterilise my jam jars by pouring them with boiled water straight from the kettle whilst standing them in a clean sink and about 10 minutes before needing them, pour out the water carefully and drain on a clean draining board. When the curd has thicken until it coats the back of a spoon, take off the heat and using a ladle and jam funnel fill the jam jars. Seal with the lids whilst hot and then cool. Then store in the fridge until all used up (which won’t be long!)
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