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Edible gifts for the holidays, part two: lemon curd

Photo: karen booth/flickr


Delicious as a base for lemon meringue pie or just spread on toast or a crumpet, lemon curd is a tart and tasty addition to the table.  The recipe is easily doubled, but as the jars aren’t processed, make sure you have time to gift or eat it all within its 3-week shelf life.

Makes 3 half-pint jars

3 lemons

1 cup sugar

½ cup butter (unsalted)

2 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

Special equipment:  3 clean small jars with lids


Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the jars to the pot and boil for 10 minutes to sterilize.  Hold the jars in the hot water, adding the lids, until you’re ready for them.

Zest and then juice the lemons into a large heatproof bowl.  Place a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water in it over medium heat and bring to a steady simmer.   Place the bowl with lemon zest & juice over the saucepan, making sure the base does not touch the water.  Add the sugar and the butter to the bowl and heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs and yolk in a small bowl.  Push the eggs through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of lemon mixture, whisking constantly until smooth, thickened and thoroughly combined, around 6 or 7 minutes.

Carefully remove the jars from the hot water, draining them as you go and placing them upright on a towel.  Divide the curd between the jars, let cool for 10 minutes, then seal with the lids.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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