Lemon curd is pretty much what you’d imagine sunshine to look and taste like.
You see, my wife’s paternal grandmother, my grandmother-in-law, recently passed away after a long life living in Newcastle, England. Given the miles between us, I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked. She had a fascinating life story, having lived all over the world as a child, and as a young woman, she bravely stayed at her post for the telephone service even during the frequent air raids by Axis powers. She had a quick wit, and was always warm and welcoming to me. My favorite memory of her is when she got to hold my daughter for the first time when we visited several years ago.
By all accounts, “Nanna” was an excellent cook, and I know she was a marvelous conversationalist. So we talked a good deal about food, and her backyard garden. While I primarily grow vegetables, I am always amazed at those, like my mother-in-law as well, who grow beautiful decorative gardens.
After Nanna’s death, my father-in-law brought back some mementos from her home in England. One of these was her personal collection of recipes. I took pictures of many of them so we could have them for posterity. One in particular caught my eye–nothing to me is as English, food-wise, than spreading fruity things on bready things.
So I made her lemon curd, as described in her recipe booklet. The only change I made was to strain the curd so as to remove any inadvertently scrambled eggs bits in it. I used meyer lemons from my parents’ tree, and the results didn’t last long. Many recipes for lemon curd are a bit fussy, and require you to add things at precise times. Not this one though–it was easy, came together quickly, and tasted splendid. Recipe is below.
I’ll miss you, Nanna. Much love.
Rind and juice of 3 large lemons; 1/2 lb caster sugar; 1/4 lb butter. 2 eggs
Grate the rind carefully, removing just the yellow ‘zest’ but none of the white pith. Squeeze the juice from the fruit. Put lemon peel and juice, sugar and butter into double saucepan or basin over hot water and cook, stirring from time to time, until the butter and sugar have melted. Add the well-beaten eggs and continue cooking until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Yield: approx. 1 lb. lemon curd.