I have never made jam at home yet one of the first things I set out to make is a jar of lemon curd. That was several years ago and the first time I tasted homemade lemon curd, I was hooked. It is amazing how just four choice ingredients like butter, sugar, eggs and lemons amalgamate to form such a fresh tasting and satiny smooth spread that is superior to any jam. If you like lemons, this is the best dessert you can make from this versatile fruit.
The recipe I like is from David Lebovitz. Unlike some recipes I’ve come across, it doesn’t call for copious amounts of butter that can detract from the puckering sourness of lemons. When I make a dessert with lemons at the heart of it, I like it clearly lemony with nothing muting its flavour. This recipe produces a curd that is so lemony with just the perfect amount of sweetness and richness. And his simplified method of heating everything together over direct heat is also a plus point with me.
I know lemon curd is more like a dessert than a breakfast spread – it is superb spread on a baked tart shell and topped with fresh berries or used to sandwich two layers of vanilla cake – but my son likes it piled on toast for breakfast, as do I. It elevates breakfast like no other and is arguably no less healthy than jam, really. After all, with the eggs adding protein and the lemons providing a shot of vitamin C, I can think of plenty other less healthy and delicious foods to start your day. That is my view anyway, but I’m pretty sure my son couldn’t care less as long as he gets his lemony fix.
My husband and daughter love lemon desserts yet lemon curd leaves them cold – another great mystery of life. With just my son and I to enjoy the homemade lemon curd, I like to make a small batch so it can be finished quickly. And a small jar of cheery yellow curd will provide Mama and son with a week’s worth of breakfast to look forward to. Yay!