I know far too many people who can eat jam and jelly right out of the jar. You may be one of them. I simultaneously find this to be both endearing and slightly off-putting. How can you eat straight-up mildly fruit flavored sugar without any carby buffer?! Even really well-made jams, with good, fresh fruit, and not resembling a sugar bomb is meant to be lightly spread on some toast before consumed. Seriously people. That’s how it’s supposed to be eaten.
Here is when I tell you, though, that my one exception is lemon curd. I always wondered about this anomaly when I would secretly sit in my room with a jar of it. Why is this spread so unlike any other of it’s jammy counterparts?
Well, I finally made it, and only then I found out. It’s because lemon curd is not jam at all! It’s not even curd! It’s pudding, people! All these years, we have been spreading pudding on our toasts and crackers. Which is so so brilliant and makes me want to turn all fruit into pudding-like curd spreads! It’s cooked with butter and eggs and slowly thickened to a pudding like consistency. We have been eating lemon custard! This revelation is mind-boggling!
All I can tell you is that you should go ahead and grab a spoon. Forget jarring this stuff. It’s meant to be eaten out of a bowl, with maybe some whipped cream on top. Because why not.
6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
scant 1 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 5 lemons
3 tsp. lemon zest, divided
With a mixer, beat together the butter sugar, and 1.5 tsp. lemon zest for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly mix in the eggs and lemon juice. The mixture will curdle. You will be sad. But then you will remember that the name of this “spread” is called lemon curd, and then hopefully you will perk up again.
Transfer everything to a medium size pot, and over low heat, stir everything constantly until it comes together into one uniform looking liquid. Turn the heat just a smidgen up. Really, not too much at all, and continue to stir constantly, making sure you scrape the bottom of the pot. The mixture will thicken, coating the back of the spoon, and as soon as it does, take it off the heat. This step me about 6 minutes, so keep an eye on it. Immediately strain the lemon curd to remove any lumps or egg that has cooked. Stir in the remaining lemon zest. Pour into whatever you want to pour it into, and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of the curd so it doesn’t form a skin (like when making pudding, people!), and chill in the fridge.