I don't make fruit curd very often, for the simple reason that I cannot resist eating the lot. No word of a lie, I ate this entire batch of lemon & lime curd by myself in under a week... It is dangerously addictive stuff! It also happens to be very simple to make and amazingly versatile, not to mention so much nicer than shop-bought. It is fantastic just piled generously on toast, but also works well as a cake, tart, doughnut or eclair filling, swirled through ice cream, yoghurt or cheesecake, on pancakes, waffles or scones and can even be used in steamed puddings and souffles; the list goes on.
Beyond the usual lemon curd I have also made passion fruit and orange variations, and this time chose to add lime as well as lemon for something a little different. You can use all lime juice if you prefer, in which case you will need 200ml, about 6-7 limes. In my opinion a good citrus curd should be almost lip-puckeringly sharp so I add the finely grated lemon and lime zest to intensify the flavour, it can be sieved out after cooking so that the curd is silky-smooth.
The key to making lemon curd is patience, it can take a while of gentle cooking over a bain marie for the curd to thicken but you don't want to whack up the heat to rush it as you may end up with scrambled eggs. Even with the most gentle cooking however you may end up with a few flecks of cooked egg white - this is because the whites cook at a lower temperature than the yolks. If this happens don't worry, just pour the curd through a sieve once it has thickened to remove them.
Lemon & Lime Curd
- finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes (65ml)
- finely grated zest and juice of 3 large/4 small lemons (135ml)
- 230 g (1 cup + 2tbsp) caster sugar
- 125 g (½ cup + 1tsp) butter
- 4 large eggs
- Put the lemon and lime zest and juice, the sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir with a whisk every now and again until the butter has melted.
- Lightly whisk the eggs with a fork, then whisk into the lemon mixture until well combined. Let the curd cook, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes or so, until it is thick, creamy and custard-like.
- Remove from the heat and pour the curd through a sieve if you want to remove the zest. Stir occasionally as it cools then pour into sterilised jars and seal. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.