From Ellen Kelly
In memory of the lovely Betty Sturgess – thanks for the original recipe and many years of lemon curd.
4-5 large lemons, zested and juiced (You should have between 2-3 T. of zest and about 1-1/2 c. of juice)
2 c. granulated white sugar
12 T. (3/4 c.) cold butter, cut into pieces
6 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks, well beaten
Put the lemon juice, zest, sugar and butter into a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Or you can use a conventional double boiler or bain marie. Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved.
In a separate bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolks really well. Temper the eggs by adding a ladleful of the hot butter/juice mixture slowly to the eggs while whisking vigorously. Then slowly pour the egg mixture into the hot mixture, again whisking all the while. (Tempering gently heats the cold eggs so that when they’re poured into the hot juice/butter/sugar mixture they don’t “scramble.”)
Continue to cook, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. It should not flow together when a finger is drawn through it. Remove from the heat, strain through a relatively fine mesh sieve and cover with plastic wrap pressed to the top of the curd to prevent a skin forming.
Lemon curd can be used to fill pastry tarts topped with crème fraîche or whipped cream; it’s lovely spread between cake layers before icing; it can be folded with whipped cream to make a mousse and then served in chocolate cups with fresh berries. If you can’t quite justify eating it with a spoon, try spreading it on a piece of brioche toast. It also freezes well, just be sure to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator. You can also pour the hot mixture into pretty jars, cool and give as hostess gifts if you can bear giving it away.
Makes about 4 cups.