Elderflower Lemon Curd Recipe
This Elderflower Lemon Curd Recipe is adapted from one kindly shared by Karen Burgess in the No Dig Gardening Facebook Group.
Sourcing the ingredients for Elderflower Lemon Curd
I thought the Elderflowers around here were almost gone from the hedgerows. Then yesterday we found some which were at the perfect stage for picking. That evening, Andy came home with a load of lemons reduced to 15p each. We'd already made our Elderflower Champagne. So when Waitrose gives you 15p lemons, you have to make Lemon Curd... right?
Making curd using whole eggs
Only because I had the flowers, I made Elderflower Lemon Curd instead. I make Curd using the 'like a cake' method. I beat the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs, then the zest and lemon juice, and then simmer over a double boiler, stirring constantly. This method ensures that I can use whole eggs, rather than just egg yolks. Usually if you used whole eggs, you risk getting bits of solidified egg white in the finished curd. But by mixing them together first in this method, you don't. Using whole eggs makes a lighter, fluffier curd than the traditional yolks only curd, which I really like. It also means I don't waste the whites.
Since we got chickens last year, not wasting any of their eggs has become a bit of an obsession. Make the curd in a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl. Avoid using other kinds of metal bowls as they may react with the lemon juice, adding unwanted metallic flavours to your curd. This recipe makes enough for one 350ml jar. Of course if you want more, scale up. Lemon curd will keep for about a week in the fridge, but it will happily freeze for much longer.
And because the curd doesn't set hard, you can take out as much as you need from the freezer with no waste. Assuming, of course, you don't just eat the whole lot from the jar.
Remember to pick extra Elderflowers. They freeze or dry really well and can then be used in recipes in the darker months of the year to remind you of glorious summer days.
Elderflower Lemon Curd Recipe
50g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
Pinch of sea salt
The zest and juice of 2 large lemons
3 large elderflower heads
4 tbsp boiling water
Pour the lemon juice on a plate. Shake the elderflower heads well to remove any insects, then place the heads upside down in the lemon juice until they're as submerged as possible, Sprinkle the hot water over the heads. If they turn brown as the water hits them, it doesn't matter.
Press the flowers down gently with a wooden spoon. Leave them for 2-3 hours so the elderflowers infuse into the juice.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a large glass/stainless steel bowl until pale and smooth. Mix in the pinch of salt and two eggs, stir in the lemon zest.
Then strain the flower heads and lemon juice through a plastic sieve into the bowl. Press the flower heads in the sieve with the wooden spoon to get as much Elderflower fragrance out of them as possible.
If the mixture starts to look like it's curdled when you add the juice, panic not. It will all solve itself when it's cooked.
Put a pan of water on to simmer, put the stainless steel bowl with the curd mixture on top. The bowl should be over the simmering water, but not touching it. This is known as the water bath method. The contents of the bowl heat up without being in direct contact with the heat source.
Immediately start stirring with a wooden spoon. To begin with, the mixture will be watery, as the butter melts it will get more runny.
You will start to wonder whether this is going to work. Then suddenly after about 15-20 minutes, the curd will start thickening and coating the back of a spoon. Whatever you do keep stirring and don't allow your curd to boil, otherwise it will curdle and spoil the texture. Allow the curd to cool, pop into your clean jar.
Keeps for about a week in the fridge, and for much longer in the freezer. Enjoy on scones, toast, ice cream, as a delicious cake filling... or straight out of the jar with a spoon.
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