Apple from Polkadots and Chopsticks asked me what that ‘yellow stuff’ was in the last set of photos I uploaded and I realised I’ve neglected to give you a recipe for one of my favourite yellow substances: lemon butter.
The recipe I’ve been favouring recently comes from Rose Carrarini, of Rose Bakery fame. Rose uses this lemon butter to cover the top of her classic lemon tart. The butter hides the cracks that will often form in a lemon tart filling when it’s baking, and gives a satin butter finish to the flavour. It’s an extra buttery lemon butter, not because it has a lot of butter in it, but because it’s made a little differently than most lemon butters I’ve come across.
Rose adds the butter as an afterthought, rather than melting it from the beginning. I’m not sure why, but this allows a firmer curd to form than I’m used to, and also adds a very fresh buttery taste. So even if you can make lemon butter in your sleep, give this method a go and let me know what you think.
Rose Bakery’s Lemon Curd (otherwise known as Lemon Butter)
- 2 free range, organic eggs
- 5 egg yolks (why not make some meringues with the whites?)
- 110g caster sugar
- 110ml lemon juice
- finely grated zest from 1 unwaxed organic lemon
- 60g unsalted organic butter
Set a saucepan filled with a few centimetres of water on the stove to simmer and find a heat proof bowl that will sit snuggly on top and without touching the water.
Off the heat, place the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in the heat proof bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Back on the simmering water, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens to coat it. This means that if you lift the spoon out of the bowl and run your finger across it, the shape of your movement is kept (ie, the mixture doesn’t run to cover it). The mixture will be smooth and will keep its shape when you stir it, more than liquid would.
How far you push this thickening depends partly on experience. If you leave it too long, your egg will cook too far and the whole lot will look like scrambled eggs. Not long enough and your butter might be a little more runny than normal, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Just push it a little further next time.
As soon as the mixture is set, pour it through a sieve into a cool bowl. This stops the mixture overcooking, and also catches some of the cooked whites which might have resisted combining. There’s nothing nice about meeting a bit of snotty white in your lovely yellow lemon butter!
Add the butter and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the fridge until you require it. If you’re using it to cover a lemon tart, it’s best to let it cool overnight so it’s thickly set.