Looking for Lemon Curd (directions, recipe, with photos and free) in 2022? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above. If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of 18 months to 2 years, and require no special attention.
Prepared lemon curd can also be frozen instead of canned for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. Package in freezer containers after straining and cooling to room temperature. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks. (See Freezer Lemon Curd, http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/nchfp/factsheets/freezer_lemoncurd.pdf)
Yield: About 3 to 4 half-pint jars
The most important step! You should choose the best lemons
you can get and make far better Lemon Curd. Don't get me wrong, it
is fine to use small lemons and less attractive varieties, as long as they
are firm and unspoiled! As noted in the ingredients section, you can use
bottled or even frozen juice instead.
You can pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store. But for large quantities, you'll find that real* farmer's markets, like the Farmer's Market in Forest Park, Georgia have them at the best prices. In 2004, they were available from late September at $11 to $16 per bushel. 2005 prices have been in the $14 to $20 range at the real farmer's markets, like the Atlanta-Forest park Georgia State Farmer's Market and orchards in the southeast of the U.S.
You'll get about 12 to 20 quarts of lemon juice per bushel of lemons. Count on 15 or 16 quarts per bushel.
* - not the cutesy, fake farmer's markets that are just warehouse grocery stores that call themselves farmer's markets.
Now's a good time to get the jars ready, so you won't be rushed later. The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle, the water bath processing will sanitize them as well as the contents! If you don't have a dishwasher with a sanitize cycle, you can wash the containers in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sanitize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Leave the jars in the dishwasher on "heated dry" until you are ready to use them. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot Lemon Curd.
Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water (that's what the manufacturer's recommend) for 10 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" to pull them out.
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in plain cold water. If you have a juicer or squeezer, it obviously makes it much easier. If you don't have a juicer, don't fret, just peel the fruit (as shown in the photo), then chop or crush the fruit with a potato masher and continue to the next step.
Pretty simple put about 2 inches of water (I used filtered tap water) on the bottom of a huge, thick-bottomed pot. Put the lid on, and the heat on high. When it gets really going, turn it off - you only want to release the juice from the pulp.. Obviously, if you used a juicer, you can skip this step and step 6.
Hardware stores sell a fruit steamer. I haven't used one yet, but I hear they work well.
Now you want to separate the liquid from the pulp, skins, seeds, stems, etc. There are quite a variety of ways to filter the lemons.
Note: One of the easiest ways to extract juice is by using a steam juicer available at many hardware and variety stores. If you plan on making a lot of juice or doing this every year, it may be worth buying one. This unique piece of equipment allows you to conveniently extract juice by steaming the fruit which is held in a retaining basket. The juice drops into a reservoir which has a tube outlet for removal. Follow manufacturer's instructions for using steam juicer.
Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes. Pre-measure the lemon juice and prepare the chilled butter pieces.
Heat water in the bottom pan of the double boiler until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously or touch the bottom of the top double boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked. Steam produced will be sufficient for the cooking process to occur.
In the top of the double boiler, on the counter top or table, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs together until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed and smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and then add the butter pieces to the mixture.
Place the top of the double boiler over boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula or cooking spoon, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Remove the double boiler pan from the stove and place on a protected surface, such as a dish cloth or towel on the counter top. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl; discard collected zest.
Fill boiling water canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by
1 to 2 inches. Use a thermometer to preheat the water to 180°F by the time
filled jars are ready to be added. This is different from other
canning recipes because you are not to heat the water in the canner to
more than 180°F before jars are added. If the water in the canner is too
hot when jars are added, the process time will not be long enough. The
time it takes for the canner to reach boiling after the jars are added is
expected to be 25 to 30 minutes for this product. Process time starts
after the water in the canner comes to a full boil over the tops of the
Fill them to within 1/2-inch of the top, wipe any spilled Lemon Curd of the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 or 2 inches of water and boiling. if you are at sea level (up to 1,000 ft) boil pint or quart jars for 5 minutes and half gallon jars for 10 min. This assumes you kept the juice hit until you filled the jars. If you are at an altitude of 1,000 feet or more, see the chart below
|Recommended process time for Canned Lemon Curd in a boiling-water canner.|
|Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight) You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
Shelf Life: For best quality, store in a cool, dark place (away from light). Plan to use canned lemon curd within 3 to 4 months. Browning and/or separation may occur with longer storage; discard any time these changes are observed.
From left to right:
Home Canning Kits
See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!
This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used
to make everything from lemon juice to jams and jellies to tomato and
spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need: the
canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel,
labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll
never need anything else except more jars and lids!
Victorio V250 Food Strainer (the same as the
comparable Villaware and Roma models)
See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!
Deluxe Food Strainer and Sauce Maker
Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.
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Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book