One of the small luxuries in life I grew up with was lemon curd, because it was one of the few things my Nana passed on to my Mom. Nana wasn’t known for her cooking skills (my Grandfather hired housekeepers who did the cooking and cleaning), she could barely boil a pot of water for tea. But she at least passed down her family recipe to the person who did know how to cook and preserve food. And my Mom taught it to me. I am glad I didn’t lose the recipe, I found it after my Mom passed away.
Lemon Curd is a tricky one because the assumption is you can’t can butter or eggs, but the acidic nature of lemon and lime juice means yes, you can can it. However, the shelf life is far shorter, use it up within 3 months time. Keep it in a cool, dry area out of the sun in storage. My sons love lemon curd as well, so this time I doubled the recipe, because if I am going to the effort to slow cook it, and can it, I want enough to be around for a bit.
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 6 whole eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice (6 large lemons, or bottled juice)
Jars & Lids –
Add 7 4-ounce mason jars to a canning kettle, fill jars with water, and the pot halfway with water, bring to a boil, then let simmer.
Place rings and new canning lids in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
Beat the eggs until light in a bowl, add the sugar and beat in, set aside.
Set up a double boiler over medium heat, bring the water to a boil, add the butter and melt. Whisk the egg mixture in, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, whisk constantly for 5 minutes or until smooth and thickened. Don’t walk away from the pot, keep an eye on it. (I have an actual double boiler setup, if you don’t you can use a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan, so it fits on top of the rim.)
To preserve –
Empty the water out of your jars back into the kettle, fill to ¼” of the top with hot lemon curd. Run a sterilized air popper tool through. Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled curd, especially on the rim.
Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water, using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above..
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Turn off the burner, take the lid off. Let sit for 5 minutes. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the “popping sound” and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn’t sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a week. Take off the bands, and wash them (they can rust if left on).
For best taste use within 3 months of canning, lemon curd can darken over time.
Makes 7 4-ounce jars and a bunch left over for immediate indulging. I chill the leftovers in a glass container, tightly sealed, before using.
Do not use larger than an 8-ounce mason jar to can in, and if you do, do it for 15 minutes processing time.