We had so little rain over the winter that the South East of England is subject to hose pipe bans - no washing your car in the driveway, water the plants with the bath water. This is notwithstanding the fact that last week most of the Atlantic dumped itself on this little island - the West Country was practically washed away and there were flood alerts in South Wales. Then the sun came out and, overnight it seemed, the world turned yellow. The daffodils that had been lurking in the hedgerows gathered confidence and burst into bloom, white narcissi with orange eyes nod in the borders, huge yellow tulips with black centres, and the primroses - ahhh, my favourites.
Does anyone make lemon curd? I was going to buy some from an expensive shop, but it looked terribly anaemic and I thought it can't be that difficult. It isn't. Why have I never done this before? This recipe makes two jars of curd - which is quite enough as it has to live in the fridge and won't last forever - and when you open the fridge door the blast of colour almost hurts your eyes.
From "Mrs Beeton's all about Cookery" (1963) 'Designed to bring Mrs Beeton to the economic level of young housewives and mothers of larger families who have to watch their shopping allowance'
rind and juice of 2 lemons
Whisk the eggs and put into a basin with the butter, sugar, finely-grated lemon rind and the juice. Place the basin over a pan of boiling water, stir until the mixture is thick and smooth. Pour into clean, warm jars and cover.
This makes a wonderful rich curd, the consistency of very thick cream. It has a sharp acid bite and a luxurious sweetness. I use it on its own, or as a flavouring for cheesecake, or as a filling for lemon meringue pie etc etc.