Sweet & sour

Lemon butter & lemon curd tarts

When I begged for suggestions for things I could bake as farewell gifts, my sister came through with the goods – as she always does. Soon I’ll post the heavenly chocolate Guinness cake she swears by, and I also couldn’t resist the simplicity of her lemon butter recipe. Lemon butter is one of those things I’d never quite understood how it was made, assuming that it would be beyond my abilities and patience. How wrong I was! How simple it is! It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s incredibly versatile and the colour is so very joyful. Make yourself a little jar of sunshiney lemon butter today!

Lemon butter

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 100g butter
  1. Place first five ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk to combine, then add butter.
  2. Whisk continually over medium heat, for 7-8 minutes or until butter is melted and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Look for a thickened, dollopy consistency that won’t dribble out of a pastry shell.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to stand for five minutes.

That’s it. Once it cools you can store it in a jar or put it to work in a treat or dessert. There’s something quite retro about lemon butter, and yet a citrusy dessert always tastes fresh and modern. Keep a jar of lemon butter in the fridge to make mini tartlets with store-bought shells for an impromptu afternoon tea with friends, or just to spread on a pikelet or eat by the secretive spoonful late at night.

Here’s my sister verbatim on just how many different things you can do with this gooey liquid gold:

You can then place in either big or small tart shells (purchased or home made) (lemon curd tarts), and then if you so desire place a pavlova consistency meringue on top and bake until golden brown (lemon meringue pie) or make mini meringues, bake, and then top with the lemon curd. You can also do “stacks” eg meringue, dollop of curd, meringue, curd, raspberries (or whatever fruit’s available) and serve
with cream.


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