Lemon Curd

Since living in Central Florida a few years back, lime and lemon curd have become a staple of our holiday baking.

There are few things as delicious as a good lemon curd. To curb the impulse of eating it with a spoon right out of the pan, I recommend that you can it and give it away at the holidays. Nothing cuts through a drab winter day like the tartness of a lemon!

Today the Sun Bucket started at 345 C (653 °F). You will notice that half of my Sun Bucket is now red. While the red Sun Buckets certainly photograph better, I’m not sure how this one ended up only half-red, but it’s sort of festive anyway.

I filled a large stock pot with about 2 inches of water and set it on the Sun Bucket to start simmering. While that was heating up, we got a couple of lemons zested up and mixed it with 2 1/2 cups of sugar.

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Into a large bowl that would serve as the top of my double boiler, I cracked 4 whole eggs and 7 egg yolks. When they were well beaten, I added the sugar and lemon zest mixture. Then we slowly mixed in a cup of lemon juice. (While fresh lemons make the best curd, their acidity varies, making preserving risky. Since these jars of lemon curd are being given to my colleagues at Sun Buckets, I decided to use the bottled stuff, and skip the botulism).

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I added 3/4 C. of cold butter, cut into small cubes, as I put this on the double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, lemon curd should be stirred constantly until it reaches a temperature of 170 °F. This took 18 minutes on the Sun Bucket.

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When the lemon curd had hit it’s target temperature, I removed the bowl from the double-boiler and continued to stir it as it thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes. I then strained it through a fine meshed sieve to remove the lemon zest, and filled 5 half-pint, sterilized jars.

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This afternoon the Sun Bucket was in use for 21 minutes to make five cups of lemon curd with an approximate caloric content of 3800 calories (but who’s counting?)

UPDATE: The Sun Bucket was used the next day as a hot water canner. 3.75 L of water came to a rolling boil in a large covered stock pot. 5 half-pint jars filled with lemon curd, same recipe as shown above, was added to the pot. It took a few minutes to return to a rolling boil with the cans, and then the cans were processed in the the boiling water for 15 minutes. The Sun Bucket maintained a boil throughout the process.

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