I’m really enjoying cooking with lemons this week. I always keep a couple in the fridge, being one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. The very best I’ve found are from one of my very favourite online food retailers, Natoora. They are La Costiera unwaxed Amalfi lemons. The first impression you are left with is the size of these lemons: they’re huge. Well, compared to measly supermarket multipack lemons anyway. Their smell is intoxicating and you know you can use every last bit of the zest as they’re unwaxed.
Although I love cooking with lemons all year round, I’m finding them particularly inviting at the moment. Somehow, their flavour manages to be comforting, yet fresh at a time where so much of what we eat in the UK can be fairly bland and stodgy.
As I had comprehensively stocked up on these beauties, I decided to make some sweet treats to make their flavour last just that bit longer; homemade lemon curd and homemade lemon curd ice cream. Both of which are divine, and the ice cream was described as “the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten” by my boyfriend.
Keeping a jar of homemade lemon curd in the fridge is a very wise move in my book. It goes with so many things; on toast, in or on a cake, even swirled into some yoghurt for an easy pudding. I’ve just finished writing my cookery books, and some of the recipes I have enjoyed creating the most, have been homemade ice creams. Although I’d really like one, I don’t have an ice cream machine. I’ve had my eye on one for ages, but have other things to spend my money on at the moment, sadly. Still, I have discovered that it is really easy to make excellent ice cream at home with the minimum of equipment and this recipe is for a super easy no-churn homemade ice cream. Another advantage I’ve also found, is just how useful it is to have a stash of homemade ice cream in the deep freeze. It is rare to find a really good shop-bought ice cream, and having your own to hand is particularly handy when you have guests over and haven’t prepared anything for pudding.
Homemade lemon curd
Makes one large Kilner jar full of curd
Juice of 6 lemons
450g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
1) First, juice the lemons. I cheat and use the Magimix.
2) Pour the juice into a heavy pan along with the butter and the sugar.
3) Break the eggs into a large jug and whisk well. Set aside.
4) Place the pan over a moderate heat and allow the butter to melt and sugar to dissolve.
5) Now, pour in the egg, a little at a time, whisking well, keeping the pan over a moderate heat.
6) Whisk and bring to the boil and keep it there for around 3 minutes
7) Remove from the heat and pour into jam jars or a Kilner jar.
8) Cool at room temperature before storing in the fridge, where it will keep for around 8 weeks.
Homemade no-churn lemon curd ice cream
Makes 2 large plastic boxes full
300ml double cream
350g homemade lemon curd
Zest and juice ½ lemon
1) Place the cream into a bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks (I use the Kitchen Aid here).
2) Drop in the curd and lemon zest and juice. Gently fold into the cream as evenly as you can. You want it swirled through rather than evenly mix.
3) Tip into one or two plastic food boxes and freeze overnight until firm.