October 16, 2020
Every Friday these last two terms I have been tutoring a group of high school students in the culinary arts. One of our modules has been on preserving, and recently we had a stall on campus to sell our jars. We had jams, chutneys and sauces, but the most popular by far was the golden jars of lemon curd.
With the fruit bowl near overflowing with spring citrus – lemons, lemonades, orange and grapefruit – it was reason enough to prepare a batch of curd this week. It’s best enjoyed on afternoon pikelets, or make a simple yet fancy slice inspired by the infamous lemon meringue pie. For this slice, the citrus curd is folded through a sweet meringue for a light-as-air topping on a chewy oat base.
Springtime Citrus Curd
- 75 g butter
- Juice of 2 lemons, about ⅓ cup
- Juice of 1 lemonade, orange or grapefruit, about ¼ cup
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 heaped tbsp mild-flavoured honey
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks or 1 whole egg - the egg whites will come in handy for the slice below
Set up a double boiler with a bowl sitting over a pot of gently simmering water (make sure the bowl is not touching the water).
Add the butter and, once melted, add the citrus juices, sugar and honey. Whisk until the sugar melts, then add the egg and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
Use a wooden spoon to patiently stir until the sauce coats the back of the spoon (note that the curd will thicken a little as it cools). This will take about 6-8 minutes.
Clean and sterilise* two small jars and pour the hot curd into the hot jars. Cool on a wooden board, then store in the fridge and consume within one month.
*If I am planning to use the curd within the next week, I quickly prepare the jars by filling with boiling water and sitting for one minute then pouring the hot water out and filling with the hot curd. To store for longer than a week boil jars and lids for five minutes to sterilise.
Citrus Meringue Slice
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup white flour - can use gluten-free flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 75 ml neutral oil
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 egg whites
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp cornflour or tapioca flour
- ½ cup 150g springtime citrus curd
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line a 20 x 15cm slice tin with baking paper.
Combine the oats, almonds, flour, baking powder, and mixed spice in a bowl and pour over the oil and honey (warm the honey first to soften if needed).
Mix to combine, then tip into the prepared tin and press out evenly to cover the base. Bake for 10 minutes while preparing the meringue topping.
Put the egg whites and sugar into a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the cornflour and continue mixing to incorporate. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the citrus curd. Use a spatula to carefully fold the curd into the meringue, don't over mix, you want the mixture to be light and airy.
Spread the meringue evenly over the base and bake for 15 minutes until golden and set. Cool in the tin for five minutes, then gently transfer to a cooling rack. Once cool, cut into 12 squares and consume within two days.