Two of the three White Star hens are still laying every day. We knew that this hybrid was a very good layer, with promises of 350 eggs per year per hen, but those examples are when there are ideal conditions, i.e. an extra source of light when the dark days come. Just to explain, it is said that a hen needs eight hours of good daylight to produce an egg and will simply go off lay when she isn’t getting that, after all mother nature wouldn’t want to produce baby chickens in the middle of winter. We are two days off the winter solstice and according to this web site The Weather Channel are receiving 7 hours and 42 minutes of daylight. This is the maximum which doesn’t account for those very dark dreary days we so often see in the winter.
Anyway, my point is, normally we have been without eggs for quite a few weeks, you normally see the last of the eggs in November and they are definitely not producing come December. But we have two that are still laying every day, it is a real treat, but one I am not prepared for. Son no.2 doesn’t appear to be eating eggs like he used to, which was 5 at a time! You never know we might have freshly laid eggs on our Christmas breakfast table, that would be wonderful.
But until that time, I needed to come up with a plan to use a few of the surplus bounty up and after buying a high end jar of lemon curd at Shugborough’s Christmas Candlelight Evening. I was unable to save this jar of curd until Christmas and surreptitiously hid it at the back of the fridge, behind the mayonnaise and big jar of pickle and ate it mouthful by mouthful over a couple of weeks until there was non left! Even though the boys knew and would tease me that they were going to eat some, they left me to my little game.
Well I did feel a bit guilty about that and starting researching how to make lemon curd. I’d made a banana curd when I found a glut of banana’s on a shelf in our local supermarket for 5p a pound and that was delicious, but had not attempted lemon curd. I have memories of a few of my home economic class mates making lemon curd one week and there seemed to be a very panicky feeling even with the use of double pans (bain maries) to prevent curdling that it had put me off trying to make it.
Well things must have moved on a little bit, because it seems that with the addition of a little cornflour in your recipe, it stabilises the eggs and it becomes simplicity to make.
One can see with the ingredients that you could never call lemon curd a health food! Seriously it only took twenty minutes to make this, even though we doubled the quantities. Hubby gave the jars a quick wash and sterilised them in the oven whilst I found new sealing rings and sterilised them. I grated the rind, cracked the eggs, beat the eggs, diced the unsalted butter, measured the cornflour, weighed the sugar, hubby squeezed the lemon’s and then we added the lemon juice. Mixed it all together and put it on a medium heat, stirring all the time until it bubbled and let it simmer for a minute or two whilst we still continued to stir and that was it.
Potted it up into hot sterilised pots.
and it made 3 x 1.5 lb jars and a little extra.
This was a zesty lemon curd, next time I am going to try one without the zest to see what the difference is like. It is is very lemony and just a little bit sharp before the sweetness of the sugar and richness of the butter overtakes your mouth, make some yourself, it is so much better than the shops.