Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lemon Butter

Simona from Briciole is very kindly hosting both the english and italian versions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm enjoying the bounty from my own garden - lovely Meyer Lemons.

Meyer LemonsĀ© by Haalo

Meyer lemons originally come from China where they are thought to be a cross between an orange/mandarin and lemon.  I particularly like them as they aren't as acidic or bitter as a regular lemon.

The dish I've made is one of my favourites and every time I make it, I wonder why it's taken me so long to do it. I'm making that traditional English preserve - Lemon Butter, a simple concoction made with egg yolk, sugar, butter and lemon juice. The method I use is based on one found in Stephanie Alexander's "The Cooks Companion" as it does away with the double boiler.

Lemon ButterĀ© by Haalo

Lemon Butter

4 egg yolks
150 grams caster sugar
100mls lemon juice
75 grams butter, cut into small dice

Put the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and beat until thick and creamy and the sugar has dissolved - it's best to do this using a stand mixer.

Spoon this mixture into a saucepan along with the lemon juice and butter and place the pan over a low heat - take a whisk and gently whisk until the butter has dissolved. Continue whisking to ensure the mixture heats evenly and as it comes up to temperature you'll notice it start to thicken - when this happens take it off the flame and continue stirring. You want the mixture to have the consistency of thick custard, if it is still a little slack, return the pan to the heat and whisk for a little longer.

Once ready, pour into a jar and seal. When cool, store in the fridge.

You can enjoy this as you would a jam or marmalade and it also makes an excellent filling for sponge cakes.


  1. Gorgeous and sounds a bit like a curd. I always love everything lemon although I haven't had the chance to try meyer lemons as much as I would like too. Your fabric is gorgeous.

  2. What a lovely way to enjoy Meyer lemons. I can rarely get any, and when I do, I don't quite know what to do with them. Now I will!

  3. I love the idea of lemon butter!

  4. I also love Meyer lemons and I have been fortunate to have a friend who has a prolific tree. They make a wonderful lemon curd. I have always made it with the double-boiler method, so I read with interest that one can do away with that. I have used it also as filling for tarts. Thank you for contributing this to WHB!

  5. This lemon butter sounds quiet dreamy! Thinking about trying a smear on some lemon-poppyseed pound cake!

  6. Hello, just came across your blog and am enjoying reading,

    I agree, Meyer lemons have a lovely flavour, not acidic but then not too sweet. I have actually been making so many lemon cakes at the moment as we're fortunate to get a nice large bag of lemons from relatives and friends every so often!

  7. I've been manually following your blog for... hm, 3 or 4 years - now that I got my gmail running I can finally follow it with GFC :) .

    How long does the butter keep?
    And how much does this yield - one full standard jar?

  8. Thanks Ana - wow that is a long time! It doesn't last too long around here as it tends to be gobbled down at a frightening rate. I'm not sure what a standard jar is - but I guess this would make around 1½ cups.

  9. I want to make a large quantity as my meyer lemon tree is loaded. Can the lemon butter be stored in a pantry (unopened) for a reasonable amount of time?

    1. I personally wouldn't go the route of making big quantities to store especially as you are dealing with eggs - with my excess lemons I freeze the juice in appropriate sized quantities and then make the lemon butter at my leisure when the mood takes me. Since the recipe is so simple I just prefer to have it freshly made.


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