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Food Preservation Nothing looks better than a pantry full of home preserved foods. This is where we share information on preserving the harvest through canning, dehydrating, freezing, brining, sausage and cheese making, smoking and curing.

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Old 12-10-2008, 05:42 PM   #1
Mama Alanna
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Default Canning lemon curd?

So, has anyone made lemon curd before? It's kind of like a lemon jam. Here's the recipe:

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

1. In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Cook over simmering water for 15 minutes or until thickened.

So, easy enough to make. But with the eggs, I'm rather dubious about canning it, even though one of the reviews at Allrecipes.com says that she did it. I'd ask her, but there doesn't seem to be any way to contact another member. And I know that I've seen jars of lemon curd in the supermarket in the UK, so I know that it can be canned.

So, what do you all think? The standard 10 minutes in a boiling water bath?
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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I make lemon curd and would love to can it up for convenience, but butter... eggs... noooooo, I wouldnt. Alan the Expert needs to weigh in on this.
“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #3
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I buy it jarred, so there must be a suitable method for canning it.

Ok, found one:


Selecting, Preparing and Canning Fruit
Canned Lemon Curd
2½ cups superfine sugar*
½ cup lemon zest (freshly zested), optional
1 cup bottled lemon juice**
¾ cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into approximately ¾" pieces
7 large egg yolks
4 large whole eggs

Special Equipment Needed: lemon zester, balloon whisk, 1½ quart double boiler*** (the top double boiler pan should be at least 1½-quart volume), strainer, kitchen thermometer measuring at least up to 180°F, glass or stainless steel medium mixing bowl, silicone spatula or cooking spoon, and equipment for boiling water canning.
Yield: About 3 to 4 half-pint jars

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.


1. Wash 4 half-pint canning jars with warm, soapy water. Rinse well; keep hot until ready to fill. Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

2. Fill boiling water canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by 1 to 2 inches. Use a thermometer to preheat the water to 180°F by the time filled jars are ready to be added.

Caution: Do not heat the water in the canner to more than 180°F before jars are added. If the water in the canner is too hot when jars are added, the process time will not be long enough. The time it takes for the canner to reach boiling after the jars are added is expected to be 25 to 30 minutes for this product. Process time starts after the water in the canner comes to a full boil over the tops of the jars.

3. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes. Pre-measure the lemon juice and prepare the chilled butter pieces.

4. Heat water in the bottom pan of the double boiler until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously or touch the bottom of the top double boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked. Steam produced will be sufficient for the cooking process to occur.

5. In the top of the double boiler, on the counter top or table, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs together until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed and smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and then add the butter pieces to the mixture.

6. Place the top of the double boiler over boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula or cooking spoon, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature.

7. Remove the double boiler pan from the stove and place on a protected surface, such as a dish cloth or towel on the counter top. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl; discard collected zest.

8. Fill hot strained curd into the clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

9. Process in the prepared boiling water canner according to the recommendations in Table 1. Let cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Canned Lemon Curd in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Half-pints 15 min 20 25


Shelf Life: For best quality, store in a cool, dark place (away from light). Plan to use canned lemon curd within 3 to 4 months. Browning and/or separation may occur with longer storage; discard any time these changes are observed.

Prepared lemon curd can also be frozen instead of canned for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. Package in freezer containers after straining and cooling to room temperature. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks. (See Freezer Lemon Curd, http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publication..._lemoncurd.pdf)

Preparation Notes:

* If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a grinder or food processor for 1 minute, let settle, and use in place of superfine sugar. Do not use powdered sugar.

** Bottled lemon juice is used to standardize acidity. Fresh lemon juice can vary in acidity and is not recommended.

*** If a double boiler is not available, a substitute can be made with a large bowl or saucepan that can fit partway down into a saucepan of a smaller diameter. If the bottom pan has a larger diameter, the top bowl or pan should have a handle(s) that can rest on the rim of the lower pan.

For more detailed information on boiling water canning, see "Using Boiling Water Canners" at http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publication...w_canners.html


For Lime Curd, use the same recipe but substitute 1 cup bottled lime juice and ¼ cup fresh lime zest for the lemon juice and zest.

Other citrus or fruit curds are not recommended for canning at this time.


Developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. December 2004.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 00-51110-9762.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Thanks, LB4M! Just what I was looking for.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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Hmmm... It might be acidic and sugary enough to overcome the low acid ingredients, and I have seen it too on store shelves. But I'd be leery as well of water bathing it, especially since it's end use would be straight from the jar and no further cooking to boil off any botox. The Univ. of Georgia recipe is reassuring though. Where's that Alan at?
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:38 PM   #6
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Alan says can the stuff and enjoy. Use the UGA recipe. It's from the Center for National Home Food Preservation so it's good.

This said though there are many things one can buy canned from the grocery for which there are no safe ways to can at home. The lemon curd recipe is good though.

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canning, curd, lemon

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