17 November 2008

Making lemon butter

Above is the garden leading to our closed gate. The star jasmine and agapanthus are really putting on a fine show after all the rain we've had lately.

The gate was closed early Friday afternoon and is still closed now. We were shut off from the outside world, both physically and emotionally, all weekend and had all that delicious time to do our chores, relax and appreciate this life we live. Oh, there was one little visitor, L from next door, our 13 year old neighbour, came over to buy a dozen eggs and chat a while. He's a quiet and gentle soul so it's always a pleasure to have him in my kitchen talking about school and life at the end of our lane way.

Aside from that brief visit, Hanno and I ambled through one chore after another, which were generously peppered with periods of knitting, reading, talking, tea drinking and planning. We are always planning! Will we take the tomatoes out this weekend? Where will we plant the next potatoes?

I had planned on making soap on the weekend and was all ready with the new soap mould Hanno made for me, but when it came to it, I had no coconut oil or copha, so I decided to do it next week. I always like to have extra soap on hand over Christmas so I have spare gifts for people forgotten about or who pop up out of no where. I have found that a gift of homemade vegetable oil soap and dishcloth is always appreciated. Most people see it as a quaint novelty from days gone by and it's only when they use them they realise how practical and lovely homemade items are.

I had promised lemon butter (curd) to my friend Bernadette, as she did some knitting for me, so out came the lemons, butter and eggs and 30 minutes later I had four small jars of lemon butter. Homemade lemon butter is one of the true joys of home cooking. The bright yellow colour you see in those jars below is from fresh eggs and butter, not from the colourings and preservatives they put in the commercial lemon butters. If you're new to jam making, try your hand at lemon butter. It's easier than jam and although there is 20 minutes of stirring, I know you'll be planning your second batch as soon as you taste it.

Makes 4 small cups

8 eggs
1½ cups white sugar
1 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
250 grams (½ pound) butter

Hint: you'll get more juice from lemons that have been picked the week before you want to use them.

Put the eggs and sugar in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir till the sugar is dissolved.

Add the lemon juice and rind, then the butter and whisk for about 20 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Do not allow the mixture to boil as that will spoil it. You want the mix to thicken well and for all the ingredients to be thoroughly mixed together.

When the lemon butter coats the back of a spoon without running off, it's ready.

Pour the butter into warm, sterilised jars and seal straight away.

Store in the refrigerator.

Theoretically, it will last for two or three months but in our home that never happens. Hanno and I have already polished off the small, not-quite-filled jar in the photo. :- ) It's delicious on toast, pikelets, pancakes, as a cake topping, in tart cases, or on muffins or fresh bread.

Hanno cut his own hair on the weekend and I tidied up the ends and back for him. He also did some gardening and laundry and cleaned out the chicken coop. I did some more work on the book, answered some emails (but I'm still behind), cleaned and took the time to visit some blogs. Our meals on both days were simple and quick. Leeks were harvested from the garden so we had leek and mushroom omelettes on Saturday and pea soup from the freezer on Sunday.

I started knitting a dishcloth using a 40% linen and 60% cotton yarn that is new to me. It knits well but is made up of fine strands of thread that tend to fall apart when it's been handled. I doubt I'll buy more of it because I had to watch every stitch. I also finished off another pair of fingerless gloves, this time with ribbed wrists. I'll blog about them later in the week and show a photo. I'm really pleased with them and have decided to do a few more pairs as gifts and to use up odds and ends of wool. They only take about three quarters of a ball and look really cute.

I was going to blog about the meter readings today but thought it was a better idea to do it tomorrow. By then all my northern hemisphere friends will have their readings and we'll we able to compare both the readings and solutions for reducing them. So don't forget to have your readings ready for tomorrow.

I hope your weekend was restful and productive and the week ahead is a good one for all of us.



  1. Hi Rhonda, Thanks for posting the lemon butter recipe. I've been wanting to make it for a month now but haven't gotten around to it. I think I'll do a trial run today for my Christmas batch.

  2. Wow, I have never heard of lemon butter. That looks fabulous and I bet it is delish! I think I have something new to add to the holiday recipe collection!

  3. The lemon butter sounds delicious and looks lovely. I wonder if it would work with a butter substitue? Butter is one of the things I can only eat small amounts of occasionally.

  4. thanks so much for the recipe and hints! I was thinking about making some soon.

    THe garden photo you included is so green and luscious, not like our gardens which already look like they have been through a horrid summer!

    Will keep praying for rain.

    Lynette from Adelaide

  5. Thank you for the lemon butter recipe, one of my favourite things!

    I have to confess to not having done my meter readings yet; I've had workmen here and its been chaos! All quiet now thank goodness, so I will take first readings tomorrow morning.

  6. ooo, you've reminded me about the leeks in the garden! I was goin to harvest some.
    I've been running an experiment where I've been cutting them off level with the ground, rather than pulling them up. So far I've had 2 years worth of leeks from the one patch. (We love our leek and potato soup here.)

  7. Ha! I'll just go out to the lemon tree... you're living in Paradise, Rhonda, did you know that? Here I am looking out at the beautiful mountains, leafless aspens, and the only green thing around here now are the pine trees.

    I really do want to try this lemon butter though:)

  8. The flowers are beautiful. With it being winter here I miss my flowers. The lemon butter looks delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing that recipe. It looks so yummy!!
    I will definately have to make time to try it out this week.
    If mine looks even close to yours, and it tastes as good as I think it will... That will be part of Christmas gifts from our house.
    Thank you again.
    Shannon B, Monmouth OR

  10. Hi there Rhonda, have you ever used the 70% bamboo 30% cotton yarn from Spotlight for dishcloths? I find it better than pure cotton, it rinses off so well without holding onto crumbs and the like as cotton seems to love doing. It also separates into many small strands, but the end result is so lovely I am happy to put up with that.
    Thank you for blogging about dishcloths, you are the one who put me onto making them and now I don't use anything else.

  11. Your lemon butter looks great Rhonda, my mouth is watering just looking at it, making me want to go get some of mine out of the fridge. I was amazed at the difference in colour it made using my own eggs, far more yellow than using storebought ones.

  12. Hello Rhonda Jean :)
    It's been a while since I've commented, but am enjoying your posts as much as ever. I tried your Lemon Cordial recipe today as I had some lemons that needed using up, very nice stuff!
    I hope work on the book is going well, and that you and Hanno are back to full health.

  13. I'm looking forward to trying this soon. I was just looking at a jar in the "British" section of my grocery store and wondering how hard it would be to make. What timing!

  14. Mmmm, this sounds so good. Lemons are kind of pricey where I live, but I'm going to watch for them to go on sale and try this. I love lemons.

  15. (sigh) I love the photo of your garden gate...we just had our first big snowfall here in Banff, Alberta, Canada and while I love the fresh, soft whiteness of the snow I do miss the vegetation of summer! So thanks for sharing. :-)

    One advantage of living in a National Park is that the elk have been hanging around outside our apartment building for about a month now. One night I kept hearing a very odd clacking noise but couldn't find the source anywhere in my apartment. It was male elk outside fighting and clacking their antlers together. :-)

    Anyhow, thanks again for the taste of summer - I did laugh when you said that lemons should be at least a week old for your recipe as I imagine all the ones we get are a month or two old!

  16. I believe we call your lemon butter, lemon curd in the UK. I've never tried making it myself but think I will give it a go when I see the lemons on special. No such luck as to be able to pick our own here. Have a good week.

    Pippa xx

  17. Hi Rhonda, that lemon curd looks delicious and I have been wanting to try my hand at making some. Your timing is great! :-)
    Where I live they make a great fuss about salmonella in eggs. Does the lemon curd get warm enough to kill the (potential) salmonella or should I buy pasteurised eggs?

  18. Rhonda,

    My grandmother used to make lemon butter, she used a porringer which is a double saucepan for making porridge, have never seen one for years, it was great like a steamer, without the holes, it was a base pot which held the water and then a pan which fitted inside the base but did not touch the water unless you put too much in. I loved her lemon curd, could eat it by the spoonful.

  19. I've never heard of lemon butter, but I believe it must be similar to a cake filling my grandma makes sometimes. Thank you for the recipe, I'd love to try it one day!

  20. Re my previous comment, I did a Google search and you can still get porringers,in the UK they are sometimes called double saucepans, ideal for melting chocolate etc......Lakeland have them as do Amazon......not too expensive either.

  21. Hi,
    We have dairy and egg allergies, and I make a lemon curd from courgettes and lemons, with a little vegan margarine and sugar - if anyone wants the recipe please email me at paulinexyz@hotmail.co.uk.
    Off to read the rest of the posts, have a lovely day
    Pauline in Scotland

  22. Thanks, Rhonda, for this great idea and recipe (and for a very inspiring blog!). I have a bag of lemons in the fruit basket and was wondering what to do with them!
    When I make some I'll blog it and link to you, if that's okay.

  23. Oh your garden looks so delicous. Thank you for the reminder. I think I will make some lemon butter for my father for Christmas. I know he would love that so very much.

    Did you suffer much from the storms on Sunday? I live on the southern outskirts of Brisbane and we didn't suffer the horrendous damage that others have had.

  24. Hi Rhonda

    You can find a similar recipe for lemon butter on my blog, the difference is only in the cooking and mine will keep for 12 months in a dark cool cupboard, only needing the fridge once opened. Hope you find it helpful


  25. I've never heard of lemon butter - that's a big bonus in reading blogs of people abroad. You always learn new recipes! Next time lemons are cheap around here, I might try it.

  26. Thank you for the recipe...Lemon Butter sounds so refreshing and good...wonder if it would be made sugar free? my husband is diabetic...maybe with Splenda...something to try anyway...love your blog

  27. Silversewer - what you call a porringer is called a double-boiler over here in Canada. They are pretty common and come in many pot sets.

  28. Rhonda Jean...This looks so delicious...thank you so much for the great tutorial...I have an over abundance of lemons and have been trying all sorts of ways to make good use of them. Your recipe is next on my list. Thanks again for your wonderful generosity and all you do.

  29. Good Day! Just coming by to check on you. I read about the terrible storms off the eastern coast. I remember your trip to the shore. I trust you were not effected. I smiled when I thought of how 250000 of your countrymen were without power even so I knew you would do well. Just want to be sure you were safe.
    The lemon butter sounds wonderful , the American recipe often thickens with corn starch, I like yours better. I have 13 eggs now half size for they are banties. I will be making the family a meal of them tonight. I just have 2 of the 6 laying so far. Peace be with you.
    I saved over $30 this month from last year. Mostly hanging the clothes on the line and "time of use" plan. I bake and cook a lot so that evens out as average for my size home, I want to do even better. Planting trees is next on the budget.

  30. Thank you very much for this delicious recipe. It reminds me of lemon meringue pie! I was reading what you put it on and I said, "What are pikelets?" Well, I found a recipe and will make them for breakfast tomorrow morning to put the lemon butter on. Curious to see the difference between pikelets and pancakes.
    Clare from Cherry Hill NJ

  31. I referred back to this post.
    I made some Lemon Curd this morning.
    I think it is interesting the two different recipes.
    Feel free too try this way it works great for pies as well

  32. Rhonda .. when you say 'seal right away' after putting the lemon curd in the sterilized jars, do you just mean to put the lids on .. or place in a water bath? I assume just put the lids on. This topping is great mixed with equal parts of whipped cream and dolloped on top of berries, shortcake or scones.

  33. I just came upon this recipe and I think I'll give it a try this weekend! Thank you for sharing <3


  34. OMG!!! I just made this. I have a very wide-rimmed double boiler and when I started pouring heaps of the lemon/lime butter (didn't have quite enough lemons) went all over the oven tray I'd sterilised the jars in. I made 2.5 jars, then took a spoon to sample a smidge of what was on the tray.

    Rhonda, I don't mind telling you that i made an absolute pig of myself. I don't know how many spoonfuls I ate, but it was lucky that i was on my own so no one could witness the appalling scene of greed and gluttony. This lemon butter tastes superb! Thanks so much.

  35. Hi Rhonda, I just found your blog a couple of days ago and it is very inspriring. We are a new family in our first home (In Tassie) and living a simple life interests me a lot. Thanks for sharing your great hints, tips, recipes and tutorials. I am going to slowly get rid of shop bought cleaners and make my own :) Now I'm off to make my first ever lemon butter, Thanks again!! Kahler

  36. Delicious lemon butter recipe! Thanks!

  37. I just want to thank you for all the wonderful blog posts over the years Rhonda. Tonight I made this recipe for the first time, about ten years after you first posted it, and it tastes fantastic. Reading your posts makes me feel like I have just chatted with a my proxy mother or grandmother and been given an old but good recipe or tip. Thank you again! J


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