HOMEMADE LEMON BUTTER WAS A REGULAR FEATURE AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, AND THESE DAYS, WHENEVER I TASTE IT, I GO RIGHT BACK TO BEING 10 YEARS OLD AGAIN!
If you've never had the real thing, let me tell you - true Lemon Butter is nothing like the stuff they sell in supermarkets.
It's not saccharine sweet, it's not cloying, and it's certainly not insipidly lemony.
The real deal is bold! It's super lemony and very sharp, with all that lovely smooth sweetness coming in afterwards.... and can I just say that this Classic Lemon Butter is very nearly perfect :)
I've been making this recipe for years now and as soon as it's made, the jars just disappear.
Word seems to spread through the family, and people just 'drop in' to 'say Hi' and ask what I've been cooking... :)
That said, this is the first time my Lemon Butter has been quite this vividly yellow!
I think the combination of Dad's organic lemons and free-range eggs from the Farmer's Market have worked their magic, making the color as bold as the flavor!
At any rate, here is the recipe for my...
CLASSIC LEMON BUTTER:
STEP ONE: You will need 500g butter, 8 eggs and 1kg of white sugar (in two bowls above). You will also need the zest from 4 lemons and the juice from 12. Use your judgement here - my lemons were rather small so I juiced a few extra. Don't stress too much, most of the flavor will come from the zest.
Quick note here - when you zest your lemons, don't do them in long strings with a proper zesting tool, do them in short little flecks with a grater. Long strings of zest will just tangle together and become big knots in the finished butter - don't ask me how I know this!
STEP TWO: Take your best, heavy bottomed stock pot - the heavier, the better, and mix together the eggs and sugar...
... until smooth and creamy. The sugar won't fully dissolve in the eggs, but that's fine.
STEP THREE: Add the lemon zest and juice, and stir until combined. Put your butter in the microwave to melt.
STEP FOUR: While you're waiting, place preserving jars in a stockpot full of water and put on the heat to sterilize.
If you don't have another stockpot, a large deep saucepan will do, as long as the jars are covered with water.
I sterilize jars for preserving the same way I used to do Missy's baby bottles - by just boiling them up for a while.
Normally I put them on to boil when I put my preserves on the heat, and I leave them boiling until I'm ready to fill them, because hot preserves should always go in hot jars.
By the way, this recipe filled 6 x 225ml jars exactly.
STEP FIVE: When your butter has finished melting, and has cooled a little bit, add to the egg mixture and stir well.
STEP SIX: Put the mixture on a medium heat on the stove, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Now is a good time to taste it and add a little more lemon zest if you think it needs it.
Keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Because this mixture has so many eggs in it, it's a bit delicate, so take care - don't let it boil, and don't stop stirring unless you take it off the heat. You'll know it's ready when it thickly coats the back of a spoon.
You can also do a quick plate test - put a teaspoonful on a plate, pop it in the freezer until it's cool, then run your finger through it - if the mixture is thick enough to hold a line, it's ready.
Use your own judgement, but just remember that the hot mixture will thicken once it's cold.
STEP SEVEN: Once the Lemon Butter is ready, take your sterilized jars out of the pot using tongs and fill them immediately - hot preserves should always be put in hot jars to prevent them shattering.
STEP EIGHT: Fill the jars to about 1cm from the top and seal while still hot. Label once they're cool, and store them in the fridge.
All done! This will keep very well in the fridge for 4 weeks or so, but, to be honest, we've rarely had any last that long!
If you're planning on making Lemon Butter as a gift, make sure you give it to the recipient straight away, and put a clear use by date on it.
Hope you enjoyed this recipe, and if you haven't tried making your own homemade Lemon Butter already, I hope I've inspired you to try!
Check out a few more of my Unofficial Lemon Week recipes here:
Salad Days: Three Lemon Dressings
No-Bake Lemon Slice
Homemade Lemon Cordial
All the best,