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  • Trudy Alm

Not Lemon Butter. It's Lemon Curd.

Updated: Feb 16

One of my pet hates is the misnomer ‘lemon butter’. In fact, there is no butter in fruit butters! The term refers to the consistency of fruit that has been sieved or pureed so the resulting spread is like that of room temperature butter. The proper name is ‘lemon curd’. The following quote (and the recipe below) from “The WI [Women’s Institute] Book of Jams and Other Preserves” explains the differences between butters, cheeses and curds.

Photo courtesy of Maureen Larter

“Fruit butters and cheeses … contain a large quantity of sugar, [although] the proportion is less than that in jams. Fruit butters are of a softer consistency than cheeses and are usually spiced….[and] served as a spread. Cheeses are cooked to a stiff consistency and set in small molds so that they can be turned out for serving and cut into wedges. Curds contain eggs and butter in addition to the fruit and sugar, and are not intended to keep. Strictly speaking they are not a true preserve.”


50g (2oz) butter

2 oranges

1 lemon

225 g (8oz) sugar

4 eggs

“Place the butter in the top of a double saucepan, or in a bowl standing over a pan containing hot water, to melt. Scrub the oranges and lemons and then finely grate the rinds. Cut the fruit in half and squeeze out the juice. Add the rinds, juice and sugar to the butter and stir until sugar dissolves.

Beat the eggs and strain on to the fruit mixture. Cook gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens sufficiently to coat the back of the wooden spoon. Pour into warmed jars, cover and label.”

Photo courtesy of Maureen Larter

The above quantity will fit nicely into two medium sized jam jars (i.e. IXL). I usually double the recipe, store in small plastic containers and then freeze. From fresh made or defrosted, it must be refrigerated and eaten within a couple of weeks.

It is worth playing around with combinations of citrus. Personally, I find the above combo of two oranges and one lemon, a bit sickly sweet. One orange, two lemons or one each orange, lemon and lime gives the sugar enough tartness to be tasty. For a real zing try three limes.

It is not necessary to finely grate all the peel; you could instead just finely chop a small portion.

The recipe calls for Size 3 eggs which I guessed at being med-large. Most of my chooks produce pretty small eggs and as I only cook this up when there is a glut a few extra get beaten up.

Google tells us that “the Women's Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation's aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women's organisation in the UK.”

However, should you lack the motivation or inclination to make it yourself, it can be bought freshly made at our Produce Stall on Thursdays.

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