I’ve been collecting jam, peanut butter, and chutney jars over the last several months to prepare for fruit season this summer. Apparently, there are blackberry bushes all over the parks in Seattle and people go picking whenever they have a berry, tart, or pie craving. Can you imagine, free berries?! While I’ve never made jam, I’m excited to start experimenting this summer. I have countless memories of my mom and Grammy making jam in our kitchen when I was little. They would gather a bunch of fruit from our orchard and then spend a day or two stewing it down, sterilizing the jars, and labeling them with the fruit and date. If I remember right, they made strawberry, apricot, and peach. Probably more. My Grammy recently told me that she was saving the jars for me which I will take ownership of when I head back to the Bay Area this summer. I can’t wait to ask her how old they are.
Tonight I put a few of my own new jars to the test with my mother-in-law’s lemon butter recipe. Her own grandmother made lemon butter and it’s now her tradition to give it away at Christmas. I halved the recipe and will be giving none away.
I wonder how long my own jars will survive and what delightful recipes will be made in and shared from them in years to come.
Full recipe for the Roetter Family Lemon Curd
Grated rind and juice of 8 lemons (rind is optional, but it adds a lot of zing)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up (1 stick)
2 1/2 cups sugar
8 eggs, lightly beaten
Melt the butter with the lemon juice, rind, and sugar in the microwave. Don’t let it get too hot or the eggs will curdle when you add them. In a separate bowl beat the eggs lightly, and pour them through a strainer into the lukewarm lemon mixture. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, then whisk thoroughly. Return to the microwave for one minute, approximately four times, whisking vigorously in between. The mixture will be somewhat thick, don’t over cook it or it will curdle. It sets up further in the refrigerator. Pour the lemon butter through a strainer into another bowl. Pour into jars, bring to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. It lasts 6 weeks, if it isn’t gobbled up sooner. If you do make smaller quantities, shorten the amount of time in the microwave for each stage.