Given a choice of desserts I find it hard to go past anything chocolate - ever. One of the only things that gives me pause for thought is a good lemon dessert. Lemon meringue pie, citron tarts - anything really filled with lemon butter/curd.
I used to make lemon butter when I was a kid, not for any dessert just to have a jar in the fridge to spread on toast or white bread with butter. I always used a recipe out of a 70's Time Life cookbook - the same recipe I use now actually modified slightly - I like my lemon butter really tangy so I increased the amount of lemon juice and tripled the recipe to make a full (big) jar. Did I mention that I REALLY like lemon butter?
There are a couple of things to remember when making this recipe - firstly don't be in a rush - if you cook it too quickly it will curdle. Also strain the lemon juice and beaten eggs as you add them to the mixture - this will stop lemon pips adding surprise texture to your butter but also unappealing white streaks of cooked egg.
90g (3oz) butter
180g (6 oz) sugar
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Melt the butter and sugar together in a double boiler. Strain in the lemon juice - if you don't like your lemon tart I suggest you start with 2 lemons and add more to taste. Add the grated rind.
Stir till the sugar is dissolved and reduce the heat slightly.
Beat the eggs well - you want to break up any stringy bits and strain into the lemon mixture.
Stir continuously with a wooden spoon - the mixture will curdle if not heated evenly, until the mixture thickens - this can take 10-15 mins. It's done when it coats the back of the spoon in a nice thick layer - it will thicken a little more once cool. While the mixture is still warm pour into a sterilized jar. Sterilizing jar is easy - wash your jar well in warm soapy water and rinse well. Pop the jar into a medium oven for a couple of minutes until dry. Cool before filling.
My Mom makes a fantastic lemon butter variation to which she adds fresh passionfruit when she adds the lemon juice. Reduce the amount lemon when you do this and taste before you add the egg to make sure there is enough sugar.