How-to project: A recipe

In place of the usual book art project, here is a recipe for lemon curd. You could choose your favourite preserve to make into a hand-bound recipe book, or tell a story of tea & toast.

Last October on Iona we lost a dear friend. The day before she died, Joan le Morvan made a batch of lemon curd, and gave us a jar. This last precious gift was eked out over as many slices of toast as possible, but finally it was gone. I learnt that it was not too difficult to make, and only requires four ingredients.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How-to project: Recipe for lemon curd

This summer, on the Life in Motion film making course, we were asked to create a piece on the theme of ‘Taste,’ and so here is the process of cooking up a June batch:

Ingredients for about five jars:

Zest and juice of eight lemons

200 grams butter

400 grams sugar

Six eggs

Two egg yolks

For the labels:




Glue stick


Put the sugar, cubed butter, lemon zest and juice into a bowl sitting on a pan of simmering water.

Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl.

Stir with a whisk until the butter has melted.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs and yolk with a fork.

Stir the eggs into the sweet lemony buttery mixture.

Cook for ten minutes, stirring regularly.

Remove from heat and stir as the curd cools.

Jar up.

Create labels embellished with ink.

Attach to the jars with glue stick.

Store in the fridge, but not before sampling (with adequate amounts of butter.)

From a recipe by Nigel Slater in The Guardian.

In memory of Joan le Morvan.

The Travelling Bookbinder: How-to project: A recipe for lemon curd

Post script: On Shetland, adventuring about with Sue Lewington, we stopped at the legendary Unst Bus Shelter, which was adorned with happy yellow items such as a laundry-bottle-mobile. We were inspired to make a meal that night, using only yellow ingredients (including lemon curd), documented in pages that we sewed into the bus shelter’s visitor’s book the next day. You too could create a meal and a book with a colour theme!

6 thoughts on “How-to project: A recipe

  1. My daughter @Nikki RAPPAPORT is a creative food strategist for @callyourmother deli in Washington, DC. But her love of food, family, and all things colorful and creative began with @cupcakesforbreakfast. Most Sundays she would post a Sunday pasta. My favorite book I made for her was inspired by her pasta recipes and a pasta installation I saw at a gallery. Together, the exhibit postcard and her recipes made an delicious, albeit simple book.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story Rachel. 🧡

    1. Gosh and thank you for sharing your stories too Pat – I love imagining your pasta book!

  2. Your film is beautiful and is so touching with the background music. You can feel what is behind the making. It is a most fitting tribute to your friend.

    Everything you do looks like a work of art to me.

    I do want some lemon curd now. I’ve never had it, but I want it.

    1. Dear Robin, Thank you for your kind words. Delighted that you enjoyed the film, and want to taste lemon curd – it’s super sweet and tingly and comforting!

  3. Beautiful and elegant tribute to your friend. I adore lemon curd, though I’ve never made it before I’m feeling motivated to make your recipe. Many thanks for sharing!

    1. Dear Patricia, Thank you, and all luck for making your first batch – it really is simple – four ingredients and no need for a thermometer…give it a go!

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