Lemon curd, oh lemon curd. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Since the first time I made my own lemon curd a few years ago I have been obsessed. Every spring I make several batches of it and slather it on everything from biscuits to pancakes, I use it to fill cakes and tarts, and even enjoy it straight with a spoon.
This recipe has never failed me. I now use less butter than I used to and haven’t missed it one bit (the recipe below reflects that change). This lemon curd is wonderful, it’s bright, and it’s insanely lemony.
Don’t be intimidated by the all of the squeezing, zesting, and tempering of egg yolks (see baking tip below). Follow the recipe and you can’t miss. And you really should try it, because it will seriously change your life. Okay, maybe it won’t change your life, but it will definitely brighten your day.
Tempering eggs is a critical step in making any egg-based custard or sauce on a stovetop. It slowly brings the temperature of the eggs up as they’re cooked, heat them too quickly and you’ll end up with a scrambled mess.
How it’s done is you bring a liquid (cream, lemon juice, etc.) just to a simmer and then add it in a slow steady stream to the eggs while whisking constantly. After the two have been combined, you can return the mixture to the stove and continue with your recipe.
This rich, creamy, and fragrant lemon curd is perfect on everything from biscuits to layer cakes.
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 1 cup (237 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 10 large egg yolks
- Add 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- In another bowl, combine the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly add the hot lemon juice mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously. When fully combined, return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat until the whisk leaves a trail in the curd. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat and pass through a mesh strainer set over a bowl to remove the zest and any egg clumps. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd and let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Adapted from Cake Art.
Recipe updated March 2013.