Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Magical Lemon Curd

Lemons are the most versatile ingredient in the kitchen.  I use it for almost every recipe I make whether it be savory or sweet. If a dish is bland, I add some fresh lemon juice and all of a sudden "wow"! Too sweet, add some lemon juice. Too greasy tasting, add some lemon juice. Make my pancakes taste extra yummy and moist, add some lemon juice. Ensure I don't get scurvy (honestly, I don't even know what that is!), have some lemons. It really is the magic ingredient for so many things.

But the best way to use lemons is in a lemon curd.  Traditionally an English condiment, it is typically used for afternoon tea to top scones and bread in replacement of jam.  Sweet and sour, it is mouth puckeringly good.  There are so many various ways of using lemon curd, whether it is on top of your morning pancakes, lemon bars, cheesecake, a glaze for lemon chicken or simply spread lavishly on a slice of crusty toast. It was pretty good just by the spoonful.

Here, I used it swirled into some Greek yogurt topped with sweet summer berries.  Later on this week, it will share the spotlight in a special birthday cake I am creating to celebrate my friend's 30th birthday in the Hamptons. Make sure to check back next week for that!

The gorgeous intense yellow color of the lemon curd is a welcome addition to any dining table or perhaps in a hostess gift basket.  Once you learn the base recipe, you can easily substitute the lemons with grapefruit or blood orange.  This can easily be made a few days ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Makes 3 cups

2 tbsp lemon zest (roughly 2 lemons)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

1.  Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, eggs and pinch of salt in a large saucepan over low.  Add butter and mix together, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from curdling.  

2.  Continue whisking until consistency is thick and easily coats the back of a spoon.  This process should take 20-25 minutes. Be patient! It will thicken further once refrigerated.

3.  If curd has bits of egg or lumps in mixture, strain before reserving it in a resealable container.  That was unnecessary for mine. Place saran wrap or parchment paper on top of the curd to avoid a layer of skin to form when cooling. 

4.  Refrigerate until ready to use for whatever you please. 

*Adapted from Gourmet, April 2011


  1. I didn't realize that making lemon curd is so easy. And I love the idea of mixing it with Greek yogurt and berries! Ahhh berries...I miss berries...

    1. No berries in Thailand?!! How is that possible? It would be yummy with some dragonfruit or lychees too.

  2. Replies
    1. I know! So delicious. Thanks for stopping by Anita!

  3. Mmm I love lemon curd, I recently made it for the first time myself! Great recipe! :)

    1. If it wasn't for the butter, I'd think it was healthy! :) Oh well. Thanks for stopping by Kelly!

  4. I need this so badly. I am always going on and on about how I need to make some lemon curd - you make it look delicious and easy!