Frostings & Sauces

Lemon Curd

November 24, 2014

This smooth and luscious lemon curd can be used as a filling, topping, or spread. The recipe is versatile, so you can customize it to suit your own taste.

Homemade Lemon Curd | prettysimplesweet.com

Lemon curd is one of Erez’s favorites, so you can believe me when I say that I’ve made it countless times. Although it may take a couple of tries to really get the hang of it, once you do, it becomes incredibly easy! Today it took me about 20 minutes from start to finish – 10 for preparation, 10 for cooking, and about 2 more for straining and whisking the butter.

Lemon curd can be used as a spread, such as on scones, or as a filling or topping for pavlovas, cheesecakes, layer cakes, tarts, sandwich cookies, parfaits, and more.

This recipe is the one I use almost all the time. It’s simple since it doesn’t require separating the eggs, and it’s also very light. I’ll sometimes tweak the recipe a bit, following the guidelines below, if I want it a bit sweeter or richer. If you’ve never made lemon curd before, I suggest starting with the recipe as-is; it has a good balance of sweetness and tartness, and is full of lemon flavor.

Homemade Lemon Curd | prettysimplesweet.com

Let’s go over the ingredients:

Eggs: Using whole eggs is not only simple, but also makes for a light curd. Instead of 3 whole eggs, you can use 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks, 1 whole egg plus 4 egg yolks, or just 5-6 egg yolks. The more egg yolks you use, the richer and creamier (and somewhat heavier) the curd will be. It will also yield a much yellower curd as opposed to recipes using whole eggs only.

Sugar: I like a curd that’s tart and not too sweet, but if you prefer it the other way around, you can add a few more tablespoons (2-4) of sugar.

Homemade Lemon Curd | prettysimplesweet.com

Lemons: This curd is full of lemon flavor. For a milder flavor, you can always use a bit less juice and zest (or more if you want it more lemony!).

Butter: Personally, I like a mild buttery flavor, but it all depends on personal taste. Butter not only adds flavor, but it also makes for a smoother and creamier consistency. If preferred, you can add more butter than the recipe suggests (up to 1/2 cup). Since adding the butter is the last step of the process, add as much as you like until you reach the desired taste.

Homemade Lemon Curd | prettysimplesweet.com

More notes and tips:

– The curd should be cooked gently, because if it boils or gets too hot, it will curdle. Although it is possible to cook it on low heat in a saucepan, I highly recommend using a double boiler – this means setting the ingredients in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan with simmering water. When using a double boiler, it’s important to note that the bowl should not touch the water and be above the water, not in it. Make sure that the water has moderate bubbles and isn’t heavily boiling at any point.
– If your curd doesn’t seem to thicken after 10 minutes or so, simply increase the heat.
– Straining the curd after cooking makes it smoother and eliminates any lumps or pieces of cooked egg.
– When grating the lemon zest, avoid grating the pith (the white part underneath). The pith is very bitter and will change the flavor of the curd.
– Whisking the mixture constantly while cooking as the recipe suggests doesn’t mean you need to whisk it non-stop, but it does mean you should stay near the stove, keep an eye on it, and stir often so it won’t curdle.
– Lemon curd freezes well for about 2 months. You can always find some in my freezer!

Homemade Lemon Curd | prettysimplesweet.com

Lemon Curd
Yields: 1½ cups
 
This smooth and luscious lemon curd can be used as a filling, topping, or spread. The recipe is versatile, so you can customize it to suit your own taste.
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (150g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons for both zest and juice)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick/56 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Note: Before you start, you may want to refer to the above post which contains useful information.
  2. In a medium heatproof bowl, place eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and juice and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain-marie). Cook on moderate heat, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick (mine was ready in 10 minutes). If you have a thermometer, it should register 170F/75C; otherwise, it should coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a clear pass if you run your finger through it. The curd will thicken more once cooled.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a sieve. Add butter and whisk until completely melted and incorporated, and mixture is smooth.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Sometimes a “skin” can form on the surface of the curd. To prevent it, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.
  5. Lemon curd can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, place overnight in the fridge.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext.com
    November 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

    This lemon curd looks so luscious and delicious, Shiran! One of my favourites!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you Jess!

  • Reply
    The Blonde Chef
    November 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    Looks yummy!

  • Reply
    Winnie
    November 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    המשפחה של החצי אוהבת כמעט כל דבר עם לימון, שלא נדבר עם קינוחים עם לימון
    אפשר לעשות עם זה יופי של חיתוכיות על בצק פריך ופירורים למעלה
    יאמיייייייי

  • Reply
    Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe
    November 26, 2014 at 6:08 am

    I love love love this recipe! Actually I’ve never tried lemon curd before but I’m 100% sure I’ll love it, since I love anything lemon-y. And what better why to try it for the first time than a “healthy” homemade version?! Excited!

    xo, Elisa

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 26, 2014 at 10:59 am

      If you love anything lemon-y, then you must try this! You’ll love it Elisa!

  • Reply
    Susan
    December 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Shiran.im Susan from Indonesia, i’ve just seen your blog and love it ! especially for this super easy recipe. can’t wait to try this.thanks Shiran. :))

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 22, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Nice to meet you Susan, and thank you so much! I hope you’ll enjoy my recipes! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sihan
    February 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Hello! Would the lemon curd separate after freezing?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 7, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Hi Sihan, lemon curd freezes well, it shouldn’t separate. Leave it on the counter or overnight in the fridge to thaw, then whisk it until smooth.

  • Reply
    Eva
    July 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Hello there 🙂 I LOVE that recipe .. I ate it with a spoon out of the pot!!! pure evil 😀 .. one question ..can I can it like jam and Keep it for some months or doesnt that work?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 11, 2015 at 6:03 pm

      Thank you Eva! 🙂 Instead of canning I recommend placing it in an airtight container and freezing it for 2 months or even more. To thaw, place it in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. I do this all the time!

  • Reply
    Deborah
    January 11, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Super easy and really good!!! We’re having it with gingerbread & a bit of whipped cream … decadent …

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 12, 2017 at 8:24 am

      I’m glad you like it Deborah 🙂

  • Reply
    Karla
    July 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    This is amazing lemon curd. I just made this and your tart crust and topped it all off with blueberries. Doubled the batch of curd and cannot stop sneaking spoonfuls of the leftovers. Absolutely beautiful, thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you so much Karla!

  • Reply
    Britta
    July 9, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I have been wanting to bake better, and some recipies I try go wrong and I don’t know why, or I have questions. So I LOVE thatyou explain everything and add in the type of tips I’m looking for! I will be perusing your whole site in the not too distant future…. very excitef to try some of theses recipes.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 10, 2017 at 3:45 am

      Thank you so much, Britta! Baking takes practice, but it’s worth it!

  • Reply
    Aneesah
    July 15, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Hi. I have never made lemon curd before but I desperately wanted to try something new to take to my in laws so I could WOW them lol. And from all the recipes I googled I tried yours. And I have to say that the raves were awesome. I served it on lil pavlovas. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’m making it again today 😁

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 17, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Thank you so much Aneesah! I love the combination of lemon curd and meringue!

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