This lemon curd is super creamy, rich, full of bright lemon flavor and extremely versatile.
Lemon curd is one of those things that a) most people love b) isn’t difficult to make and c) has many uses. Due to its sweet and refreshingly sour flavor it has many fans. (One of them being me.) Popular uses for this creamy custard are:
As a topping on:
- Scones, muffins, toast, dinner rolls, pancakes, waffles, crackers,…
As a filling for:
- Cupcakes, layered cakes, cookies, crepes, macrons, meringue, puff pastry,..
Or swirl it into:
- Frosting, cake batter, cheesecake, yoghurt, mascarpone,..
What exactly is lemon curd though?
It is a fruit curd, consisting of egg yolks, lemon juice, zest and sugar. After it has cooked to the right consistency, butter is added to give it a smooth and velvety consistency. The thickening agents are the egg yolks that turn the liquid mixture into a cream. Lemon juice and zest give it a wonderful zing. The zest is cooked down so much that you do not need to sieve it out.
But what is the right consistency? When cooked over the double broiler the consistency should be like that of a cheese sauce or sauce hollandaise, thick but still pourable. If you want to be exact, it thickens at 70°C or 160°F. It will continue thickening once cooled.
Why do we cook it over a double broiler and why is the temperature important? This is because eggs curdle when heated too high. You want to end up with a smooth cream, not scrambled eggs, so do not turn the heat up higher than the recipe calls for.
- 5 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
- 125ml lemon juice (about 2 and 1/2 lemons)
- zest from 2 organic lemons
- 100g white granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
- pinch of salt
- 60g butter, cubed and chilled (1/4 cup)
- Combine egg yolks, egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whip until well combined.
- Transfer to a double broiler and cook (while continuously mixing!) over medium heat until the mixture reaches 70°C (160°F) or until it resembles the consistency of cheese sauce or sauce hollandaise. This should take about 10-15 min.
- Remove from heat and and add in the cubed butter, stir until it dissolves.
- Pour into a clean glass jar and cover the top of the curd with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming. Let it cool down to room temperatur and then store sealed tightly in the fridge.
- This recipe yields a little under 2 cups of lemon curd.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.