Ah, the tantalizing tang of Lemon Curd! Whether it’s slathered on scones, dolloped on pancakes, or tucked into tarts, lemon curd brings a burst of sunshine to any culinary creation.
At its core, lemon curd is a velvety-smooth custard-like spread made from lemons, sugar, eggs, and butter. It’s a magical alchemy of tartness and sweetness, balancing flavors that dance on your palate. The secret lies in the simplicity of the ingredients and the care taken in their preparation.
The process of making lemon curd is a labor of love. It begins by extracting the vibrant zest and extracting the tangy juice from fresh lemons. The zest, with its aromatic oils, adds a bright and refreshing essence, while the juice infuses the curd with a tangy punch. These ingredients are then mixed with sugar, eggs, and butter, and gently cooked over low heat until thickened to perfection. The result? A velvety, lemony masterpiece.
One of the many wonders of lemon curd is its versatility. It can elevate a humble piece of toast into a breakfast fit for royalty. Imagine spreading a thick layer of this golden elixir on a warm, freshly baked scone. As you take a bite, your taste buds are enveloped in a symphony of flavors — the tangy lemon notes harmonize with the subtle sweetness, leaving you craving for more.
Lemon curd is not just a breakfast companion. It’s a versatile ingredient that can shine in a multitude of desserts. It can be the star of a show-stopping lemon meringue pie, where its bright yellow hue contrasts with fluffy clouds of meringue, creating a dessert that’s both visually stunning and incredibly delicious. It can also be folded into whipped cream to create a luscious lemon mousse or used as a filling for cakes, tarts, and pastries. The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.
- Citrus juice: you can use lemons, oranges, or a combination of your favorite citrus fruits
Keep scrolling to find a full, printable recipe with a detailed ingredient list.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar until well blended. It should turn light and creamy.
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of citrus juice to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the zest of 1 lemon to the hot citrus juice, stirring it in.
- Slowly pour the hot citrus juice into the egg and sugar mixture while whisking continuously. This is called tempering. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Prepare a clean bowl with a strainer on top near your stove.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat and stir the mixture frequently. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature. Once it reaches 180°F and thickens like custard (around 10 minutes), remove from heat.
- Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer into the prepared bowl to remove any cooked egg bits.
- Add cubed unsalted butter and salt to the strained mixture. Stir well until the butter melts and incorporates.
- Let the citrus curd cool, then transfer it to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It will thicken further as it cools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lemon curd can be used in various ways. It can be spread on toast, scones, or pancakes, used as a filling for tarts, cakes, or pastries, or incorporated into desserts like lemon meringue pie or lemon bars. It’s a versatile ingredient that adds a burst of citrus flavor to many dishes.
Making lemon curd requires some attention and care, but it is not overly difficult. The key is to slowly add the hot citrus juice to the egg mixture while continuously whisking to prevent curdling. With proper temperature monitoring and following the instructions, you can achieve a delicious lemon curd.
When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, lemon curd can last for about 1 to 2 weeks. It’s important to ensure proper hygiene and avoid cross-contamination to maintain its freshness.
Yes, you can adjust the sweetness or tartness of lemon curd to suit your taste. If you prefer it sweeter, you can add a bit more sugar. For a tangier flavor, increase the amount of lemon juice or zest. Feel free to experiment and customize the recipe according to your preferences.
If you’ve tried this Lemon Curd recipe or any other recipe on Barbara Bakes, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.
- 2 cups of freshly squeezed citrus juice you can use lemons, oranges, or a combination of your favorite citrus fruits
- Zest grated from 1 whole lemon
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- ¾ cup of granulated sugar
- ½ cup of unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the 4 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, and ¾ cup of sugar. Whisk these ingredients together until they’re well blended. The mixture should take on a light, creamy color.
- In a small saucepan, add the 2 cups of citrus juice. Heat over medium-high until it comes to a gentle boil.
- Once the citrus juice is boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the zest from 1 lemon to the hot citrus juice, stirring to incorporate.
- Begin to slowly pour the hot citrus juice into your egg and sugar mixture while continuously whisking. This process is called tempering. It helps prevent the eggs from curdling when they come into contact with the hot liquid.
- After you’ve combined the citrus juice with the eggs and sugar, pour the mixture back into your saucepan.
- At this point, it’s a good idea to prepare a clean bowl with a strainer placed on top, positioned near your stove for easy access.
- Return the saucepan to the stove and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. Use a kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature. Once the mixture reaches 180°F (82°C) and has thickened to a custard-like consistency, remove from heat. This can take around 10 minutes, but timing can vary.
- Immediately pour the mixture through the strainer and into the prepared bowl. This helps remove any bits of cooked egg, resulting in a silky smooth curd.
- After straining, add the ½ cup of cubed unsalted butter and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Stir well until the butter is fully melted and incorporated.
- Once cooled, transfer the citrus curd to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
Lemon curd offers a delightful balance of tangy citrus flavor and sweetness, making it a versatile and delicious addition to numerous recipes. Its vibrant and refreshing qualities can elevate breakfasts, desserts, and even savory dishes, ensuring that it remains a cherished favorite for culinary enthusiasts.