Lemon curd is easy to make, quick to come together, with only a few simple pantry staples! It’s rich, buttery, and so versatile. Put it on and in everything you bake!
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Y’all know how much I love creating convenience foods at home. Especially sauces and spreads.
And since it’s winter, aka citrus season, it’s the best time to bring a little summer to your winter blues (and then freeze the rest to enjoy it during the summer time!)
So lemon curd? I love the homemade stuff. Store bought just doesn’t compare. And the ingredients don’t compare too well, either.
But homemade? Oh my goodness, y’all, it’s so amazingly just…you have to try it yourself. It’s indescribably good. It’s rich, buttery, creamy, sweet, and tart. I used Meyer lemons in this recipe’s photo, because they are sweeter than regular lemons (they’re a hybrid of lemons and mandarin oranges!) and the sweetness was perfect for me. But if you really love tart lemon curd, use regular lemons for this recipe and maybe 2/3 cup of sugar instead of 3/4 cup.
I mean, who doesn’t like lemons? I use lemon in so many dishes, I knew lemon curd had to come to the blog.
This recipe is called the easy lemon curd recipe for a reason: I try to make this as foolproof as possible for y’all! The double boiler (or a heat-safe bowl, like a Pyrex mixing bowl, that sits over a saucepan with simmering water) ensures there’s no burning lemon curd, and a mesh sieve makes sure there aren’t any bits of egg or large pieces of zest in your curd.
If you don’t know what to use lemon curd on, well let me give you some ideas:
With tea, on scones
On your toast
Inside of cupcakes
On lemon poppy seed pound cake
in baking to add moisture and sweet lemony flavor
Topping ice cream
In lemon meringue pie
lemon filled donuts
as a filling for crepes
Mixed into frosting or whipped cream or cream cheese
The list goes on, honey. Lemon curd is just so good and so versatile. It’s also freezer-friendly!
When making lemon curd keep these tips in mind:
- Remove as much of the white from the yolk as possible. The albumin (the egg white) is what can give your lemon curd that yucky, sulfur-y, ‘eggy’ taste. I like the water bottle trick for this problem: use an empty plastic water bottle to suck up the egg yolk after you crack your egg into a bowl or plate. Easy separation; works every time!
- Do not whisk your lemon curd together in a metal bowl and do not keep it in a metal container once finished. The metal can leave a metallic taste in your curd because of the acidity reacting with it. A stainless steel pot seems to have no effect.
- Make sure your zest is either fine enough that it’s not going to affect the texture of your lemon curd, or big enough to either pull out by hand or be caught by a strainer if you decide to strain it.
- If it’s your first time making lemon curd, I suggest you strain it. You may have missed a corner and the eggs might’ve cooked up at the bottom of the bowl. It’s all good, just pour your lemon curd through a mesh sieve into a non-metal container.
- Go curd crazy! Lemons aren’t the only fruit that make delicious curd; grapefruit, limes, oranges (ooh, a blood orange curd? Mmm!).
Ready to create your new favorite breakfast spread?
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- Juice of 3 lemons
- Zest of two lemons
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Fill 1/3 of the bottom pot of your double boiler and place on high heat. When your water begins to boil, reduce heat to medium-low to keep the water at a simmer as you are cooking your lemon curd.
- Put lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and salt into the top pot of your double boiler. Whisk until the ingredients are well combined and continue to whisk well throughout the cooking process. Constant whisking prevents the egg yolks from overcooking and becoming scrambled eggs.
- Whisk until the mixture becomes thick, and coats the back of a spoon with a thick layer, about 12-15 minutes. If your curd isn't thickening fast enough, slightly turn up the heat while whisking constantly. The whisking is the key to smooth, non-scrambled, lemon curd.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, a cube or two at a time, letting butter melt before adding another cube.
- Pour curd through a mesh sieve to ensure a smooth curd into a bowl, then place a piece of plastic wrap over, touching the curd so it doesn't form a skin. It will continue to thicken as it cools down.
- Store in the fridge up to 10 days or freeze for up to 6 months and thaw in fridge to enjoy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97
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Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.