Homemade lemon curd is one of the best things in the world. Yes, you can buy it in grocery stores or specialty food stores, but homemade will always be much better. Fruit curd is an indulgent, luscious, tart, creamy fruit spread that is good as a dessert topping, spread on toast, as a filling for tarts and cakes, shoot it even tastes good on a spoon. The first time I made lemon curd I made it out curiosity. It's a recipe in The Cake Bible (a book I highly recommend) by Rose Levy Beranbaum and while the name sounded funny the ingredients sounded good and the recipe looked easy. Once I made it there was no going back. Since I started the blog I have the goal to make as many fruit curds as possible. So far I have made kumquat, strawberry, cranberry, and rhubarb. You can do almost any citrus fruit in addition to raspberries and blueberries. See the list at the end of this post for links to the other recipes.
How to Make Lemon Curd
Lemon curd consists of five ingredients: lemons, eggs, sugar, butter, and a little salt. Use real lemons because you want the zest and the kick of real lemon juice. Eggs are used to thicken the curd. The combination of sugar and eggs is needed for thickening and butter makes it extra creamy.
Curd is made on the stovetop on medium heat and whisked constantly. Do not walk away from the curd while you are cooking it or it will burn. When the curd has thickened and reached the right temperature it is strained to remove any solids (little bits of cooked eggs and the zest) so it is extra smooth. The right temperature is listed to ensure that you have cooked the curd enough, but that you don't accidentally boil it. Boiling curd will cause it to curdle and create a grainy texture.
The directions call for a non-reactive saucepan, which is a pan that will not react with the acid in the lemons. Do not use an aluminum pan, use stainless steel. Using an aluminum pan will produce a metallic taste.
The curd is chilled immediately to keep bacteria from forming. The surface o the curd is covered with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming on the surface of the lemon curd.
The lemon curd will be good in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and can be frozen up to one year. If you freeze it, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator about 24 hours before you're ready to use it.
I hope you try the recipe for this luscious lemon curd. If you do make it please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @bakesbybrownsugar. If you're looking for ideas on how to use besides eating it by the spoonful check out my recipe for Meyer Lemon Tart.
For other fruit curds, check out these recipes:
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 (100 grams) whole eggs
- 4 (80 grams) large egg yolks
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Place a strainer over a medium-sized bowl near the stove.
- Place the sugar in a small bowl and zest the lemons onto the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together. Juice the lemons until you have 3/4 cups of juice.
- In a nonreactive 2 quart saucepan, combine the whole eggs, eggs yolks, and sugar and whisk until well blended. Stir in the lemon juice, butter, and salt.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is thickened. As you cook the mixture the butter will melt. When the mixture has thickened and reached a temperature of 185 degrees F pour it into the strainer. Press the curd through the strainer with a spatula to remove the solids.
- Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Place the curd in the refrigerator and chill.
- The lemon curd is good in the refrigerator for 1 week and can be frozen for up to 1 year. If freezing the curd package it in a freezer container after it has chilled. When ready to use place it in the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours before intended use.