Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is a soft, pillowy and creamy spread that is both tart and sweet. It’s bright in flavor and color, and stores well. Traditionally used as a jam alternative for bread and scones, it’s now more commonly used as a filling in cakes, tarts and pies.

This recipe is a gem, and a staple for me. I discovered it when I made this Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling, but the way I’ve grown to prepare it is slightly different.

Depending on the tartness of your lemons, you may want to reduce the sugar or add more juice.

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (about 3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 medium sized lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten


  1. In medium saucepan, mix together lemon zest, lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Mix in butter and 1/2 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
  2. In small bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Whisk a small amount of the hot lemon mixture in with the eggs. Pour the hot egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking rapidly.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Taste, and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar or extra lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
  4. Pour mixture into a fine-meshed sieve set over a medium bowl. The smaller the mesh holes, the smoother your lemon curd will taste. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours or so. Meanwhile, you can lick the pan and all utensils covered in what is pretty much liquid gold.

If you live in a college dorm and have no stove, no worries! You can also make microwave lemon curd.

What to do with my lemon curd?

Lemon curd is awesome. You can eat it straight up, but it’s also good for zinging up pound cake, coconut cake, and any sort of moist yellow or white cake. You can also use it to make this super easy and pretty no-bake lemon mascarpone tart with fresh berries.


Alton Brown says you can refrigerate lemon curd for up to two weeks, and apparently lemon curd freezes well. Huzzah!

This entry was posted in staples.

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  1. Pingback: When life gives you lemons, make Lemon Curd? « Raisin Questions

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