Easy Lemon Curd – at Home
For years, I believed that lemon curd existed only in the tiny pots served at my favorite tea spots. One place, in particular, served it alongside Biscoff, the lightly-spiced cookies that are sometimes served as a snack on airplanes (which will someday soon be part of our collective experience again). I was mesmerized by it. Obsessed, really. Though they were served at the table in the way an Italian-American restaurant serves slices of warm bread or crispy bread sticks, I frequently would eat more of it than whatever I eventually ordered.
Fast forward to around 2009. I was pregnant with child #2 when a younger teacher, whose mom was a caterer, started bringing in “samples” of various recipes. Bacon-bourbon ice cream. Homemade mac and cheese. And then a small jar of lemon curd. As I helped myself to more than my (prego) fair share of it, Katie said she’d be happy to share the recipe.
Though I was a decade into my adventure as a self-taught cook and baker at that time, it literally had not occurred to me that I could make lemon curd at home. It was a eureka moment for me. And this easy lemon curd recipe has become one of my most requested. It is also easily adaptable. You can halve it, double it, swap in the fruit. I have made it with mandarin oranges and grapefruit, limes and passionfruit.
You can serve it with scones, on mini pavlovas, or with Biscoff (or your own speculoos cookies). You can also use it to fill cakes or cupcakes, top ice cream or swirl into yogurt. The possibilities are nearly endless. I transfer each batch into small jars and store them in the freezer, that way easy lemon curd becomes even easier most of the time.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to make some easy lemon curd.
Katie’s Easy Lemon Curd
- microplane grater
- heavy saucepan
- 3 tablespoons lemon zest from about 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 lb. unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1/8 tsp. Kosher Salt
- ½ cup lemon juice from about 3 lemons
- Remove the lemon zest with a microplane, then juice the lemons to yield 3 tablespoons zest and ½ cup juice.
- Combine the lemon zest and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan. Add the butter, and mix together over NO heat, using a hand mixer.
- Slowly add the eggs to the pot, incorporating each one completely, before adding the next one. Then add the salt and the lemon juice. It will look like a hollandaise that broke.
- Cook the mixture over low heat in the pan for about 10-20 minutes until it reaches 170 degrees and looks like lemon curd. It will become less opaque, creamy and smooth, and thicken slightly.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer (defrost before serving), or you may process sealed jars in a hot water bath, following manufacturer instructions.