Luscious, thick and bright sunny yellow, and bursting with fresh lemony citrus flavor, our Homemade Lemon Curd is made with fresh lemon juice and zest using the best foolproof techniques. In addition, our Lemon Curd is creamy and smooth due to the addition of butter. Perfect for gift giving as well as everyday, holiday and special occasion desserts. It’s like summer sunshine on a spoon!
Homemade Lemon Curd:
An Indispensable Fruit Curd
Today, I am sharing my favorite recipe for Lemon Curd. It is so ideal for everyday, holiday and special occasion desserts—especially for the winter holidays.
[NOTE: This post was originally published on October 13, 2015. However, I am reposting today since the recipe is no longer appearing in the Bloglovin’ feed—even though it is in my Feedburner feed from which Bloglovin’ pulls data. Sorry for any inconvenience.]
There’s just something special about home-baked treats such as cookies, pies and tarts made with fresh Homemade Lemon Curd. And this is my go to recipe when I make lemon curd to embellish spring and summer cakes as well as Christmas cookies and gingerbread.
It is so simple to make Lemon Curd from scratch that most people are surprised at just how incredibly easy it is when they make it for the first time. All it takes is a bit of time for prep work, about a half hour of actual cooking time and some extra stirring to incorporate the butter.
Before my first attempt to make homemade lemon curd, I was a complete mess…just terrified. What if it scorches? What if it curdles and I end up with lemony scrambled eggs? Even worse, what if I burn it? What if it separates? What if I fail? Oh, the horrors!
Why are we so intimidated by such an easy peasy preparation? And, why does this seemingly fancy schmancy foodstuff seem only fit to serve The Queen of England?
Because we are informed about all the pratfalls of making homemade citrus curd upfront, we set ourselves up for a lack of confidence. Then, we feel the added pressure that perhaps we must plan a tea party complete with all the “proper tea” preparations, bring out our finest china and silver, serve crumpets and scones (or “strumpets” as Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd Christmas, calls them in the film, Dumb and Dumber) and sip our teacups with our pinkies raised. Silly. All of these preconceived notions about fruit curd are just plain nonsense.
As it turns out, my first batch of lemon curd turned out just fine and I had nothing to fear. That’s right. Nothing. Fear, I believe, is the number one reason we put off doing something fun and challenging in the kitchen. I swear, I thought to myself, “That’s it? That’s all there is to it? I did it!” Hahaha!
We all must start from scratch. It was a good thing that I started with an outstanding, well-written and reliable recipe—one that I took the time to read thoroughly. Like, three times.
The key to successfully making something you’ve never made before starts from scratch—first, by reading the recipe. By reading the recipe, to include all the tips and “visual cues”, you will know what to expect. Knowing what to expect will certainly put any fears to rest. Then, try visualizing making the recipe as you read. Easy peasy. Lemon squeezy.
For this Homemade Lemon Curd recipe, I merged together Alton Brown’s methods and, for the most part, Rose Levy Beranbaum’s ingredients ratio for Lemon Curd. For beginners, I believe using a double boiler (Alton’s preferred method) is ideal as it creates a gentle and controlled environment to make the curd thus preventing any scorching or burning.
So, do not fret. Embrace the opportunity to grow your culinary skillset and enjoy the challenge of making your own homemade citrus or fruit curd, by making our Best Ever Homemade Lemon Curd. Because, once you do (and eat it by the spoonful as I did!), you will be on Cloud Nine. Just be careful and stop yourself, or you just may need a 12-step program!
What exactly is fruit curd?
Fruit curd is a dessert filling, spread and/or topping typically made with citrus juices such as lemon, lime or orange. Basic ingredients include a mixture of beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest—which are gently cooked until thickened and cooled. The mixture forms a soft and smooth fruit flavored curd. Some recipes include egg whites and butter.
Although fruit curds are used to fill pies and tarts, they are much different from pie fillings and custards in that a higher proportion of juice and zest are used to provide a concentrated or more intense flavor.
Fruit curds made with butter will have a creamier and smoother texture. Other pie fillings and custards contain little or no butter and rely on starches (arrowroot or cornstarch) or flour for thickening whereas fruit curds rely on egg yolks for thickening.
More creative fruit curds use citrus fruits such as grapefruits and tangerines as well as berries such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries, and tropical fruits such as passion fruit and mango.
Here are some ways to enjoy homemade citrus or fruit curd:
6 Ways As a Condiment for Breakfast
- Spread on Bagels, English Muffins or Toast with Jam and Cream Cheese
- Spread on Biscuits, Muffins, Scones or Rolls
- Spread on Graham Crackers with Cream Cheese
- Swirl into Yogurt with Granola and Berries or Dried Fruit
- Topping for French Toast, Pancakes or Waffles
- Topping for Oatmeal or Porridge
A Baker’s Dozen List For Use In Baking & Dessert Making
- Filling for Baked Doughnuts and Cupcakes
- Filling for Cake Layers and Crepes
- Filling for Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies and Waffle Cookies
- Filling for Macarons and Shortbread
- Filling for Mini Meringues and Pavlova
- Filling for Pies and Tarts or Mini Phyllo Tarts
- Filling for Profiteroles and Puff Pastries
- Filling for Sweet Rolls
- Layered Filling in Parfaits and Trifles or Napoleons
- Served with Fresh Fruit and Whipped Coconut or Dairy Cream
- Swirled into Batter for Cheesecakes and Coffee Cakes
- Topping for Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Sundaes
- Topping for Summer Berry Shortcakes or Winter Holiday Gingerbread
To recap, what makes our recipe for Homemade Lemon Curd wicked good?
Our Homemade Lemon Curd melts in your mouth. It is creamy and velvety smooth due to the addition of butter yet bursting with lemony citrus flavor. In addition to incorporating the best foolproof methods and ideal ingredient ratios, our recipe provides plenty of tips making it easy to prepare. This sumptuous citrus curd makes a fabulous and thoughtful gift from the kitchen as well. The applications for it are truly endless. If you could taste summer sunshine on a spoon, our Homemade Lemon Curd would be it!
For the lemon lovers in your life, whip up a batch soon. You will be so glad you did! That’s a promise.
Below are Pinterest-friendly sized images to pin at Pinterest!
- 7 to 8 large egg yolks (about 130 grams w/o shells), depending on size
- 1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons (275 grams) granulated sugar
- 4½ fluid ounces (about 133 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 large lemons)
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt
- 1 tablespoon (6 grams) finely grated lemon zest
- ½ cup (1 stick/113 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pats
Tips:Before juicing lemons, heat fruit for 10 seconds in microwave oven on high power. Roll between hands or on work surface, pressing lightly on the fruit. This will release a significant greater amount of juice. To prevent curdling, be sure to blend the sugar well with the yolks before adding the lemon juice. Use a double boiler (or a metal bowl placed over saucepan) with an inch or so of water in bottom pan or heavy nonreactive (non-aluminum) saucepan that conducts heat evenly. Do not allow the curd mixture to boil. Remove immediately from heat once curd is thickened and, if straining (this is optional to strain the citrus zest), strain at once as the residual heat will continue to cook the curd. If you have an accurate candy thermometer, check the temperature of the cooked curd. It should be 170ºF. Store curd covered tightly in refrigerator. It will keep up to 2 weeks. Warning: The reason why a nonreactive (non-aluminum) saucepan should be used is because aluminum will react with the yolks and turn them a chartreuse (green) color. Recipe Inspiration: Our Homemade Lemon Curd recipe was adapted by recipes for Lemon Curd by Alton Brown of FoodNetwork.com and award-winning cookbook author, Rose Levy Beranbaum. Rose’s Lemon Curd recipe can be found on page 340 in the highly acclaimed cookbook, The Cake Bible (William Morrow Cookbooks; 8th edition, 1st edition September 20, 1988). Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.