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!
- 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
- Add an inch or so of water to a medium, heavy nonreactive (noncorrodible) saucepan or bottom pan of a double boiler set. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a medium sized metal bowl (or separate glass bowl) or top pan (insert) of a double boiler set, beat yolks and sugar vigorously with a whisk until smooth and well blended, about 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick at first, just keep at it.) Add lemon juice and salt, whisk until smooth. If mixed in separate glass bowl, scrape and pour into top pan of double boiler set.
- Once the water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl over saucepan or top pan (insert) into bottom of double boiler. Do not allow water to touch the bottom of the metal bowl or top pan (insert) of the double boiler as this could scorch and possibly curdle the mixture. Cook whisking constantly until thickened, about 20 to 22 minutes. The mixture will change from translucent to an opaque light yellow color and will coat the back of a wooden spoon yet still be liquid enough to pour. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle.
- Remove promptly from heat and immediately whisk in lemon zest to release oils. Add butter gradually, one piece at a time, whisking well to combine. Allow each addition of the butter to melt completely before adding more. If straining (this is optional to strain lemon zest and any coagulated egg) for a smooth curd, strain at once into a medium bowl and press strainer with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula until only the coarse residue remains. Discard residue.
- Allow curd to cool; cover by placing a layer of plastic food wrap directly on top of the surface of the curd. The curd will continue to thicken further upon resting and chilling. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate.
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 for 1 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.
To Freeze Homemade Lemon Curd: Homemade Lemon curd freezes extremely well when very tightly sealed and will last for several months in the freezer. Since it does not freeze into a solid state, it can actually be spooned out as to the amount needed for dessert making which is great when preparing small desserts, single-serving desserts or filling a small batch of cookies. If freezing an entire batch of lemon curd to thaw later, simply thaw the frozen curd while tightly sealed in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, the lemon curd will be ready to use in recipes. Lemon curd will only last 1 week after freezing and thawing.
Recipe Adapted by: 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
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