This homemade creamy and luscious lemon curd is a perfect combination of sweet, tart and tangy and can be used as a filling, topping or spread.
Good lemon desserts are like sunshine. They brighten up your day and make you feel much better. Although I may be a matcha-holic at heart, I will be as happy with a slice of coconut lemon tart or lemon pound cake. If you are a fan of lemon, you will love this full-of-lemony-goodness vibrant lemon curd.
SO WHAT IS LEMON CURD?
Lemon curd is a decadent dessert topping for pavlovas, cakes, filling for tarts or spread such as on scones that is flavorful. This has a perfect balance between an intense lemon flavor, sweetness and a hint of tartness. You only need 20 minutes for everything to come together quickly, with a handful of ingredients.
LEMON CURD INGREDIENTS
This light and refreshing lemon curd reminds me of spring and shiny days. The recipe is quite simple as we will only need eggs, lemon, sugar and butter to make this lemon curd. I find that using whole eggs will not only make it easier but also yield a lighter texture. You can use 1 large egg and 2 egg yolks instead of 3 whole eggs and double the recipe to the amount that you need, but bear in mind that the more egg yolks, the richer, creamier and more yellow the lemon curd will be.
Because it’s bursting with lemony flavor, lemons are required in this recipe! Just make sure you grate lemon zest before squeezing them into juice. For strong or mild tangy flavor upon personal taste, you can add more or less juice.
The butter adds more flavor and makes the lemon curd extra rich and creamy. It also will help set the lemon curd properly after you’ve chilled it for a while in the fridge. You can add up to 1/2 cup of butter depending on your personal taste.
TIPS TO MAKE SMOOTH AND CREAMY LEMON CURD
I highly recommend using a double boiler method which is cooking in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan with simmering water, although some recipes call for cooking it in a saucepan directly over low heat which is possible to do. It’s important to note that the bowl should not touch the water. Another method that I also recommend to use is the reverse creaming method, which you usually see in making pastry cream. Mix all the dry ingredients with sugar first then cook the lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat until it only just starts to simmer. Slowly add the hot lemon juice to the egg and sugar mixture, mixing constantly until combined then bring it back to the saucepan, cook it over low heat while constantly stirring until thickened. For both methods, adding butter is the last step of the process and after adding butter, keep whisking until you reach the desired consistency.
Do not forget to strain the cooked mixture. Straining the curd after cooking will help make the texture smoother and creamier as it removes any lumps or pieces of cooked egg. Also, whisking constantly the curd while it’s cooking will help remove the chance of forming curdles when the eggs are being cooked.
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup (120ml/1-2 lemons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- In a medium heatproof bowl, add eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and juice and whisk until combined. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook on medium heat. While the mixture is cooking, whisking constantly until thickened. The curd is ready when it can thickly coat the back of a spoon or a whisker. The curd will firm up once it has cooled.
- Remove from heat and immediately strain the mixture through a sieve. Add butter and whisk until the butter completely melted and incorporated or the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Cover with a plastic wrap directly on top to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
- Lemon curd can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days, or can be frozen for up to 2 months.