A traditional lemon curd recipe that is just the right amount of sweet, with a tart brightness from fresh lemons.
Originating in England in the early 1800s, lemon curd quickly became wildly popular. The earliest lemon curd recipes were not smooth and creamy like the popular modern iterations we are most likely to enjoy — rather they were actual curds. The acidity of lemon juice was used to coagulate cream, and the resulting curds were then strained from the “whey.”
Served with bread or scones at a traditional afternoon tea as an alternative to jam, lemon curd also was used as a filling for various desserts. I’ll even link you to 10 incredible desserts that make use of lemon curd.
But first, let us make a perfect lemon curd. It is really very simple.
Eggs are an absolute requirement in lemon curd. Some recipes call for whole eggs, some for just the yolks, and some — like mine — use a combination. I prefer the airier texture that comes from using at least one whole eggs, but be aware that egg whites are more prone to cooking and giving an unpleasant texture and eggy taste to the finished lemon curd.
Keep your heat low!
Sugar is a requirement for good lemon curd. I use caster sugar in mine.
The addition of butter to lemon curd makes for an even creamier end-result. I prefer a higher fat butter like Kerrygold or anything coming from New Zealand.
Choose unwaxed lemons, for you will be using the zest as well as the juice. The zest keeps the lemon curd from becoming cloyingly sweet, and the juice makes it refreshing despite being a decadent and rich dessert.
This is my simple recipe for perfectly perfect lemon curd followed by 10 recipes showing you how to enjoy your lemon curd in some amazing desserts.Print
Perfectly Perfect Lemon Curd
Make a perfectly smooth, creamy, decadent-yet-refreshing lemon curd — and then use it in some amazing dessert recipes.
Of course, you can just eat it all on its own too.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 1 Large (1lb) Jar 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: English
- 4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
- 1 & 1/2 cups unrefined caster sugar
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 whole egg, plus 5 free-range egg yolks
- Pinch of sea salt
- Zest 3 of your lemons, and juice all 4 into a bowl with your sugar and salt.
- Whisk the eggs into the sugar mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Get a heavy-based pan going over low heat with your butter, sugar-lemon-egg mixture, and stir continuously with a silicone whisk or wooden spoon until the mixture is incorporated and melted. This will take 8-10 minutes upon which time the mixture will be thick and custard-like.
- Get an electric hand mixer, immersion blender, or blender, and after allowing the mixture to cool for five minutes, start the blending/whisking on the lowest speed for 60 seconds until perfectly smooth. (Alternatively, you can just keep beating the mixture with your spoon).
- Allow to cool and then transfer to clean jars.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Keywords: lemons, lemon zest, eggs, egg yolks, butter, sugar, desserts
10 Desserts for Your Perfectly Perfect Lemon Curd
These are my favourite desserts using lemon curd from some of the best food bloggers out there. Perfect for enjoying throughout the hot summer months.
Starting off with the perfect summer recipe — this Lemon Cheesecake Ice Cream from Cooking With Curls is my new favourite. Sophisticated enough for an adult party, this would also go perfectly on the side with fruit pies or vanilla cakes.
This Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping from Amy In The Kitchen is rich, creamy and perfect for a special occasion.
These Mini Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes from Queenslee Appétit are made with a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy lemon cheesecake filling, and are topped with a ring of toasted meringue with tart lemon curd in the centre.
And how pretty and delicate are these Lemon Curd Cupcakes from The Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen?
This Lemon Meringue Tart recipe from Earth, Food & Fire is an old-school classic. Lemon meringue tarts and pies are velvety, tart, yet sweet, and oh so delicious. These mini pies make the perfect dessert for a spring brunch or other special occasion.
A blueberry lemon trifle from A Life of Happenstance. The moist almond flour cake is topped with a tart lemon curd, fresh blueberries, and a dollop of coconut whipped cream! It’s a treat that’s SCD and Paleo friendly. The recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free.
This Lemon Rhubarb Tart from Zestful Kitchen combines two summer favourites in a beautiful and elegant dessert. Rhubarb is everywhere at farmer’s markets now.
Two of my favourite things in the world — crepes and lemon curd — together in one. This recipe for Classic French Crepes With Lemon Curd from Caramel Tinted Life is absolute simple perfection.
Last, but certainly not least, is this Blueberry Lemon Curd Tart from Zestful Kitchen. It’s almost too pretty to eat — almost.
Have you tried any of these recipes? And how much do you love lemon curd, especially in the summer? Let me know in the comments.