Lemon curd is one of those things that people either love or hate. Kind of like peanut butter. Those who love it spread it on toast in the morning and use it in place of jam for pretty much everything. People who aren’t as big a fan reserve it for use in things like lemon meringue pie and cake fillings. I am one of the latter: I like lemon curd, but I think it has a time and a place. Honestly, I don’t usually see the point of making something that is tart naturally sweet by dumping in a ton of sugar. That being said, lemon curd drizzled on top of an indulgent chocolate brownie is simply divine. By adding a sharp flavour the richness of the chocolate is intensified. Similarly, adding lemon curd to a sweet layered cake is delicious. I like to stir some into icing or use it between the layers of sponge to seal the cake off so it doesn’t get soggy. My favourite is mixing some curd into the jam for a Victoria Sponge cake. YUM! In the photo, I drizzled it on top of some profiteroles I made (recipe to come).
As you can probably tell, I like my lemon curd in small doses. When I photographed this recipe I had egg yolks to use up so I made a double batch. Warning: a double batch yields a lot of lemon curd. For the past week my boyfriend and I have been eating a lot of food that centres around the use of lemon curd. Next time I do a double batch, I’m going to try to can some. I’m thinking smallish jars would be perfect. That way you can always open two if necessary and you’re not left with a jar of it in your fridge waiting to go bad. I don’t like food waste so I’m not a fan of having a ticking time bomb in my fridge.
Anyways, give this lemon curd a go. Its not too sweet, but not too tart either and its pretty dang easy to make. Plus, people are generally impressed when you say you made homemade lemon curd.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (enough for about 2 three tier cakes)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 unwaxed lemons (juice and zest)
- 3 eggs (1 separated for a thicker curd, use 2 yolks)
- Zest the unwaxed lemons into a saucepan that will hold at least 2 cups.
- Chop those lemons in half and juice them into the same saucepan avoiding any pips.
- Dice the unsalted butter and add it to the lemon mixture.
- Heat the lemon butter mixture on medium until the butter has melted stirring occasionally.
- As the butter melts, separate the egg. You won’t need the white, just the yolk.
- Crack the remaining 2 eggs into the same container as the yolk.
- Whisk the eggs together.
- At this point, the butter should be slightly melted. Pour in the sugar and stir until incorporated.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the eggs a little bit at a time. Do this slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
- Cook the mixture over a low heat string constantly with a whisk until the curd thickens. To test the thickness, dip in a wooden or silver spoon and draw your finger through the layer of curd on the back of the spoon. When you create a clear path, the curd is thick enough. If that seams really liquid to you, remember that the curd will thicken as it cools.
- Pour the curd into a bowl (if it stays in the hot pot, it will continue to cook) and leave to cool. For the ambitious, go ahead and pour it into sterilized jars and complete the canning process.
- The curd will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. For easier spreading on cakes, I like to let the curd come back up to room temperature before using it.