There’s nothing quite like sweet, zingy home-made lemon curd. Easy to make and just about good on anything, you can add it to cheesecake, your favourite tart, in-between a layer cake or with your afternoon tea scone. It’s a truly mouthwatering must have to any dessert.
It’s just part of being British
I’ve always loved lemon curd. That’s the English side of me coming out I think. An old fashioned sauce made in a time when only simpler ingredients were available, it requires only a handful of basic ingredients to make this sweet yet tart spreadable sauce. This lemon curd is smooth, rich yet lemony with a delightful tang.
I can picture my Dad, early in the morning, slathering hot toast with butter and then curd or marmalade for his breakfast, I believe he still has the same these days. With curd, when you love it, you reeeaaally love. And yes I love it ten fold. Lemon, orange, raspberry, blackberry, passionfruit ... you name it ... i adore all flavours of curd!
How to make Super Easy Home-Made Lemon Curd
When I say it’s easy...I really do mean that. There is nothing to be afraid of when you make home-made lemon curd. Set up your mis en place, that means get out all your ingredients and weigh them, ready to go. Going through this process at the start of any cook means that you're more focused whilst going through your recipe and ultimately makes for a tidier, more organised time in the kitchen.
In this case all the ingredients (except the butter) are placed in the one bowl but the mixture requires constant whisking whilst the mixture cooks. This is to allow the eggs to heat up slowly as the whisking motion adds air into the mixture and prevents them from scrambling. Leave the mixture alone and you run the risk of cooking a bowl of lemony scrambled eggs. Not quite what we intended!
Using a bain marie
I digress, back to the making our hom-made lemon curd, once all your ingredients are out and measured then create your bain marie. If you have one then great, use that, but if you're like me and you don’t then it's easy to create a home made one. Simply put a heat proof bowl over the top of a larger saucepan filled ¼ full of boiling water. The water should be simmering but you need to ensure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Now you’ll see plenty of recipes where all the ingredients are cooked straight in a saucepan on the stove top. I personally find this to be risky as the eggs have more of a chance to over cook and scramble. Definitely not what we want!
Once the curd has thickened in your bowl over the bain marie, you then have to whisk in your butter. The butter adds such a velvety richness to the curd and also creates a beautiful sheen to the curd.
My next step is to push it through a sieve. This removes the zest and any over cooked bits of egg if there are any and as a result you’ll have a super smooth curd. However, this isn’t imperative and if you prefer a zesty curd then by all means omit this step.
Love lemon desserts- then you’ll adore my Lemon Meringue Tarts made with Sweet Short Crust Pastry- delightful!
Or the mini Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cakes.
For another delicious sauce to add to your desserts, why don’t you try my Salted Caramel Sauce recipe found here
Home-Made Lemon Curd
- 4 egg yolks
- 170 g caster sugar (superfine)
- 120 ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zest
- 1 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 60 g unsalted butter, cubed
- Combine egg yolks, caster sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest cornflour and salt in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the pan does not touch the water. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens or the back of a spoon is coated; this takes about 10 minutes but can also take up to 20 minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, then the curd should reach 170°C (340°F) to thicken.
- Remove the bowl off the simmering pan and add the butter whisking until fully melted and combined.
- Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Once cool, spoon the curd into sterilised jars and seal, then refrigerate until ready to use. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Enjoy!
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.