Sweet-tart lemon curd is great to have on hand to add to your favorite desserts or even for just spreading on a scone or croissant. It’s creamy and thick and full of lemony zing!
I love lemons and there is nothing more refreshing than a lemon dessert. I always have lemons in my kitchen – they are so versatile. You can use them to make savory dressings, sauces, squeeze some juice over a piece of chicken or fish, and of course to make lemon curd.
I know the “curd” part doesn’t make it sound very appetizing, but I promise you it’s good stuff. After doing a little research on why it’s called lemon curd I couldn’t really find a solid answer. The most common explanation was that curds are named because of “curdling” the milk. However, there is no milk in a classic lemon curd…so the mystery continues.
Once you get past the name you’ll find that this is one delicious dessert! If you’ve ever made lemon bars or a lemon meringue pie then you’ve tangoed with lemon curd. It’s easy to make – the hardest part is squeezing all of those lemons! I highly recommend you use a citrus press for this job – it will save your hands and keep the seeds out.
You’ll need a whole cup of lemon juice and yes you NEED to use fresh lemon juice. The flavor is way better than the store bought stuff, so no taking the easy way out here. I was able to get a cup out of 5 big lemons… you may need 6 or even 8 depending on how juicy they are. I always buy more than I think I need so that I definitely enough.
Once you’ve got your lemon juice the rest is simple. Combine it with 12 egg yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Heat it up over medium heat and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken. Now it’s time to add cold butter. You want to do this step carefully and by adding a tablespoon at a time. This is important because you don’t want the butter to not incorporate and be separated from the curd.
By the way, I know 12 egg yolks sounds like a lot, but don’t worry about wasting those whites. Use them to make an omelet or my angel food cake!
That’s really all there is to it! I let mine cool completely in the pot and then transfer it to half-pint mason jars – perfect for gifting! You can make lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, add it frosting for cupcakes, use it to top fresh berries, or my personal favorite…spread it on a croissant.
A buttery and toasty croissant spread with sweet-tart lemon curd? Yes, it’s heaven. The thought of it just makes my mouth water…it’s a good thing I have a jar in my fridge and a few croissants in my freezer!
I also love lemon curd as a spread for shortcakes topped with berries and whipped cream – recipe coming soon!
Next time you’re looking for an easy dessert that packs a lot of punch, whip up some lemon curd! Its lemony goodness will compliment so many desserts and it’s perfect for gifting, perhaps paired with some croissants? I know I’d be happy with that!
Sweet-tart lemon curd packs a punch in all of your favorite desserts. Use it for toppings, frostings, fillings or just spreading on a toasted croissant. Yum!
| Yield: 4 Cups | Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 15 Min |
12 Egg Yolks*
2 Cups Granulated Sugar
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Lemon Juice, from about 5-6 large lemons
12 Tablespoons (1 ½ Sticks) Unsalted Butter, cold
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Once the curd is hot, turn the heat down to low and begin adding the butter a tablespoon at a time, waiting for each one to melt before adding the next. Keep whisking until all of the butter is incorporated and the lemon curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Remove the lemon curd from the heat and let it cool completely, whisking occasionally to avoid a skin forming. Once cool, divide the curd equally among containers or mason jars. Give as gifts, freeze some, keep some in your fridge – the possibilities are endless! The lemon curd will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator.
* Use the whites to make my Angel Food Cake, which by the way, would be delicious topped with some lemon curd!