Store-bought lemon curd shouldn’t be called lemon curd because it’s not as good as homemade lemon curd, which is creamy, sweet, and sour. It only takes 10 minutes and five ingredients to prepare on the stove. Lemon curd makes a delicious flavoring for scones, crepes, angel food cake, quick bread, pound cake, and many other baked items. Making homemade lemon curd is very easy and quick.
The best use is spreading it over scones, biscuits, cakes, and other baked goods. It is smooth, sweet, and zesty. The ingredients for this lemon curd dish are frequently available in larger stores among the jams and jellies or with the baking supplies.
What is Lemon Curd?
A vibrant dessert topping or spread is lemon curd. It has a strong lemon flavor that is intensely acidic and buttery, similar to a creamy lemon jam. Simple ingredients are used to make lemon curd, which cooks up rapidly. Lemon lovers, you’ll adore this.
A cooked concoction of eggs, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and butter is known as lemon curd. It can be used as a zesty topping or a lemony spread, and it can be spread on toast or other items like scones. The butter is a rich but tart dessert topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream. Naturally, lemon curd is also excellent as a filling for layers of cake, crepes, or a lemon tart.
Since it is not at all a curd, the name can be a little misleading. However, such was not the case when it first appeared in Britain in the early 1800s. During that time, lemons were added to the cream to separate the curds from the whey, resulting in lemon curd.
Since then, lemon curd has advanced significantly. In contrast to jams and jellies, lemon curd has a custard-like texture and a rich flavor from the added butter and egg. You’re in for a treat if you’ve never eaten lemon curd!
Ways to Use Lemon Curd
For a special after-school treat for my kids, I whisk lemon curd into just-whipped cream and top raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries with this mixture. It’s easy to do and doesn’t take too long. Additionally, you can make lemon thumbprint cookies, fill donuts or pastries, stack them between rounds of cake, fill a pre-baked pie crust, layer it between tarts, add it to ice cream, and spoon it on top of pavlovas. You see what I mean! Only your imagination can place a cap on the possibilities.
Ways to Customize this Recipe
When making lemon curd or any other citrus curd, there are a few general rules that you should keep in mind.
- You can adjust the sugar amount for sweeter or less sweet lemon curd.
- Add egg yolk to make the lemon curd thicker and more prosperous.
- Play with the butter amount for a more decadent, buttery lemon curd.
- Even without the butter, you can make dairy-free lemon curd. Instead of a silky shine, a dairy-free curd will be extremely thick, slightly gloopy, and matte. If you don’t consume dairy, it still tastes fantastic and is unquestionably preferable to going without.
- You can use whole eggs, just the yolks, or a combination of the two to make excellent lemon curd. You can substitute two yolks for each egg only using yolks.
You can also use grapefruit, lime, Meyer lemon, passionfruit, and orange juice to produce curd instead of lemon. Swap one liquid for another in an equal amount. If you add a few tablespoons of lemon juice, you can also experiment with juice from other fruits, such as berries.
How to Make Lemon Curd?
For the lemon curd recipe, you’ll need egg yolks, fresh lemons, sugar, salt, and butter. Each component is essential for flavor and thickening. Similar to how they do in creme brûlée or butterscotch pudding, egg yolks thicken curd. Use real lemons; both the zest and the juice are required.
The salt counteracts the flavor, while the sugar adds sweetness and structure. When the curd has finished cooking on the heat, add the butter. It’s made extra creamy using butter—stovetop lemon curd preparation. We’re talking about 10 minutes of whisking, so keep going as the mixture thickens. The positive news This recipe only calls for one step: whisking.
Good lemon curd has a glossy appearance, binds together like pudding, tastes creamy and smooth on the palate, and has an excellent ratio of tart to sweet flavors. I finally decided on my favorite lemon curd recipe after experimenting with variants of five different lemon curd recipes. The result is the following recipe I modified from the original dish I first discovered while taking classes at my neighborhood culinary institute.
I used just enough sugar to tame the lemon’s harsh edge without overpowering its citrus beauty with sugary sweetness. The lemon should have been the center of attention, in my opinion. In this recipe, I also use a considerable amount of butter.
Because I enjoy the silky mouthfeel that butter offers, I use a lot of it. Play around with the butter amount to your liking and taste if you prefer to use less, and leave a few tablespoons out if you are satisfied with less.
- Four big eggs
- One sugar cup
- Four huge lemons yielded around 3/4 cup of lemon juice.
- the four lemons’ zest
- Cubed half a cup of unsalted butter
- Salt, a pinch
- It’s preferable to keep going without stopping once the lemon curd is underway. Make sure all your supplies are organized and prepared to grab what you need quickly. Put a medium-sized bowl next to your burner and cover it with a fine mesh sieve. Prepare a whisk and a rubber spatula.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar in a medium saucepan. Set the heat to medium, and continue whisking until the mixture has reached a homogeneous consistency. The juice, zest, and a dash of salt are added as you continue to whisk. Add the butter a piece or two at a time while whisking continuously once that appears to have been thoroughly combined. Before adding additional, allow each piece to melt a little bit. Make sure to whisk in all of the pot’s crevices and nooks.
- The curd should be cooked for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Get rid of the heat. (As it cools, the curd will get thicker.)
- Use the fine mesh strainer to separate the zest and cooked eggy bits from the curd. Push the curd through with a spatula, then whisk for an additional two minutes to hasten its cooling.
- Cool and refrigerate: Place the curd in an airtight jar (I use Ball or Weck canning jars) and place it on the countertop for about 15 minutes to cool. Transfer to the fridge or freezer after bringing to room temperature and covering closely with the lid.
- The National Center for Home Food Preservation claims that lemon curd can remain fresh in your refrigerator for up to a month and can also be kept for up to a year in the freezer. Twenty-four hours before use, move your curd from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw.
When should Butter be Added to Lemon Curd?
The point significantly influences the texture of the final lemon curd in the recipe where butter is added. Two of the recipes that I tried called for incorporating butter after the curd had thickened entirely. No one particularly liked the slightly gritty feel of either of these variants.
The curd had a smooth and velvety texture in the variations where I added the butter while the curd was still cooking (either all at once or little by little). Not once the curd has thickened, but while it is coming together on the fire, add the butter. You might have spotted white, cord-like filaments adhering to the yolk when making curd from entire eggs.
The chalazae are the cords that keep the yolk in the middle of the egg. They are difficult to break down and may leave tiny eggy fragments that alter the curd’s texture. To remove those pieces, you strain the curd. To enhance the flavor of my lemon curd, I prefer to add citrus zest, but I drain it out because I don’t enjoy having chunks in my completed product. If your curd accidentally became too hot while cooking it, straining will eliminate any fragments of scrambled egg. (Don’t worry, you can still eat your curd.)
Can you Freeze Lemon Curd?
When thawed, prepared lemon curd can be frozen for up to a year without losing quality. Before usage, place the container in a refrigerator at 40°F or colder for 24 hours to allow it to thaw. Use within four weeks after thawing and storing in the fridge in a closed container.
Please make sure the lemon curd has completely cooled before freezing it. Put the necessary quantity of curd in a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid or a freezer bag. If using a container, cover the curd with plastic wrap to keep the air out. Squeeze out extra air if using a freezer bag.
If you follow a few straightforward procedures, freezing lemon curd works wonderfully and is relatively short: If you just created lemon curd, let it cool. Put the curd in a container that can be frozen. You can use glass jars or airtight plastic containers.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the lemon curd will last up to four weeks in your refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Transferring the curd to freezer containers and freezing it is the best way to keep it for an extended time (allowing about 1/2 inch of space on top).
What is the Difference Between Lemon Curd and Lemon Custard?
Custard has a lighter consistency; both can be used as a topping or filling for baked goods. However, a curd’s character is determined by eggs, sugar, and butter, while custard is thickened with cornstarch. Although the two meals are slightly different, lemon custard and curd are closely linked. It’s simple to prepare and enjoyable to play with this delicious custard—an orange. Eggs, milk, and sugar are slowly heated together to create a custard, which thickens but does not curdle.
Many foods can be made with lemon curds, such as lemon pie filling, tarts, cakes, scones, muffins, and slices of bread with a jam-like spread. You might even want to eat it with a spoon because it’s so delicious! While lemon pie filling is typically made with flour and lemon curd is thickened with eggs, both are thick and creamy. Lemon pie filling is excellent in sweets like cheesecake bars, parfaits, cupcakes, and pies.
Can you Buy Lemon Curd at the Grocery Store?
Lemon curd is an odd food. It is preserved in jars and offered for sale in the supermarket’s jam section. However, lemon curd isn’t a preserve; it’s more like a thick custard. Use a curd with a different flavor, such as lime or passion fruit. OR – You may create your own using the recipe below, which only calls for four ingredients. OR – You can use canned or jarred lemon pie filling in its place. A vibrant dessert topping or spread is lemon curd. It has a strong tart lemon flavor and is buttery and sweet, similar to a creamy lemon jam.
Some claim that lemon cheese has a more buttery flavor and texture than lemon curd, which is a little runnier and tarter. However, most agree that the distinction between the two is so slight that very few people would be unable to make it. Lemon curd is sold in jars at Trader Joe’s. However, it is often only available at certain times of the year. Any time of year, provided you have access to fresh lemons, you can create lemon curd in only ten minutes.
According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the lemon curd will last up to four weeks in your refrigerator when stored in an airtight container. Transferring the curd to freezer containers and freezing it is the best way to keep it for an extended period (allowing about 1/2 inch of space on top). The curd should be defrosted in the refrigerator for 24 hours before usage. Frozen (and thawed) and fresh curd were sampled, and I found no discernible texture difference.
The shelf life of the curd after canning with the water bath process is only three to four months. Therefore, in my opinion, it would be best to freeze it. Additionally, the National Center for Home Food Preservation advises substituting bottled lemon juice for freshly squeezed juice if you intend to can it due to the variable acidity in fresh lemons (which ensures an acidity level high enough to ward off bacteria).