Simple Lemon Curd

The Essence of Lemon in 15 Minutes (Plus Resting Time)

This recipe is part of Lemon Week here on Live Pretty following a special online chat we had with Christine of Cook The Story & Katie of Katie’s Cucina.  We talked everything lemons – sharing recipes, tips, taste memories and ideas.  To view our chat click here.

Over the years I have made Lemon Curd a few times for big events and desserts – bridal shower teas, special multilayer birthday cakes and the occasional brunch.  I usually dread the process, but revel in the final product.  However, this time around, I was determined to find a way to make this luscious, sweet and creamy essence of lemon in a simple and quick way.

After trying a few recipes and techniques, I landed on this Simple Lemon Curd recipe – give it 15 minutes in the kitchen, and a few hours in the fridge, and you will have lovely lemony and sweet spread to share with the entire family (or horde in the back of the fridge for yourself).  Use this as a side accompaniment for blueberry muffins, scones, special breads or to add to muffins, cakes and your favorite baked good recipes for a lemon kick.

Simple Lemon Curd

(Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup lemon juice
Zest of one large lemon (optional)

Directions:

First, if you have not done so, separate your yolks from the whites. I use the simple hand method taught to me years ago – crack the egg with one hand into the other and use your fingers to slowly sift the yolk away from the white.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together until smooth in a cool medium pot.  (NOTE: If you want a totally smooth pudding-like curd, do not use the lemon zest — it does add a bit of lemony texture to the final curd).

Place the pot on medium heat and stir, and stir, and stir with a wooden or silicone spoon until it comes together, thickens and covers the back of the spoon. (NOTE: If your eggs curdle and the curd is lumpy, don’t distress and throw it down the sink, push the warm curd through a sifter or strainer and then stir in the butter over low, low heat).

Remove the curd from the heat, and stir in the butter, one or two pieces at at time, until melted and fully incorporated.

Put in a glass or plastic storage container, press plastic wrap over the top (to prevent it from forming a skin), and cover with the storage container top. Place in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, until fully cooled and firm.

Serve with scones, muffins, English muffins or incorporate into a cakes or cupcakes.

Enjoy!

Julia

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Simple Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup lemon juice
Zest of one large lemon (optional)

Directions:

First, if you have not done so, separate your yolks from the whites. I use the simple hand method taught to me years ago - crack the egg with one hand into the other and use your fingers to slowly sift the yolk away from the white.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest together until smooth in a cool medium pot. (NOTE: If you want a totally smooth pudding-like curd, do not use the lemon zest -- it does add a bit of lemony texture to the final curd).

Place the pot on medium heat and stir, and stir, and stir with a wooden or silicone spoon until it comes together, thickens and covers the back of the spoon. (NOTE: If your eggs curdle and the curd is lumpy, don't distress and throw it down the sink, push the warm curd through a sifter or strainer and then stir in the butter over low, low heat).

Remove the curd from the heat, and stir in the butter, one or two pieces at at time, until melted and fully incorporated.

Put in a glass or plastic storage container, press plastic wrap over the top (to prevent it from forming a skin), and cover with the storage container top. Place in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, until fully cooled and firm.

Serve with scones, muffins, English muffins or incorporate into a cakes or cupcakes.

Enjoy!