Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is really a type of pudding usually made out of citrus, but I’ve also seen cranberry, mango and the like.  But the ones that are the most popular are lemon, lime, and orange… the tart citruses.  That said, it’s definitely kind of a pudding, but it’s also kind of a custard, but it’s creamier and richer than a classical custard.  You can use it pretty much anywhere you like too.  You can put it on pancakes, waffles, cake, French toast, regular toast, ice cream, cheesecake, yogurt, etc.  The list is almost endless.  It’s also a great tart filling.  You can buy lemon curd in the store but it’s nowhere nearly as good as the home version.  You’ll find a really big difference between the freshness of what you make yourself and what you buy in jars.  So my advice is to just not bother.  Make your own.  It takes 10mins, and it’s a lot cheaper.

Ok, here’s the recipe.

1/3 c. fresh lemon juice. Depending on the lemons that’ll be about 2 lemons, but if they’re a bit bigger and really juicy then it’ll be about 1 1/2 lemons.
1/2 c. sugar
2T butter, cold. You need this to help stop the cooking so don’t soften it. And cut it into small cubes.
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 t. vanilla.
1 T heavy cream


  1. Juice and seed the lemons and put the juice in a saucepan to heat up.  Don’t bring it to a boil if you can help it and don’t reduce it.  Just heat it up.  It’s perfect when it’s too hot to put your finger in.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put the eggs and yolk and mix them with the sugar.  Mix in the sugar 1/4 cup at a time to keep from overwhelming the eggs and making them so they don’t accept all the sugar.  Whip the sugar and eggs with a whisk for a couple minutes till the sugar has started to dissolve.  You’ll be able to tell if you rub some of it between your fingers and you start feeling less and less grit.  You don’t have to get rid of all the grit.
  3. Temper the hot lemon juice into the egg mixture.  Temper means to slowly add something hot to something cold… basically.  The reason you do this is to keep from heating up the eggs too fast and scrambling them.
  4. Now pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat while constantly stirring with a rubber spatula.  You don’t want to whip it, just keep it moving.  If you let it rest too long it’ll scramble the eggs and that’s not what you want.
  5. You’ll know it’s done when you can run the spatula across the bottom of the pan and you can see the bottom for a second before the pudding fills in the hole.  Watch the video to see.
  6. Take the pudding off the stove and immediately stir in the cold butter and the cream and the vanilla.
  7. Put it in a storage container of some kind and cover with plastic wrap letting the wrap sit directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.


  1. This is a battle of the eggs.  You’re trying to cook the eggs to the point where they’re thickened, but not forming large curds.  This is a classic cooking technique that’s employed in many areas of French cooking including some custards, and Hollandaise.  So there’s a very real fear of curdling your eggs here if you cook it too fast or too long.
  2. If you’re going to make a mistake in cooking, make it by accidentally under-cooking your pudding rather than over-cooking.
  3. Remember, that carry-over heat will cook it a little bit more before you get the butter stirred in, so be ready with the butter as soon as the pudding is done.  Don’t get the pudding cooked all the way and then go fishing around the fridge for butter.  You’ll come back to scrambled eggs.  This is one of those times when you need to have everything ready before you start.

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