Recipe: Lemon Curd

The last two weekends have found me entertaining friends and neighbors.  Last week was a progressive party for out condo and this weekend found me hosting a friend’s birthday party.  While two completely different parties, each had a connecting thread through my use of Meyer Lemon Curd.

Honestly, I LOVE this stuff…..sweet, tangy and just plain delicious.    It is one of the staples of my summer entertaining menu because it is so versatile.  It can be used to flavor cakes, decorate cookies or in my case fill pastries.  The best thing about this recipe, adapted from Sur La Table’s Art & Soul of Baking is that it is super easy – it is just a custard with lemon juice in place of milk or cream.



  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (6.5 oz) white sugar
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) strained, squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces


  1. Fill large  halfway with ice and water and set to the side.  Fill the bottom of a double broiler with 2 inches of water and bring to a rolling boil.  Check to see that the water is at least 2 inches below the top portion of the double broiler.
  2. Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar into the top of the double broiler (off the heat) and whisk until blended.  Add the lemon juice and mix well. Reduce heat until the water is at a gentle boil.  Place the egg mixture over the water and cook, whisking constantly and scraping the edges frequently so the eggs don’t scramble along there, until the curd is very thick – approximately 7 to 10 minutes.  A finished curd should hold its shape, when the whisk is lifted and a bit of curd falls back into the bowl, it should remain distinct on the surface rather than blend back into the mixture.  If this proves confusing, just make sure that the mixture registers 180 degrees.
  3. Immediately strain the curd through a strainer set over another bowl.  Use a spatula to push the curd through the strainer, leaving behind any bits of scrambled egg (it will happen – so there is no shame!).  Add the cold butter pieces to the curd, burying them so they melt quickly.  Wait 1 minute, then whisk until the butter is completely melted and blended into the curd.
  4. To store, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.  The curd can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.


  • If you don’t have a double broiler, make your own with a saucepan and a glass bowl.  Place 1 inch of water in the saucepan and simmer.  Once the water is simmering, place the bowl on top — and viola — you have a double boiler.
  • I prefer to make this recipe in a glass bowl rather than metal.  I find that the metal bowl reacts to the acid in the lemon juice, producing a metallic aftertaste.
  • Even the best chefs will get a bit of scrambled eggs in their curd, so be sure to strain.  If the curd gets away from you and starts to curdle, keep a bowl of ice water beside the stove and quickly dunk the bottom of the bowl holding the curd into the ice bath, strain and then continue to whisk.
  • The lemon curd is also pretty excellent on toast and as a dipping sauce – I use it to dip donuts and berries
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4 thoughts on “Recipe: Lemon Curd

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Coconut Cupcakes | Courtney Out Loud

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