This beloved sunny yellow curd is my go-to versatile filling and topping for almost any dessert. It's sweet and tangy with a luscious, pudding-like texture. Let me show you how to make lemon curd that you'll want to put on everything or just go at it with a spoon!
I like to think of lemon curd as edible sunshine because it really just brightens up anything you put it on. The tart lemon flavour cuts through sweetness to balance out any dessert that's too sweet and makes a boring dessert a bit more fun. And the smooth consistency is just so luxurious.
🍋 What to use lemon curd for
Lemon curd is so versatile and delicious with baked goods. I love using it for:
- Fillings for tarts, cupcakes, cake layers, macarons, pavlovas, muffins, linzer cookies, thumbprint cookies, pies
- Toppings for pancakes, crepes, waffles, bread pudding, parfaits, ice cream, pies, yogurt, oatmeal
- Swirling into pound cake loaves and muffins
One batch of this curd makes about 6oz and can be used to fill several dozen cupcakes or a couple of layer cakes.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a small saucepan. Mix in lemon juice and heat on medium heat while stirring constantly.
- The mixture will begin to thicken after 7-10 minutes. When it becomes opaque and custard-like, remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts into the curd, one cube at a time.
- When all the butter is combined, do a streak test by scraping a spatula across the pan through the curd. If the curd parts on both sides and slowly comes back together after 1 second, the lemon curd is ready.
- Push the curd through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any pieces of cooked egg or lemon seeds that may have gotten in there for a super smooth curd. Transfer to a glass jar to cool completely before storing in the fridge.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together first before adding the lemon juice as it can break down the eggs and cause them to separate.
- Strain through a sieve to remove any pieces of cooked eggs or lemon seeds that may have accidentally gotten in there to make it smooth and silky. This step is totally optional but I recommend doing it if you notice any lumps.
- Stir constantly during heating otherwise the eggs will cook and you'll get scrambled eggs. Things happen fast so don't take your eyes off it!
- I like to make this lemon curd with whole eggs so that I don't have extra egg whites leftover that might go to waste. But if you're making something else that needs egg whites, like a meringue, you can replace the 2 whole eggs in this recipe with 4 egg yolks.
- If using lemon curd as a filling where the sides are open like in between cake layers or between macaron shells, pipe a ring of buttercream around the edge to act as a wall and put in the curd in the middle so that it doesn't leak out.
Store the cooled lemon curd in an airtight jar or container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You freeze lemon curd for 3-4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.