Longing for Summer: Lemon Curd


IMG_4648It’s December. Time for cold weather and lots of winter-y dishes – soupscrisps, and of course, cozy warm cocktails. So when this Lemon Curd recipe popped up on David Lebovitz’s blog, I knew I had to give it a try. Lemon is an any-season food, right? Sure.

I’d been hoping to pick up some of these mystical Meyer lemons I keep hearing about, but nothing yet. No, I’ve not looked that hard. Apparently they are sold at Whole Foods, and my mother-in-law regularly picks them up at a local supermarket, but *my* local supermarket doesn’t stock them, so I’ve yet to get. I couldn’t wait any longer – this evening I had to make me some Lemon Curd.

Luckily it was just as easy as David Lebovitz promised, and oh my yum.


Give it a go:

Lemon Curd

Makes 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (I added 1 clementine into the mix just for fun)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used slightly less as I like mine a bit tart. He did recommend reducing it to 1/3 cup if you find Meyer lemons)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl, and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt.

3. Add the butter cubes and set the pan over low heat, whisking constantly until the butter is melted (this took awhile for me as I used cold butter. It started out looking a bit scary, but eventually melted just fine. So be patient here if you use cold butter like I did).

4. Increase the heat and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. It’s done when you lift the whisk and the mixture holds its shape when it falls back into the saucepan from the whisk. (It doesn’t hold it’s shape *that* well, but you’ll definitely see the whisk trail in the curd when it’s done. Remember it thickens more as it cools.)

5. Immediately press the curd through the strainer. Once strained, store the lemon curd in the refrigerator.

I’m going to give half to my mother-in-law, as I still don’t quite know what i’m doing with it. Also according to David Lebovitz, it only lasts a week in the fridge – but frankly I’m no sure I buy it… surely it’ll last at least two weeks, right? Any opinions on this one?

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3 Responses to “Longing for Summer: Lemon Curd”

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  2. Kate Says:

    I’m in love with Lemon Curd also – thanks for posting! Happy yellow on a cloudy day!

  3. CycleCrone Says:

    I totally agree-winter citrus and especially lemony anything brightens winter days. Citrus ripens in the winter and it must be because we need that taste of sunshine when the days are grey and short!

    I am pretty sure this freezes reasonably well, a friend of mine freezes hers. When I have an abundance of Meyer lemons I freeze the juice in all sorts of ways. I toss in the grated rind with juice I freeze to make curd with later. Then I make the lemon curd only when I am having people over to eat it!

    Grating the rind and adding that to the juice (if you are planning to strain the finished curd) adds another level of zing. I only add the rind when I have really organic, off someones tree lemons. I was recently given a rasp and love it for taking beautiful fluffy finely grated rind off lemons.

    I have never seen quite this much butter in a curd recipe so I think you could cut it back quite a lot (to 1-2 TBL) if you want your curd to be less rich. And most recipes add the butter at the end (to stop the cooking, I assume)

    Another trick, especially since you like tart and lemony is to use more juice. I have been experimenting and have gotten up to 1 1/4 cup juice for 4 eggs. While I have never made a side by side comparison I can’t detect any difference between using only yolks or whole eggs so unless I have a use for the whites I always use whole eggs. This recipe, interestingly, compromises and uses two whole eggs and two yolks!

    re Meyer lemons-if you can, buy a tree and grow your own. If you can’t, make friends with someone who has a tree and doesn’t use a lot of lemons (I have two friends with very productive trees!). Meyers don’t travel or store well so they are rarely available in supermarkets.

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