September 18, 2013

Magic Number Lemon Curd

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This is my favourite lemon curd recipe. It is luscious and very tangy. When preparing lemon curd, remember that the magic number is one: For every 1 egg yolk, you need 1 tbsp (15 mL) each of sugar, lemon juice and butter. Plus you add 1 tbsp (15 mL) of zest and 1 pinch of salt to the mixture. More kitchen tips: Luscious Lemon Curd.

1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
Pinch salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (60 mL) cold unsalted butter, cut in 8 pieces

In medium heatproof bowl or top of double boiler, whisk together juice, zest, sugar, salt and yolks.

Place over medium pan of simmering water on medium heat. Stir with whisk 5 minutes, or until thickened and opaque, but do not allow curd to boil. Look for signs of doneness: Temperature should reach 160F (71C). Curd should be thick enough to coat back of spoon and running your finger through it should leave a clear path.

Remove from heat. Whisk in butter one piece at a time, until melted.

Push curd through strainer into medium bowl. Discard solids in strainer. Refrigerate curd in a storage tub, tightly covered, until cold and set, at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • For a sweeter curd, increase both sugar and butter to 1/3 cup (75 mL).
  • Use the whisk to stir the curd, not beat it. It should not become frothy.
  • Don’t worry if your warm curd seems a bit loose. It will thicken as it cools.
  • You can double the recipe.
  • Store the curd up to a week or freeze it up to a month.

Magic Number Lime Curd: Use lime juice and zest instead of lemon.

Lemon/Lime Mousse Curd: Beat egg yolks and sugar with electric hand mixer for 2 to 3 minutes, until pale, smooth and fluffy before whisking in lemon/lime juice, zest and salt. Then carry on cooking over simmering water.

Makes 1/2 cup (125 mL).

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial