Good lemon curd is at once sweet, buttery, tangy, and thoroughly lemony.
It makes an super fast dessert – Lemon Tart – and tastes delightful on a fresh baked scone. But the best part? it’s really easy to make from scratch, and tastes much better than jarred lemon curd. The key to success with this simple recipe is to use good lemons.
I have the luxury of picking them off my trees, but ripe, fragrant lemons at your produce market will work well. This lemon curd recipe makes two cups, and stores for several weeks in the fridge.
1 cup (7 oz) white sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice**
1 – 2 TB finely grated lemon zest*
2 large eggs
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
Off heat, in a heavy, medium size sauce pan, beat together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest, and stir until combined. Put the pan on the stove on medium high heat, and add the pieces of butter to the mixture. As the mixture heats, the butter will melt into the mixture. Stirring continually, heat the mixture. Use a silicone spatula if you have one, as you need to continually scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to keep the thickening curd moving and preventing hot spots. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and pour into a pint jar with lid. The lemon curd will thicken to the right consistency as it cools. Enjoy!
*Note about purchased lemons. In all likelihood, the lemons you purchase will be coated with a thin, shiny coating of wax. This is a totally harmless wax used to help the lemons stay hydrated, but I like to gently remove it from my lemons prior to zesting. Give the lemons a soak for a minute or two in a bowl of warm water, and dry off with a towel. I use a fine microplane rasp grater to zest my lemons. You want to see just the yellow part in your little pile of zest. This layer contains the essential oils – the fragrance – of the lemons. Avoid cutting into the white pith.
**Lemons give up more juice if they are at room temperature.