Lemon curd is a thick, soft and creamy, spreadable cream that has a wonderful tart yet sweet flavor. Traditionally it was used as a spread for scones but today it is also used it to fill tarts, pies, cakes, and as part of a trifle.
1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)*
1 teaspoon (4 grams) finely shredded lemon zest
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream) (160°F or 71°C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps.
Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and let cool. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn't form) and refrigerate for up to a week.
* Always use fresh lemons to make lemon curd as the bottled lemon juice will not give you that wonderful sharp and refreshing citrus taste.
Room temperature lemons provide more juice. After squeezing, strain the juice to remove any pulp. Zest is the yellow, sweet-flavored outer rind of the lemon. A zester or fine grater can be used to remove the rind. Cold lemons are much easier to grate. Grate lemons just before using as the zest will lose moisture if it sits too long.
For a lighter lemon curd, whip 1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy whipping cream and fold into the lemon curd.
Refrigerate for up to a week.