I Love Lemon Curd

I love lemons.  Love love love them!  So it should come as no surprise that lemon curd is one of my favorite treats.  Sweet and tart, rich and creamy, it’s just one of those perfect creations that I can’t imagine living without.

I first tasted lemon curd only a couple of years ago.  I was staying with my aunt and uncle and was going through a ‘scone stage.’ I don’t know how many batches of scones I made in a week, but it was plenty.  Since I’ve always heard that lemon curd is the perfect accompaniment to scones, I decided to try a batch.  My Aunt Kathy and I fell in love with it and now my scones just seem lonely when I eat them without lemon curd.

Well, I’m going through a scone stage once again so I decided to try out the Lemon Curd recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook.  I generally have a hard time following a recipe without changing anything, but this lemon curd was made exactly as directed.  I have to warn you that it’s very, very tart.  But I absolutely love it that way!  I’ve eaten it on several cranberry orange scones (these but with orange zest instead of lemon) and I’ve also been stirring it into bowls of my favorite plain Greek yogurt.  And since this recipe made quite a large batch, I might just have to bake some more scones in the morning!

Although I am really enjoying this batch of lemon curd, it’s not as thick as other recipes I’ve tried. I’m not sure if it’s something I did wrong, or if it’s supposed to be this way, but I think next time I might try this Foolproof Way to Make Luscious, Light Lemon Curd that I read about at Fine Cooking.

Lemon Curd
from The Gourmet Cookbook, edited by Ruth Reichl

1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
pinch of salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and salt in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Cook, stirring, over moderately low heat until mixture warms, then add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk and first bubbles appear on surface, about 10 minutes.

2. Immediately pour curd through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon to help force it through.  Discard what is left in strainer.  Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate, covered, until cold.

Yield: about three cups

Recipe Notes: For me, it took much longer than ten minutes for the lemon curd to thicken, although I think that might have had something to do with the faulty burners on my stove.  However, it never thickened enough to hold the marks of the whisk like the recipe said.  I finally removed it from the heat when it was visibly bubbling and poured it through the strainer.  It did thicken in the fridge, but it’s still not nearly as thick as lemon curds I’ve made in the past, so keep that in mind. The lemon curd can be kept, refrigerated, for about a week.  And I’ve heard that it can also be frozen, although I haven’t tried that myself.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, this is a very, very tart lemon curd. This is perfect for my taste, but if you prefer more sweet than tart, you should perhaps try a different version of lemon curd.  I’ll add links below to several recipes.

Lemon curd is wonderful spread on fresh, hot scones but it’s also great on muffins, or even toast.  The Gourmet Cookbook suggests folding it into whipped cream for an instant lemon mousse, and I’ve already mentioned how much I love it stirred into some thick, plain yogurt.

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  1. Kathy

    oh yes, it is very, very good ! and guess what ? We just bought a lemon tree today. Meyer lemons.

    9:06 pm  Nov 22nd, 2008
  2. janelle

    Lemon curd? Embarrassing, I have only tried the jarred kind. But I LOVE scones, so… I guess it is the perfect time to take the plunge:)))).

    BTW I love fine cooking; great resource. And to Kathy: I WISH I lived in a place that would support ‘lemon tree growth.’

    Hope you are well; Happy Thanksgiving!

    9:14 pm  Nov 22nd, 2008
  3. icelandicchef

    Nothing beats the good old lemon curd with freshly baked scones and cream cheese on a sunday morning.

    3:18 am  Nov 23rd, 2008
  4. Christy

    That lemon curd looks great. Perfect for Sunday breakfast, or rather.. Sunday brunch =)

    11:02 am  Nov 23rd, 2008
  5. Jena

    I made lemon curd as a filling for a friend’s birthday cake. I still have half of it, frozen, and am unsure what to do with it. I’m not an fruited scone-y person, really, but I’d love to hear other ideas about what to do with the rest of the lemon curd (besides spreading it on toast or making another cake). Can you help?

    11:47 am  Nov 23rd, 2008
  6. kimberly

    Mmmm. That looks wonderful. I’m gonna have to try this very soon.

    1:36 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  7. Amiyrah

    Oh baby! Now you’re speaking my language! I make lemon and lime curd all the time. I use Paula Deen’s recipe because I’ve found that I get that really thick curd that people are accustomed to from her recipe. It’s so fun to make and I get a good use out of the citrus fruits when they are in season. I wonder if oranges would make good curd. Hmmmm….I smell an experiment.

    2:04 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  8. Bren@Flanboyant Eats

    yes Lord lemons are great. i make a lemon zest flan to die for! ur curd looks to tempting!

    4:22 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  9. sawyer

    is lemon curd like a sort of pudding? i’ve never had it before and looks very interesting…

    4:44 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  10. Elizabeth

    I found this lemon curd recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Microwave-Lemon-Curd/Detail.aspx) on AllRecipes.com and honest to goodness, it is WONDERFUL. I couldn’t tell the difference between it and one where you have slaved over a stove with (what seems like) endless stirring… and the best part is that it takes simply minutes in the microwave! I was a little less daring with the length of time in the microwave without stirring (I did around 30sec as opposed to minute intervals)… nonetheless, the outcome was still awesome. I’ll never make lemon curd again over the stove!

    6:01 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  11. ttfn300

    wow, some reason i didn’t notice this in my google reader… hmmm… anyways, i just made lemon curd this afternoon 🙂 i followed the cooking light recipe (no butter), and my mom loved it!!

    7:21 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  12. Nicole

    ttfn300: I just looked up the cooking light recipe and might give it a try this winter. Would be nice to have a lighter version of lemon curd in my repertoire!

    7:47 pm  Nov 23rd, 2008
  13. Sara

    I love lemon tarts with lemon curd. I will have to try making it with scones. It sounds fantastic.

    7:27 am  Nov 24th, 2008
  14. Christina

    I just found out about lemon curd through this recipe I tried and loved it!!


    I highly reccomend this recipe!

    8:07 am  Nov 24th, 2008
  15. Patricia Scarpin

    Oh, Nic, I love lemon curd, too! I need to make a new batch and use it as a cake filling. Yours looks delish!

    8:34 am  Nov 24th, 2008
  16. DD

    Never made curd but mmm that looks good! I’m sure the lemons are the best bet too.

    12:08 pm  Nov 24th, 2008
  17. Mrs. L

    I need to go raid my Grandmas Meyer lemon tree while I’m there at Thanksgiving. Never made lemon curd myself but it’s great not only on scones but crumpets.

    12:59 pm  Nov 25th, 2008
  18. Magpie Ima

    Another lover of lemon curd here. And when it’s made with Meyer lemons I can eat it straight out of the jar. Yum.

    8:30 pm  Nov 26th, 2008
  19. Amandawithana

    I did the Cranberry Scones with the Foolproof lemon curd that you linked…both look delicious. I’m sure my coworkers will curse me for baking as they feed their faces =-)

    10:58 pm  Dec 3rd, 2008
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