Lemon curd is my favorite way to put lemons to work. It’s a creamy mix of lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs cooked slowly over low heat until it thickens. I love to slather it on scones, use it as a base for tarts, serve it alongside pound cake and fresh berries or as a delicious layer in a trifle (Lemon Strawberry Trifle).
How to Make Lemon Curd
Making lemon curd is not as difficult as most cooks think. The trick is to pay close attention to the temperature of your curd to prevent the eggs from cooking. To make lemon curd you’re making a custard of lemon juice and zest, cornstarch, butter and eggs. The hardest part? (And it’s really not hard at all!) Whisking the eggs into the hot mix of lemon juice and butter. Pour the eggs in quickly, without whisking, and the heat from the lemon juice mixture will cook them. There’s a reason Scrambled Egg Lemon Curd isn’t a thing!
You’ll need to carefully temper the eggs into the hot mixture. That means keep the hot liquid moving by whisking vigorously and constantly while you gradually pour in the lightly beaten eggs. Whisking constantly presents the eggs from getting too hot because they’re constantly in motion.
If you can master whisking (you can!) you can master lemon curd!
Zest your lemons BEFORE juicing them. It’s almost impossible to zest squeezed-out lemon halves.
Whisk the eggs together before adding them into the pot with the lemon juice and butter. It’s easier to temper them into the mixture when they’re beaten.
Make sure to press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd. This prevents a ‘crust’ from forming on the surface.
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