I’ve been all about autumn for these past few weeks, but this week my bakes have had a distinctly summery feel to them. I made lemon curd for the first (and second) time in my life! Lemon curd is one of my favourite fillings or spreads for pretty much everything – scones, macarons, cakes, croissants. Yum! I’d never made it from scratch before, though, even though it has been on my baking bucket list for a long time. This week, that finally changed!
It was my birthday earlier this week, and since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, it was a very quiet birthday – but I loved it. And even quiet birthdays need birthday cakes! I love everything lemon, so I decided to finally make my own lemon curd and use it in a lemon curd layer cake (the recipe for which will be up next week!). Both the curd and the cake turned out amazing and I’m very excited to share both of them with you guys!
I always thought that lemon curd was made with egg yolks only – not the whites. I never like to only use part of the egg, so I was very happy when my research told me that tons of recipes use the entire egg. I decided to go for that method with mine as well, so you’ll need three whole eggs for this one. I also opted for the bain marie method of heating the curd instead of putting it directly onto the heat in a saucepan. That way, it’s much more foolproof because you run less of a risk of cooking the egg.
Anyway, enough rambling! Let’s get to the recipe – it only uses four ingredients and it’s very simple!
You’ll need… (for about 350 ml of lemon curd)
- 3 eggs
- 150 g fine granulated sugar
- 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons of lemon juice (= 80 ml / juice of approx. 2 lemons)
- 50 g unsalted butter (cold, in cubes)
1. Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest In a heatproof bowl (either stainless steel or glass), whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined.
2. Heat mixture in a bain-marie Place a pot of hot water on the stove on low to medium heat, and place the heatproof bowl with your mixture on top of it. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and also make sure that the water doesn’t boil at any point. The mixture will now start to warm up and you need to keep stirring it using a silicone spatula or a spoon. If you stop stirring, the egg might start to cook, and the mixture will get lumpy. Keep doing this until the mixture starts to thicken. This can take up to 20 minutes or even longer, so be patient. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s done.
3. Sieve the mixture Place a sieve above a second bowl and pour your heated mixture through the sieve into the bowl. You’re doing this to ensure no lumpy bits of eggs remain in your lemon curd. The lemon zest will also be sifted out, but it will already have released a lot of flavour during the heating process.
4. Stir in butter Now, it’s time to add the cubes of butter and stir them through. The mixture will still be hot enough to melt the butter quite easily. This is what will give the lemon curd its nice, velvet-y consistency and gloss.
5. Let the lemon curd cool Cover the bowl with cling film, gently pressing it down onto the lemon curd, to ensure it doesn’t develop a skin. Then place it in the fridge to cool down. It will keep thickening as it cools. If you’re planning on storing it in a jar, you can also transfer it into your preferred jar instead of still using the bowl.
After about an hour or so, your lemon curd will be ready to use! It’s delicious on toast or crackers, on scones, in a macaron, as a cake filling… There’s tons of uses for lemon curd! It’ll keep for about a week in the fridge. Enjoy!