Sunshine for a Snowy Day: Lemon Curd

My mother first became gravely ill last year. Most of the time, she doesn't feel up to eating, and sometimes she just can't. When she does eat, her appetite is mainly for candy and fruit juice. That's why when she showed interest in a magazine article about lemon curd, I saw a golden opportunity to get valuable nutrients from eggs and butter into her. It worked. Over the course of the day, she managed to polish off an entire 8 oz. jar as if it were pudding.

I was introduced to lemon curd when I lived in England. At the time, I was just learning to cook, and lemon curd seemed like something only chefs could make. But a kind friend showed me her family recipe, and it is definitely within the reach of home cooks. Her method is genius, because it eliminates the need for straining out bits of egg (Ok, I admit I probably wouldn't strain it anyhow. I'm pretty sure people who strain their lemon curd don't wash their own dishes).

6 Tbsp. room temp butter
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice (usually 2-3 juicy lemons)
1 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter as if starting a batch of cookies. Slowly add in eggs and extra yolks, and mix until well combined. Stir in lemon juice (the mixture will look curdled). In a heavy saucepan, cook the mixture over med-low heat, stirring constantly (so that you don't end up making scrambled eggs), until it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees F). Remove from heat, and stir in zest. Let cool.

Obviously, lemon curd is delicious with all sorts of sweets - particularly as a shimmering yellow layer atop cheesecake. But don't overlook it's possibilities in savory recipes. Together with a little chile kick, it makes a great glaze for lemon chicken.


  1. I love lemon curd and can it a whole jar too.

  2. The joke around here is, "You know what else lemon curd is good on? A spoon!"

    How do you use lemon curd?

    I just saw an intriguing recipe which used a spoonful of lemon curd in a vinaigrette.

  3. I have a lemon tree and have made lemon curd many times. I loooove it. But the high sugar content doesn't love me, unfortunately.


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