Homemade lemon curd is one of those things that seems difficult until you do it. Three eggs, and a half cup each of sugar and lemon juice (or really any acidic fruit juice—lemons, orange, cranberry and lime are some good ideas) transform with a little heat into a tangy custard you can use with blueberries and scones, meringues and whipped cream, or to fill a tart shell, for just a few ideas.
It’s Meyer lemon season, so I used those, but any tart juice will work, from lemon to orange or even lime with a touch of unsweetened cranberry juice. Squeezed fresh is best.
Meyer Lemon Curd
makes 1½ cups; Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- grated zest from 1 Meyer lemon
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice from 3–4 Meyer lemons strained of pulp and seeds
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into tablespoon sized chunks
- 1 pinch salt
Put eggs, sugar and lemon zest in a medium saucepan and whisk off heat for a couple minutes off until pale in color.
Add the lemon juice, butter and salt and cook over moderate heat until butter is melted and mixture begins to thicken, about 6–8 minutes (160–170° F). Pour through a sieve into a glass jar for storage. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Any lemon will work, Meyer or the regular ones (Eurekas). Any tangy fruit will make a great curd—lemon, blood orange, and cranberry lime are ones I've tried.
- Make just enough and keep in the refrigerator, don't try to preserve this recipe. Curd is difficult to safely preserve via canning due to the variability of the acidity and presence of eggs and butter. Commercial lemon curds use lots of sugar and processed lemon juice instead of fresh, that's how they get away with it.