As I’ve mentioned before, making lemon curd makes me feel like a superwoman. A few months ago, I learned how to temper eggs, and ever since I’ve felt a profound sense of accomplishment. First, I conquered vanilla cream pie, my first successful egg-tempering endeavor. Then came my first try at lemon curd, which used only egg yolks and yielded a lovely, tangy, brilliant yellow concoction that I then served with lemon poppy seed scones. This most recent attempt went into tartlets, as pictured at left.
This lemon curd is different than my first attempt, in that it uses whole eggs and not just yolks. The end result of this curd is a lighter, creamier curd in both color and flavor. You can certainly use regular lemons if you choose, but I had some Meyers around, so that’s what I used here. I look forward to experimenting with lime and orange curds someday as well.
What can you do with lemon curd? So, so much. You can put it in tartlets or use it as a filling for cakes and cupcakes, serve it with scones, sandwich it between cookies, layer it in trifles, plop it into graham cracker crust and top it with whipped cream for a pie, eat it with a spoon…the list goes on. Whatever you do, just be sure you follow the recipe, particularly with regard to the straining of the eggs before and the second straining of the curd once it’s been cooked; this ensures that you get a smooth, clump-free result.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (I used 4 small/medium-sized Meyer lemons)
- zest of 4 lemons
- 8 tablespoons butter
Lightly beat eggs and pass them through a fine sieve to remove the albumin. Set aside in a medium bowl (or a large, 4-cup glass measuring cup for easy pouring) close to the stove for easy access; thoroughly wash your sieve and place it nearby for a second straining once the curd has cooked.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest until completely combined. Add butter and cook on medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
Working quickly, pour about half of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper. Pour egg mixture back into the pan and cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
Pour mixture through your sieve to remove the zest; press waxed paper (or plastic wrap) onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Once curd is completely cooled, place in an airtight container. According to various food safety websites and other food blogs, lemon curd should last in the refrigerator for a few weeks.