06 May Lemon Curd


Lemon Curd

6 May 2016

PREP. TIME: 15 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 15 MIN   -   YIELD: 300ml

The easiest way to make Lemon Curd is using a double boiler.  If you do not possess one, you can readily construct one by fitting a heat proof bowl onto a saucepan.  The water level should be adjusted to simmer just below the base of the bowl. Simpler still - if you have a small heavy saucepan, this works well too.  Just keep an eye on the heat - keep it moderate; if too high you will scramble the egg yolk!

Recipe Template

This recipe makes a delicious filling for tiny brown bread sandwiches to eat with ice cream, to spread on brioche or currant bread as well as lemon tartlets of any size, made with rich, sweet short crust pastry.

There is a suggestion to store this delectable concoction in sterilised jars but my sister Kris and I suggest a jar in the fridge with a spoon nearby to dip into it. It disappears in no time as you can imagine!


4 egg yolks

150g caster sugar

60 g cold, unsalted butter

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

100 ml lemon juice (approx 3 lemons)


Whisk; Digital scales; Butter knife; Citrus Juicer; Measuring jug and spoons; Lemon zester; Double boiler or heavy small saucepan; wooden spoon;


Step 1. Prep

Separate the eggs

Zest the lemon

Juice the lemons to measure 100ml juice

Chop the butter into small dice.

Step 2.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in the double boiler bowl or saucepan - well combined but not frothy.

Step 3.

Place the double boiler or saucepan over moderate to high heat, add the butter, lemon zest, and juice.

Stir constantly, and bring to barely a simmer.

Stir until the mixture coats the back of the spoon - but do not allow the mixture to boil.

If you think the mixture is too hot - plunge the pot or bowl into cold water and stir vigorously to create a smooth, thick, ointment like mixture.

Step 4.

Allow the mixture to cool.

Transfer into sterilised glass jars or a serving bowl.

Obs: Lemon curd will keep for up to 3 months or perhaps longer.  It does eventually lose what Elizabeth David described as its 'exquisite flavour' and 'sharp scent' though.

Lemon Tartlets

Spoon Lemon Curd into cooked tartlet bases made with sweet short crust pastry.

Decorate with a fresh berry, half a red grape or a strip of fine lemon or lime zest.

Because the curd is so rich, tiny little lemon tartlets generally suffice.  They are delicious to serve as a petite fours or for Afternoon Tea.

If you don't wish to make your own sweet short crust pastry - there are some very good tartlet cases available. Select those using proper ingredients - i.e butter and sugar and flour and not much else!  Michel's Fine Biscuit Co makes perfect tartlet cases ready to go.



Recipe by Stephanie Alexander, The Cook's Companion, 2nd Edition.

Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey

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