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This easy lemon curd is sure to hit the spot, because it is so light and refreshing. Even though winter is firmly here, I am already dreaming of the flavors of spring and summer. If I eat summer foods, that means summer will come quickly, right? (shh, don’t disillusion me. Ignorance is bliss and all that.)
Anyway. I find that with lemon desserts you either love them or hate them. I love them. My husband hates them. He says they taste like dish soap (he actually says that about any food with lemon juice in it, not just desserts). So I never really get the chance to make lemon desserts, because why would I make a dessert that only I would eat?
Recently, though, I was craving some good, tangy lemon. (No, I’m not pregnant.)(Why is that the first thing people assume when a woman says she is craving something?)
So I decided to make myself some mini lemon meringue pie cups. They were pretty good, but to be honest, I liked the lemon curd part a lot more than I liked the meringue part.
I decided to try making the lemon curd on its own, and bingo! I struck gold. (Which is kind of apropos for this. Look at the beautiful, vibrant color of this lemon curd!)
Most homemade lemon curd recipes call for you to stand at the stove whisking the curd mixture forever, and then refrigerate the curd for another forever in order for it to thicken. This recipe does call for standing and whisking (so I can’t say it’s completely quick and easy), but the cornstarch helps the curd to thicken a lot faster, and then no refrigeration is necessary.
Sound good? Good. Now on to
Some Common Homemade Lemon Curd Questions
The lemon curd only uses egg yolk. What can I do with the leftover egg white?
- If you like, you can do the traditional lemon meringue pie thing: whip the leftover egg whites with five tablespoons sugar until stiff, spread over the egg yolk lemon curd, and bake at 350 until the meringue is browned (it shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.)
- Alternately, you can use the egg whites to make a healthy egg white omelet.
- You can also freeze the egg whites for later use.
What can I use lemon curd for?
- You can use it to make lemon meringue pie, as I stated above.
- You can serve it with whipped cream and top with fresh fruit as a lemon curd cup.
- You can mix the lemon curd with whipped cream and make lemon mousse.
- Or you can just eat the lemon curd plain. With a spoon. Or your fingers. We won’t judge. (jk we will judge he he)
Can I freeze homemade lemon curd?
I’ve seen many places online saying that you can freeze lemon curd and it defrosts beautifully. When I tried to freeze my lemon curd, however, the texture changed and became more grainy. It’s possible that this was caused by the cornstarch that most other recipes don’t have. Bottom line: feel free to try to freeze it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you if it doesn’t stay the same 🙂
Can I refrigerate lemon curd?
Sure! It lasts in the fridge, covered, for about a week.
Wait, you put the egg yolks into the curd mixture after you take it off the fire? Won’t I get salmonella from the raw egg?
- The first thing I want to say to this is: I am not a health professional and cannot be held responsible for any harm that may come to you or anyone else from attempting my recipes! (Can you tell I’m a lawyer’s daughter?)
- Second, it seems like nowadays, you are more likely to get food poisoning from lettuce or flour than raw eggs…
- Third, if you don’t whisk the yolks into the rest of the lemon curd fast enough, you can end up with little bits of scrambled egg mixed into your lemon curd (ew). So it definitely seems that the lemon curd is hot enough to cook the egg and kill any germs that may be in there.
- All that being said, you need to do what you feel comfortable with, and if you decide you don’t feel comfortable with this recipe, then you do you.
I don’t have a whisk. Can I make lemon curd by mixing the curd with a fork?
Well, technically you can, but it will be a lot more difficult. The whisk mixes things more quickly and efficiently, so you will have to work a lot harder if you are just mixing with a fork. You also are more likely to end up with clumps of cornstarch that aren’t fully dissolved into the rest of the lemon curd. If you want to take that risk, feel free, but I would suggest spending a few dollars to buy a whisk.
I like my lemon curd more tangy/I like my lemon curd more sweet.
No problem! Feel free to adjust the sugar or lemon juice amounts in the recipe. You can also add some lemon zest, if you have any fresh lemons around.
Oh no, I need to separate the eggs for this recipe! Help!
Trust me, I feel you. There have been many times I skipped recipes because I had no patience to separate the eggs. That being said, separating eggs is not actually that difficult. Props to my mother in law for teaching me how!
- Crack the egg evenly and open it so that the egg stays in one half of the shell.
- Slowly pour the egg back and forth between the two shell halves over a small bowl. The white will fall down into the bowl and the yolk will stay in the eggshell. Ta da! Separated eggs!
- If you are separating more than one egg, it is always a good idea to have three bowls ready: one to put the yolks in, one to put the whites in, and one to separate the eggs in. Make sure you pour your egg whites out of the egg-separating-bowl before starting to separate the second egg. That way, if you screw up and get some yolk into your egg white, you will only have ruined that one egg white instead of a whole bowl full of egg white that you had worked so hard to separate.
- (And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about – egg whites won’t whip up and become stiff if there is even a tiny bit of yolk (or almost anything else, really) mixed in.)
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, on to the
Easy Lemon Curd Recipe
This easy lemon curd recipe is sure to be a hit with lemon lovers anywhere, because it is bursting with bright, tangy flavor. You can use it in lemon meringue pie, lemon mousse, lemon curd cups, or in any way you desire. You will come back to this homemade lemon curd again and again! If you enjoy this recipe (and I’m sure you will), please consider leaving a 5-star rating. You can just click on the stars below. It’s as simple as that!
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon margarine
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 egg yolks
1. Heat sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small pot over medium-high heat, whisking often, until it becomes thick, with a pudding-like texture. Nothing will happen for awhile, and then suddenly the entire pot will gel over at once (it’s pretty cool, actually). You can still cook it for a few minutes more after that if you want it even thicker.
2. Remove pot from heat and whisk in margarine until it melts, then mix in lemon juice.
3. Add egg yolks one at a time, making sure to whisk the yolks in very quickly so they don’t start to cook.
4. Optional: push the curd through a sieve to remove any clumps or bits of cooked egg there may be.
If you insist on non-citrus desserts, try these:
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Easy Lemon CurdThis easy lemon curd recipe is sure to be a hit with lemon lovers anywhere, because it is bursting with bright, tangy flavor. You can use it in lemon meringue pie, lemon mousse, lemon curd cups, or in any way you desire. You will come back to this homemade lemon curd again and again! If you enjoy this recipe (and I'm sure you will), please consider leaving a 5-star rating. You can just click on the stars below. It's as simple as that!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon margarine
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 egg yolks
- Heat sugar, water, and cornstarch in a small pot over medium-high heat, whisking often, until it becomes thick, with a pudding-like texture. Nothing will happen for awhile, and then suddenly the entire pot will gel over at once (it's pretty cool, actually). You can still cook it for a few minutes more after that if you want it even thicker.
- Remove pot from heat and whisk in margarine until it melts, then mix in lemon juice.
- Add egg yolks one at a time, making sure to whisk the yolks in very quickly so they don't start to cook.
- Optional: push the curd through a sieve to remove any clumps or bits of cooked egg there may be.
NotesYou will have a much easier time making the lemon curd if you use a whisk instead of just mixing with a fork. Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any specific dietary needs please consult your healthcare professional.