Lemon curd is a thick, soft, luscious, intensely flavored spreadable cream that is perfect for tarts, cakes, cookies, or simply eating out of the jar! It is so delicious, so versatile that I almost always have a jar on hand for those times when I need a quick dessert. It is also heavenly on warm scones, toast or slathered on our gluten free ginger spice muffins. The tart lemon flavor counters the spiciness perfectly.
What I like most about lemon curd is that it does not use exotic ingredients. Comprised of just eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and unsalted butter, these are ingredients that I always have on hand.
Melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add lemon juice and bring to a boil.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar and zest. Keep whisking until the mixture begins to pale slightly.
Slowly add boiling lemon juice mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. This is called tempering and will help prevent the egg mixture from scrambling by slowly raising the temperature.
Add all the ingredients back to the pot and return to the stovetop. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Do not allow it to boil.
Strain into a bowl placed over an ice bath. Press plastic wrap immediately on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. When cool, remove from ice bath and refrigerate. Lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
Lemon curd has to be made with fresh lemons and fresh lemon zest. Do not use the lemon juice that comes in a bottle.
When zesting a lemon, remove just the yellow part. Do not remove the white membrane (pith) that is lurking just underneath. This is very bitter tasting.