How to “take it squeezey” making lemon curd at home! You can do it!
Lemon curd is sensual, almost sexy. Silky smooth, tart and tangy yet sweet and buttery rich. It spreads like butter and lends elegance and sophistication to anything it sits upon, but at first mention it does sound kind of weird. Curd? Isn’t that what Miss Muffet ate?
In fact, I always thought lemon curd sounds sort of hoity-toity, something you should eat with a fancy spoon with pinky extended. Have you priced a jar? Jeepers! It has earned it’s hoity-toity reputation!
I have a secret though. This is the zen part. No stress, no worries. It’s not hard or expensive to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and no special equipment. In GB’s Kitchen we just don’t do fussy. Some blogs go deep into the molecular structure of egg yolks like a science project. Like all precise temperatures and measurements but I’m here to tell you we can do it nice and easy! (Like Tina Turner!) Ready?
You will want fresh lemons. They do not need to be big, fancy five star lemons. Here’s a great place to use bagged or “imperfect” lemons. DO THIS PART FIRST. Use the fine side of a grater to “zest” the lemon peel and remove just the yellow part. You don’t want to use the white part underneath, it’s bitter. (It you’re lazy, lost the grater, in a hurry or all three, you can buy lemon zest in the spice aisle. No harm, no foul. )
Hint: Next, as you assemble everything, plop those lemons into a bowl of hot water or nuke them for a half minute or so. Once they’re warm, roll them around on the counter pressing them like a line in a romance novel. They’ll yield more of their juice that way. Wink wink.
I used yolks only because I just made Coconut Macaroons, remember?
I read multiple posts about lemon curd to the point of forgetting who said what. I did find it’s not a bad idea to use yolks only. Whites and yolks do not always play nice with each other. Want to use whole eggs? There are dozens of cooks that will tell you how. Want easy? Stick with me!
Start by thoroughly whisking the egg yolks and sugar together. You don’t need a double boiler if a) you have a nice heavy pot and b) if you have some degree of patience. If you have neither, a simple stainless steel bowl that fits on a pot of boiling water will work (but it will take almost as long.)
Put the egg/sugar mixture on the stove on a low/low medium setting and begin stirring. When it gets a little warm, add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Now stand there and keep stirring. Don’t quit stirring. The mixture will start out opaque but as it continues to heat slowly it will become more translucent. You will know it’s close when the mixture will coat the back of the spoon.
Do not let it come to a boil. A few plopping bubbles are ok but now stop.
Next, remove the mixture from the heat and stir butter in a few pats at a time until completely melted. I poured the mixture right into a jar and put the lid on it. If you want to put it in a bowl, cover it with plastic film. Press it directly on the surface to avoid the skin that will form.
The reward for your patience!! You’re the one that gets to eat the still warm curd from the pot and lick the spoon. So worth it!!
Zen Lemon Curd
Incredible smooth and silky spread that's tart but sweet and buttery for desserts and more
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 3-4 fresh lemons zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup butter cut into pats
- pinch salt
Use the fine side of a grater to remove zest from lemons. Use only the yellow part. Put lemons in a bowl of hot water or microwave whole lemon until warm then roll on counter to soften. Extract juice with juicer or by squeezing lemon half between your hands. Remove seeds. Measure 1/3 cup.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well blended then put on low-medium low stove top or double boiler. When egg/sugar mixture begins to warm, add juice and a pinch of salt and mix well.
Cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to look translucent and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Once bubbles begin to form as it approaches boiling, remove from heat and stir butter in a few pats at a time until completely melted.
Pour into wide mouth pint jar and put lid on immediately. If mixture is poured in a bowl, put plastic film directly on surface so skin will not form.
Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 weeks.
There is a real GB’s kitchen and these days it feels a little lonely as Papa and I rattle around missing our grandkids who are right here in the same town! I find great joy in feeding people and even more joy in looking for the best in everyone I meet and encouraging each person to become their best self every day. I’ve been doing this as long as I can remember and it gets me through the most difficult times. I would love to hear from you and find out the things that help you weather life’s storms!
If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you!
If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!
Love, GB (Betty Streff)