Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresh Lemon Curd

Growing up as a child, I enjoyed living in a house complete with a backyard filled with an abundance of all kinds of fruit trees. Spoiled with fresh homegrown plums, lemons, tangerines, kumquats, white peaches, and even guava-- I told my fiancĂ©, years before becoming engaged, that I was determined to build ourselves a mini orchard of a backyard in whatever house we would end up living in. After he purchased a house last summer, that we will be living in after we marry, I became elated to discover that the previous owners had already lend a friendly hand towards this dream. In the corner of the yard there is a tall and lush lemon tree that decided to play hard to get by waving "hello" all summer and fall without producing any ripened yellow fruit. However, to my warm delight, a few weeks ago, I was pleased to find plenty of ripe bundles of sunshine waiting for me to harvest! Some of the lemons were wrapped sweetly in wicker baskets and given as small "I thought of you" presents. Other lemons fulfilled their purpose by being squeezed into warm cups of tea with their good friend, honey. Plenty of lemons, however, were used to make fresh batches of homemade lemon curd--  nothing more than lovely tastes of summer lingering in the chilly heart of winter.

This lemon curd recipe is extremely simple to make and taste just as good (with a little extra 'oomph') than the kind you can purchase at the grocery store. I love to make a lot, store it in mason jars, and keep it waiting in the fridge ready to be used on toast, pancakes, waffles, and other delicious things.  It's also fantastic in pies or to tarts.

My favorite Saturday morning breakfast with pancakes in their birthday suit waiting for lemon curd!
"Ahh..."-- the pancakes

Homemade Lemon Curd
adapted from Ina Garten

the zest of 3 large lemons  (avoid the white part)
1 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
4 large eggs at room temperature
3-4 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and white sugar and whisk together well until the mixture is combined.

2. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter until it is fluffy and then add the sugar and lemon mixture-- continue to beat for about 1-2 more minutes to combine. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to mix on medium until everything becomes a pale yellow-- about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and salt and keep mixing for about 10 more minutes. If the mixture starts to look curdled, keep beating.

3. Pour the mixture into a medium-large saucepan and cook it on low heat until it becomes thick and coats the back of your stirring utensil. Be sure to stir continuously to avoid burning the bottom of the lemon curd batch. This should take about 10 minutes and the curd so reach just below a simmer. Remove from the heat, transfer to jars or sealable containers, and allow it to cool before transferring to the refrigerator to cool and store.


  1. This looks phenomenal and your photography is fantastic!

  2. Thanks! It's super delicious! I just checked out your blog...it looks fantastic! Your recent cooking makes me hunger...you may have just made a new reader. :) Happy Tuesday!