How to Make the Best Lemon Curd—Plus, 3 Great Recipes to Use It In
Sure, you can purchase lemon curd, but we say it's better to make your own: the pasteurization process of the store-bought variation can mute its fresh lemon flavor. Our modernized recipe for lemon curd is light-years simpler than traditional versions: no double boiler or tempering necessary. Once it's chilled, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy the wonderfully tangy cream: pipped into tartlets, spread on scones, in a bowl topped with granola, layered in ice cream sandwiches (recipes for all these delicious ideas ahead!), or entirely on its own.
Best Lemon Curd
There's a lot to love about the vibrant citrusy spread. We already mentioned that this recipe is written for ease as well as for flavor: No tempering or double boiler is necessary. It takes just 15 minutes to prepare, then you'll cool and chill for at least an hour before serving. Food and entertaining director Sarah Carey, who developed this recipe, also uses a whole egg for lighter texture. "A lot of lemon curds use only yolks," she says.
To make a firmer curd for layering in cakes, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin in 2 tablespoons cold water; in step 2 of the recipe, stir gelatin mixture into thickened curd before adding butter.
You can also swap in other citruses: For orange curd, replace half the lemon juice with fresh OJ and all the zest with orange zest. For lime curd, replace all the juice and zest with lime juice and zest.
Lemon-Curd Phyllo Tartlets
Much as we adore the lemon-curd filled tartlets so popular in England, these are better. Rather than the pastry base used across the pond—which requires rolling and cutting and blind baking—our easy tartlets start with store-bought phyllo shells. All you need to do is brush them with egg white, bake, then fill with lemon curd. Plus, the crunch of the phyllo is the perfect contrast to the creamy curd.
Ricotta Breakfast Bowls
Lemon curd for breakfast? Yes indeed! Spooning it on top of pillowy ricotta, fresh berries, and crunchy granola for deliciously easy start to the day.
Lemony Ice Cream Sandwiches
Adding lemon curd to an ice-cream sandwich is plain genius, we can't believe we didn't think of this before.