Try my super simple recipe for lemon curd, using whole eggs or even just the yolks. I have you covered, no matter how many yolks you have! This homemade lemon curd tutorial is all you need to succeed.
Homemade Lemon Curd Tutorial
Anyone Can Make This Lemon Curd
For the Valentine’s/Birthday cake for my husband this year, I had a lot of components to make and I wasn’t very well in the few days leading up to it. So everything was done at the last minute and I needed some help from my 13 year old son, who also likes to bake sometimes. While I was making Swiss meringue buttercream, my son made lemon curd. He made it all himself and I have to say it was really good. Nice and thick and zesty.
And then I thought, why don’t I have this recipe on the website yet? So if he can make it, so can you. No special equipment is required, just a little time and obviously lemons 🙂
This recipe is for a reasonable amount of lemon curd, and I filled an old Lidl jam jar with it. That was a jar that held 450g (15.75 oz) of jam. And I calculated that to have a capacity of about 1 1/2 cups or 12 fl oz. This would be enough for any baking project. Filling 12 cupcakes with about 1 tsp lemon curd would use about 1/2 cup of the curd (1/3 of the batch).
Making Smaller Amounts
But if you want to make smaller amounts of lemon curd, or make according to however many eggs you have, I have included further down, how to also make 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup & 1 cup worth.
USING JUST EGG YOLKS
The recipe can also be changed up slightly if for example you have left over yolks after making meringue. You don’t always need all the egg to make curd. But you do need yolk. Just bear in mind though that it’s not a straight swap from 1 egg to 1 egg yolk. One egg is made up of about 30% yolk and 60% whites (the remaining 10% being the shell).
So as a guide you could replace 1 whole egg in a recipe, with say 3 yolks. So for this recipe below that requires 6 eggs, 18 yolks instead would also work. Hope that makes sense. If not, let me know. I have included also tables below, with some other combinations for how it can be made.
UK & US Sized Eggs
Please bear in mind too, that the recipe is based on medium eggs (UK size), which equates to about Large size in the US. For your reference, UK medium can range from 63 – 73g (2.25 – 2.5 oz).
Number Of Eggs Or Yolks Needed
Here are the number of eggs needed for making 1/2 – 1 1/2 cups (4 – 12 fl oz jar capacity) amounts of lemon curd.
I have also listed in each of the tables, alternatives, if for example, you have left over egg yolks to use up (from say meringues or Angel Food Cake).
Example from Table 1(12 fl oz curd), instead of using 6 whole eggs, you can use 4 whole eggs and 6 yolks. Note for this table, you are using the recipe ingredients as listed below.
|MAKES 1 1/2 Cups (12 fl oz)||USING…|
|6 whole eggs||— OR|
|5 whole eggs PLUS||3 Yolks|
|4 whole eggs PLUS||6 Yolks|
|3 whole eggs PLUS||9 Yolks|
|2 whole eggs PLUS||12 Yolks|
|1 whole egg PLUS||15 Yolks|
1 Cup/8 fl oz Worth
For making 1 cup (8 fl oz) volume of Lemon Curd, see Table 2 below. Note that for that amount of curd, you need zest & juice of 2 medium lemons, 134g Sugar (2/3 cup, 4.75 oz) & 90g butter, unsalted (1/3 cup, 3 oz) as well as the eggs/yolks listed below in Table 2, in any combination you have.
|MAKES 1 Cup (8 fl oz)||USING…|
|4 whole eggs||— OR|
|3 whole eggs PLUS||3 Yolks|
|2 whole eggs PLUS||6 Yolks|
|1 whole egg PLUS||9 Yolks|
3/4 Cup Or 6 Fl Oz
For making 3/4 cup (6 fl oz) volume of lemon curd, use Table 3 below for the number of whole eggs and/or yolks. For that volume you will also need zest & juice of 1 1/2 medium lemons, 100g Sugar (1/2 cup, 3.5 oz) & 67g butter, unsalted (1/3 cup, 2.25 oz).
|MAKES 3/4 Cup (6 fl oz)||USING…|
|3 whole eggs||— OR|
|2 whole eggs PLUS||3 Yolks|
|1 whole egg PLUS||9 Yolks|
1/2 Cup Or 4 Fl Oz
For making 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) volume of lemon curd, use Table 4 below for the number of whole eggs and/or yolks. For that volume you will also need juice & zest of 1 Lemon, 67g Sugar (1/3 cup, 2.25 oz), 45g Butter, unsalted (3 tbsp, 1.5 oz)
|MAKES 1/2 Cup (4 fl oz)||USING…|
|2 whole eggs||— OR|
|1 whole eggs PLUS||3 Yolks|
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Here is my homemade lemon curd recipe made by reader Diana. It looks great with these lovely dishes and raspberries!
So let’s get to the recipe, and don’t forget you can download the recipe to save to your phone or computer and print off later. Simply click the ‘download’ button below.
Easy Lemon Curd
- Sharp knife
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Small Pot
- Stove top
- Small Jar(s)
- Small Funnel (optional)
- Zest of 3 Lemons
- Juice of 3 Lemons
- 200g Granulated Sugar (1 cup/ 7 oz)
- 6 Med – large Eggs *(or see alternatives in Table 1 above)
- 135g Butter, unsalted (rounded 1/2 cup, 4.75 oz )
- (See note above about just using yolks, & Tables 1 – 4 for making a different volume of curd)
- **Med-large lemons, Lare to Extra Large US eggs
1. First begin by zesting your lemons and then adding to the cooking pot. *Tip – much easier to zest before cutting and juicing the lemons. (See Photo 1).
2. Next, roll the lemon on the worktop/counter before cutting in half. This helps break the membranes, allowing more juice to be squeezed out.
*Tip – if you have any small old lemons, don’t bin them. Pierce a few holes in it with a knife, place in a bowl and put in the microwave for 30 seconds. Check and if it’s not hot yet, heat again for another 30 seconds. Once hot, roll whilst still in the bowl and then squeeze the juice as normal. You should get a lot of juice this way. So for this recipe, if you only have quite small lemons, I would advise using the juice of 2 of them as equivalent of 1 medium lemon. See Photo 2 below.
3.Weigh or measure in the sugar, before adding in the lemon juice, eggs and butter. Heat on a low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir every so often until the sugar is dissolved. See Photo 3.
4. Increase the heat to medium and continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken. (You know your own hob, so don’t let it get too hot).
5. To test when it is ready, lift the spoon up, out of the curd, turn it over and lay across the pan. With a finger (or something similar, like the end of a small spoon – be careful as it will be very hot), drag a line through the curd on the back of the spoon. If it is now ready, there will be a clear line made. (See right pic in Photo 4 below where it is set properly). If not, continue heating and stirring and check every 5 minutes till ready. Don’t worry if your curd is not quite as thick as mine. It will thicken more on cooling.
6. Next you want to strain the curd through a sieve and into a clean bowl. Most recipes won’t tell you to strain your homemade lemon curd, but there are a few good reasons to do so.
Why Strain Lemon Curd?
• Most common reason is if your eggs got a little too hot & ‘scrambled’. Sieving this out after fully cooked, is perfectly fine & the resulting lemon curd will still be great & last for the same amount of time.
• Sometimes there can be something called chalazae – this is little white ropey strands that sometimes are visible when you break open an egg. They are what keep the egg suspended in the shell & don’t worry, they don’t indicate a ‘bad’ egg. They are more prominent the fresher the egg is (so a good way to test for freshness). However, they don’t breakdown very easily and can leave some egg fragments in your curd. So another good reason to strain the curd.
• And finally, if you strain your lemon curd, you can remove any lumpy pieces in the curd, to make a smoother mixture, that will set up nicely when chilled.
7. Let the curd cool a little & then cover with cling film/plastic wrap before chilling & allowing to set more. Like with pastry cream, you want to lift the cling film, so that it covers the surface of the lemon curd, and then move the cling film up the side of the bowl. (See Photo 5 above, left pic). Covering the surface, (& removing air bubbles), stops a ‘skin’ forming on the surface. I like to add a second layer of cling film on top just to make sure sealed properly, if not jarring right away & leaving in the fridge overnight. Once set you can use in pastries, or transfer to jars to use later.
*Alternatively, you can strain the warm curd directly into prepared jars. Simply warm your jar by filling with hot water. Then rinse out thoroughly before filling with your homemade lemon curd.
8. Best stored in the fridge in sealed jars, (where it will set and thicken more), and will be fine for up to 2 weeks. (For longer, you can opt to sterilise or can the jars first).
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: super simple, beginner
Uses For Lemon Curd
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