Lemons to Lemon Curd

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When life gives you lemons... make lemon curd. And put it on everrrrything!

When life gives you lemons… make lemon curd. And put it on everrrrything!

I’m finally sharing my lemon curd recipe!  I first referenced “making lemon curd from lemons” when the Great American Baking Show was pulled off the air back in December (I wrote about how I felt about winning an un-aired baking competition show here).  What I didn’t mention was how much I love lemon curd because of it’s tart-sweet duality and versatility.  In fact, one of the winning dishes from the finale (that you never got to see!) prominently featured this lemon curd. It made Paul Hollywood jump for joy– it was his most theatrically joyous reaction and it caught me so off guard I was a little spooked!

Making lemon curd from lemons has become my mantra over the past few months.  It’s a reminder to me that you can make something delectable out of the most tart of situations.  One of my personal philosophies is that we have to make the best out of our current situation. You use what you’ve got. 

Making lemon curd is a metaphor for life.  It only has 3 ingredients: lemons, eggs and sugar.  And these ingredients transform from from liquid to silky, thick and luxurious with time and constant work.  While the liquid is heating up over a pot of simmering water, and is being constantly whisked, it may seem like nothing is happening. But keep whisking!  If you stop whisking, you’ll end up with sugary, lemon-y scrambled eggs.  If the heat is too high, it will cook too fast– more scrambled eggs!  But if you constantly whisk over low heat, eventually, it will transform into lemon curd. 

I’m currently in a state of “whisk and wait.”  I’m whisking (putting in work), while waiting (and having faith in!) a transformation.  

I recorded an awesome video with Buzzfeed that shows the process of me making lemon curd. Here’s the recipe!

Lemon Curd Recipe

Zest from 3 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (juice from 3-4 lemons)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (113g)

In a medium glass heat-proof bowl, combine the lemon zest and granulated sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Add lemon juice and whisk until combined.

Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Whisk constantly until the temperature reaches 170F and the mixture transforms from liquid to thick lemon curd. 

Once the mixture has thickened, remove the bowl from the heat and pour the mixture through a strainer into a large bowl to strain out any bits.  Once the mixture has cooled slightly, stir in the butter a few pieces at a time until all of the butter is fully incorporated.   Use an immersion blender and blend to ensure that the everything is fully incorporated.  Cover with cling wrap (touching the curd) and refrigerate until ready to use.

Uses for Lemon Curd

Filling for mini lemon tarts
To layer breakfast parfaits
Filing in cakes
To drizzle over pancakes, waffles or french toast
To slather on biscuits, toast or croissants

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  • eggcellent88 SAYS | February 2, 2019

    It’s super delicious!! It tastes amazing on toast and I think I might have eaten half the batch immediately after making it lol. Highly recommend it!

  • Katerina SAYS | May 3, 2020

    The way you speak is sooooo relaxing. Your voice is so sweet and your speech so clear that I remember almost all the procedures just by listening to you. You are amazing!

about vallery

I am a lawyer-turned-baker. 
I left my 9-5 office job because I wanted to create recipes, videos, and most of all—Bake! I won the Great American Baking Show, and my debut cookbook Life Is What You Bake It contains some of the winning recipes! My motto is simple: When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd. We have the power to turn tart situations into sweet ones, and it’s my mission to teach people how.



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