Making lemon curd teaches you how to temper eggs into a hot mixture without curdling them, instead creating a thick, rich pudding. Use the curd to top French toast, waffles, or even ice cream. I’ve been known to dunk a graham cracker into a jar of lemon curd and top it with a mini-marshmallow to make a one-bite lemon meringue pie. Make lemon curd a couple of hours ahead of serving time; it requires some time spent stove-hovering and chilling.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 lemons
- Fine sea salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ pound plus 4 tablespoons (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and
- cut into ½-inch cubes
- Place the sugar in a small bowl. Using a rasp-style grater, zest the lemons directly over the sugar, letting the lemon zest fall into the bowl. Mix the lemon zest and sugar to release all the fragrant oils from the zest.
- Cut the zested lemons in half and juice them into a measuring cup. There should be about ¾ cup.
- Combine the lemon juice, sugar mixture, and a small pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. As soon as the liquid boils, remove from the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in about ¼ cup of the hot lemon mixture. Once fully combined, add another ¼ cup, and then slowly pour in the remaining mixture while whisking constantly. This tempers the mixture to prevent curdling.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over very low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula. Do not let the mixture boil, or it will curdle.
- After 8 to 10 minutes, the mixture should begin to thicken. It will heavily coat the spatula. At this point, remove from the heat and add the butter.
- Using the spatula, scrape the curd into a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth.
- Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl, cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Lemon curd can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.