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A jar of sunshine – home-made lemon curd

November 9, 2011

Lemon curd on fresh breadGiven a choice between chocolate and lemon, I will always choose lemon.  The colour, the scent, the versatility of this astringent fruit makes it a ‘must have’ in my kitchen.  I’m really annoyed if I run out.  Everyone seems to have their jam pan out at the moment and books and blogs abound with homemade preserves.  Living in a land of imports there’s never a handy glut that needs storing away in some delicious form for the winter.  Lemons are always available though, usually from South Africa or Turkey.  It’s so easy to whip up a batch of lemon curd and because of its three-week shelf-life, the quantity is enough for two jars (one for a friend) or one large one (to eat all yourself).  It’s a joy to open the fridge and see a golden jar on the shelf…come to think of it, it’s related to custard.

Lemon curd

Ten uses for lemon curd

  1. Simply spread on hot, buttered toast or stir into some cream cheese and spread on rye crackers.
  2. Magnificent on a freshly baked warm scone or take it to another level and stir into whipped cream with some halved strawberries as a filling.
  3. Mix 100 g lemon curd with 250 g mascarpone to fill a victoria sandwich cake (20 cm).
  4. As an alternative Eton mess – mixed with pieces of meringue, whipped cream and a little extra lemon juice.
  5. Or continuing the meringue theme…spread over a Pavlova, topped with raspberries.
  6. Great as a filling for a Swiss roll instead of jam.
  7. Thin with some water and drizzle over ice-cream or pancakes.
  8. Make little pastry cases and fill them with lemon curd.
  9. Sandwich slices of Pain perdu (egg bread) together with lemon curd and dust with icing sugar.
  10. For a quick cheesecake, mix with some mascarpone cheese, and fresh fruit (e.g. blueberries and peaches), fill a tart tin lined with a digestive biscuit crust. After chilling, serve topped with  whipped cream.

…or use as a filling for lemon curd buns with creamy lemon icing.

Making lemon curd

Homemade lemon curd – makes a large jarful (about 700 g)


Zest and juice of 4 lemons
4 eggs, beaten
125g butter, cut into small chunks
350g caster sugar

Lemon curd and equipment


Place all the ingredients into a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or use a double-boiler).  The  water must not touch the base of the bowl.  Stir to dissolve the sugar then continue stirring, keeping the water at a rapid simmer, for about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens.  It should coat the back of a wooden spoon when done.  If you feel it isn’t starting to thicken, raise the heat a bit but do not boil otherwise it will curdle.  Remember that the mixture will thicken a bit more once it cools.

Strain through a sieve into a warm, sterilised jar and cover with a disc of waxed paper (I used a kilner jar so didn’t bother). Put on the lid when cool.  Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Lemon curd on breadHave you made lemon curd?  Is it an English thing or something that’s made everywhere? How do you eat yours?

  1. November 9, 2011 11:24 am

    I am a sucker for lemon curd and yours look fabulous!



    • November 9, 2011 4:21 pm

      Thanks Rosa – still striving towards visual perfection (as demonstrated in your pics).

  2. November 9, 2011 12:03 pm

    yummy scrummy thanks Sally – will make some! loving your action photo!
    Debi x

    • November 9, 2011 4:21 pm

      I liked that one Debs – lemon curd flapjacks? Still need your ginger recipe 🙂

  3. November 9, 2011 1:30 pm

    I love it stirred through yogurt with a few strawberries.

    • November 9, 2011 4:22 pm

      Great idea Barbara – I didn’t think of yoghurt but now this has opened a door in my imagination (and tastebuds!)

  4. November 9, 2011 1:32 pm

    I love lemon in every kind of way. This sunshine yellow brightens my day! 🙂

    • November 9, 2011 4:23 pm

      We are on the same lemon wavelength Zizi.

  5. November 9, 2011 4:02 pm

    Never made or eaten lemon curd I’m afraid 😦 But I am lving this 10 things to do part of your posts these days 🙂

    • November 9, 2011 4:24 pm

      Thanks Sukaina – I think you’d love lemon curd. Appreciate the nice feedback.

  6. November 9, 2011 4:09 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing. Could certainly go for some of this right now!

    • November 9, 2011 4:30 pm

      Thanks for the comment. Really like the title of your blog…just popped over and had a good read.

  7. November 9, 2011 4:33 pm

    Oooooh I have to make this!

    Love your “ten uses” 😀 very creative!

  8. November 9, 2011 8:39 pm

    This just looks gorgeous!

  9. November 9, 2011 10:17 pm

    I’m with you, Sally. I will always choose lemon (or some other fruit) over chocolate. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Perfect for a fruit tart!

  10. November 9, 2011 11:31 pm

    Beautiful, happy photos Sally! We make lemon curd (albeit in the microwave) and use it in everything from cookies and cakes to sandwich spread. Truth be told, I also eat it from the jar with a spoon… 🙂

  11. November 11, 2011 8:01 am

    Oh so this is how you make lemon curd…I thought it’d be a bit more complicated than that- just looking for some breakfast while reading this. Would give anything now for a slice of that lemon curd victoria sandwich!

  12. November 13, 2011 10:42 am

    How I adore lemond curd. It’s a must with me, if there is “tea.” I put a little spin on mine last year with lavender:

    I actually just made some regular curd about three weeks ago- my sister Emily was back (from England, near Harrogate) for a visit, so a tea party was in order. It made two jars, and it just made me happy to have it on hand. It really is edible sunshine!

    • November 25, 2011 1:21 pm

      Love the lavender addition – must get some edible lavender sent out.

  13. November 13, 2011 4:14 pm

    Your pics are beautiful – I also make my own lemon curs and is never without lemons!

  14. November 14, 2011 12:35 pm

    My favourite sort of cooking. I’ve made seville orange curd before as well but y
    ou’re so right about lemons. Just filling the kitchen with these colours and aromas is a guaranteed pick-me-up. It also reminds me that Nigella Lawson has a lemon curd ice-cream recipe which I have been meaning to try.

    • November 25, 2011 1:18 pm

      I’ve never been able to get Seville oranges here much to my regret. The icecream sounds good.

  15. November 17, 2011 5:21 pm

    I have survived 40 some years without knowing anything about lemon curd. In Finland from where I am, we make all sorts of preserves from berries, which we have plenty. This Ramadan I found first time lemon curd, my sister in law, promoted one sold in Spinneys, because his hsuband mother use to serve lovely one years back. I bought one and understood the potential, storebought was bit too sweet and lacked the fresh lemon taste. Then I bought one jar from LilyBakes in Arte Market in Dubai and I was really into it.

    Now I saw your post and recipe, I must take now this hint and go for and try to make it myself. Love your photos attached and you made it feel it’s easy to make. Thank you for 10 tips how to use lemon curd, I’ve been thinking ever since where I can use it, it’s so delicious. Althought I have to confess I ate it with spoon straight from jar. Going to lok for organic lemons now…….Thank you for bringing sunshine to my kitchen as well.

    • November 25, 2011 1:12 pm

      What a lovely comment – I agree that the store bought versions are too sweet and don’t have the freshness that makes you want to eat it from the jar. Good luck with finding organic lemons – a bit of a rarity here.

  16. thomasgellender23 permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:05 am

    Thanks Sally for liking my Mississippi Mud pie post. I’ve just started the blog so was really thrilled to see that you liked it! I am currently living in Germany although I come from Devon, cant find lemon curd here anywhere so am going to have a go at this recipe at the weekend.
    Thanks again!

    • November 25, 2011 1:08 pm

      Good luck with your blog – it’s so exciting starting out. Enjoy.

  17. November 24, 2011 10:12 am

    I love the very yellow bright colour of your lemon curd! I also love the 10 tips on how to use them because i didn’t know how to use it at all! 😉

  18. Stuart permalink
    November 27, 2011 12:01 pm

    I had completely forgotten how much I love lemon curd. My gran used to make this for us when we were young but when she past on the store bought stuff was so terrible i stopped eating it. I made a batch of this and was blown away at how easy it was and how amazing the taste……….its a flavor sensation!!! Thanks for this great recipe

  19. amelialjohnson permalink
    December 2, 2011 7:52 am

    I love lemon curd, and I actually just made some myself! I used my Granny Dunning’s recipe from 1922! You can see the pics here: What a coincidence!

  20. August 20, 2012 4:40 pm

    How long does it keep refrigerated? Lovely color. I have yet to make pavlova. It’ll be my next challenge. I would’ve never thought to put lemon curd atop.

    • August 21, 2012 11:22 am

      I would keep it for 3 weeks (but you’ll use it before then!)

  21. September 19, 2012 11:24 pm

    Absolutely loved this post – brightened up my screen completely – simply WOW! I’ve never had Lemon Curd but I’m just drooling for this… I can use it in all the 10 uses you have mentioned. That reminds me that I’m going to embark on baking as well (have promised you)!

  22. September 19, 2012 11:25 pm

    The post colour pretty much represent your logo:)

  23. January 2, 2013 1:20 am

    Have been looking for lemon curd recipe. Thanks!

  24. January 3, 2013 12:51 pm

    i’m now thinking pink grapefruit curd…

  25. January 9, 2013 12:26 am

    Every time I make Food & Wine’s Persian Love Cake, I think about putting a thin, thin gloss of lemon curd between the layers, and never do, becuase it would have to be homemade, not to overpower the delicate flavors. It would be second in perfection only to rose gelee between the layers. Hmm, maybe best of all would be a bit of both!

    • January 9, 2013 11:34 am

      I am going to have to look that recipe up. A love cake….with lemon curd…who can resist!

  26. January 5, 2014 9:01 pm

    Ah, I’m a sucker for anything lemony too, and also love making (and eating) lemon curd.

    I discovered this Christmas though that really I’m the only one in my family who does. I made a wonderful lemon posset for a family Christmas(ish) meal, only to be told by one brother that he doesn’t like anything lemony and custardy together, and ALWAYS feels ill after eating it. He gobbled up all of that lemon posset though and never complained (then, or the next day).

    This is a lovely post, thanks for writing it!

    • January 5, 2014 9:10 pm

      What! I’m close to my family but not liking lemony and custardy things may call for an estrangement 🙂


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