(Note: Although lemon curd is fairly simple to make, I find myself questioning when is it thick enough, when should it come off the heat, etc. I’ve included some pictures in the Technique section that you may find helpful.)
The following recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups lemon curd.
4 lemons, zest and juice (optional – run juice through a sieve)
8 ounces butter, chopped
12 ounces sugar
To give you an idea of what to look for as you make lemon curd, the following pictures show lemon curd in process and cooling:
Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add all lemon juice and zest to melted butter, bring to a boil over moderate heat.
Meanwhile, put all eggs in a bowl and whisk. Add some sugar, whisk. Add some more sugar, whisk. Repeat until all sugar is added and combined with the eggs.
Add a bit of the butter mixture to the egg mixture to temper it, whisk. Add a bit more butter mixture to the egg mixture, whisk. Continue adding the butter mixture until it is all combined with the egg mixture and whisking until the sugar (“sand”) is dissolved.
Pour mixture back into the sauce pan and stir over low to moderate heat until the curd begins to thicken and comes to an almost boil, approximately seven minutes. Begin whisking the curd while it is still on the heat and begins to boil. When thick (can coat the back of a spoon), remove from the heat. Place in a bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally while it cools. It will continue to thicken as it cools. When cooled, it is ready.
– Lemon curd will last for about one month in the refrigerator or up to several months in the freezer. If frozen, defrost it in the refrigerator until ready to use.