After spending several days making batch after batch of magnificent French macarons, we have lots of leftover egg yolks in the refrigerator! Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, we don’t waste ingredients. We considered making pasta with our egg yolks, but our sweet tooth won instead… English Lemon Curd is the winner! Sweet and tangy, silky and scrumptious, the English were sure onto a good thing when they thought to cook egg yolks, lemon, sugar, and butter into a delicious spread. Enjoy English Lemon Curd on scones, or as a filling in individual fruit tarts.
We’re using sweet, thin skinned little Meyer lemons today, because they are in season and steeply discounted at the market. If the larger, more common lemons are more economical where you live, no worries. Any lemons will work in this recipe. Please don’t use margarine, however… English Lemon Curd requires real butter.
Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Makes about 2 cups)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (finely grated lemon rind)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from Meyer lemons if possible)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened but not melted
Step 1) Add approximately 2 inches of water to the bottom of a double boiler (or a medium saucepan, not too wide). Bring water to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover with the top part of the double boiler -or-a glass mixing bowl. Either way, the top should completely cover the pot of water, and should not be touching the water itself.
Step 2) Add egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the top of the double boiler. Whisk ingredients together over low heat for approximately 10 minutes until mixture is thickened (like pudding) and lighter in color than the raw egg yolks themselves.
Step 3) After mixture has thickened and turned lighter in color, remove from heat. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until completely melted and blended. After the full 1/2 cup of butter is blended in, your English Lemon Curd is complete!
Step 4) If you would like a completely smooth, restaurant-quality curd, strain it through a sieve, discarding the flecks of lemon zest in the top of the sieve. This is optional.
Step 5) English Lemon Curd is best enjoyed chilled or at room temperature – the lemon flavor will be brighter when the temperature is lower. Before placing your English Lemon Curd in the refrigerator, cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic wrap is touching the top of the curd. This will prevent a skin from forming on top. You can store your English Lemon Curd in the refrigerator for about three days, or freeze it for up to a month. Enjoy!