Lemon Curd

A good tart or layered Cloud Cake begins with lemon curd. This English classic can be a dessert on it’s own, but is generally used with a crust or cake, or of course a British scone. There are only four ingredients but does require some skill with a bain-marie (double pot), but it’s not as intimidating as it sounds and not as hard to make as say a Cream Anglaise.


  • 1 TBL Lemon zest – zest before juicing
  • 3 Lemons – juiced
  • 0.75 cup fine sugar – pulse regular sugar in food processor
  • 4 oz. Butter – unsalted, sliced, room temperature
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 1/8th tsp Salt


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients and cooking equipment prior to starting.
  2. Prepare Bain-marie
    1. Find a bowl that fits into a pot but does not go all the way to the bottom.
    2. Fill pot with water to below the depth the bowl sinks, so bowl does not touch water.
    3. Bring water to a boil and then reduce to a firm simmer.
    4. Place bowl over water.
  3. Mix sugar, egg yolks, lemon, and zest into bowl and whisk together.
    1. Do not mix in advance or the sugar will dry out the egg yolks
  4. Using a rubber spatula, continuously stir the curd and scrape the edges until the curd thickens.
  5. Remove bowl from Bain-marie and add the butter. Keep stirring until the butter fully melts.
    1. If you got lumps from cooking the egg yolks (water too hot or not stirring enough) strain curd through a fine strainer.
  6. Pour curd into an air-tight container with a piece of film over the top of the curd to keep a film from forming as it cools.
    1. If you are using this as part of a molded desert put in molds instead of the container and keep a film against the exposed surface. It will need a few hours to thicken and set
    2. Put container in fridge. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Note 1: If you struggle to get a firm set on your curd, consider adding some gelatin in step 3. Your issue could be you are not letting the curd cook long enough.

Note 2: Will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.


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