Friday, November 2, 2012

Lemon Curd “Lite” Not Light

I’m calling this lemon curd “lite” because it does have less fat than most traditional recipes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a “light” recipe. Calling this recipe “lite” is kind of like calling thin-crust pizza, “low-carb.” It’s all relative. 

Speaking of relative, as I mention in the video, this would make a great holiday gift, so even if you’re not a big fan of lemon, pay attention nonetheless. 

Above and beyond the nominally fewer calories, I really like the appearance and texture of this style lemon curd better anyway. Recipes that contain all yolks instead of whole eggs, and up to twice as much butter, are just too rich and heavy for my taste.

Since this is typically served as a sauce for things like gingerbread and scones, or as a filling for cakes, I don’t see the advantages of an overly heavy concoction. The one exception for me would be pies and tarts, where you probably do want the more hardcore variations.

I know a lot of you get nervous when whisking eggs over heat is involved, but as you’ll see, this is really simple to do. Besides, if tragedy does strike, and you get a few pieces of overcooked eggs in the mixture, simply put it through a strainer before adding the zest and butter. No one will ever know! With the holidays right around the corner, I hope you give this easy, old-fashioned lemon curd I try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 1 1/2 cups Lemon Curd:
3 whole large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp, cut in 3 or 4 pieces

36 comments:

Psyrixx said...

I've never used the plastic lemon pre-squeezed juice stuff. Kind of like how I refuse to buy hummus from the store. It's so easy to just squeeze your own lemon juice (and make your own hummus) and the quality difference is astounding!

I've never ever had a store bought hummus that I have actually enjoyed eating. So much easier to just toss everything in a food processor (or blender) and blend.

This recipe looks delicious, will have to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

That was a very nice looking blueberry scone. Did you make that too?

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

If I wanted to make the full-fat, full-calorie version, what ingredients would be swapped?

Chef John said...

Like 6 yolks and 1/2 cup of butter1 :)

Bobby said...

Wow, he just said that. Did not see that coming. Well played sir.

Anonymous said...

I'm now sitting at my apartment enjoying this lovely "sauce"....yum yum, thank you Chef John!

Jan said...

Great lemon curd.
I tried it and it came out so good.
Please post a recipe for scones and clotted cream.
That would make my teatime perfect. :)

Jenn and Company said...

This may be a silly question, but would this recipe work if I used Spelnda in place of sugar??

Christine said...

Dear Chef John,

How long will this last in the fridge?
Can I freeze it?

Thanks!!

Gretchen byard said...

Yeah! Thanks for making my food wish come true! Out to pick all those Meyer lemons now. Still have all those blood oranges coming though. You think "lemon curd" sounds iffy, try "blood orange curd." Or blood orange clot...yuck. sorry about that.

Danijel said...

Chef John,

could you tell us how many days this curd will last stored in the fridge ?

Thanks.

Chef John said...

Sorry, not sure! Yes, you can freeze I believe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John!

Thank you for providing us with these wonder recipes.

I've tried making your version of the lemon curd but somehow, I am unable to achieve the consistency and colour as shown in the video. Mine is more yellowish and less smooth. What could be the reason?

I have not tried or have no impression of lemon curd(which i might have eaten). I've used salted butter instead of unsalted butter, which i feel still makes the curd pretty yummy. Do give it a try! ;)

syrenbabe said...

Hi Chef John,

Quick question: Will this lemon curd be thick enough to hold up layer cakes? If not, what should I use to thicken it?

Chef John said...

This one is prob too light, so you need to find a recipe that uses more yolks and butter. You'll tell by the pictures if it's a think enough one.

Anonymous said...

Can I use lime instead of lemon for this recipe?

Chef John said...

Yes, but only if you like lime! ;)

Anonymous said...

My lemon curd lite turned out much yellower...

Huru said...

Hi Chef John.

Is it possible to make 'orange curd' using the same method, but with oranges instead of lemons ?

Chef John said...

Yes! But it's not as good. Needs the tartness.

paprikaya said...

Hi Chef John, I just finished making my very first bowl of lemon curd, and it's so delicious!

Thing is, mine is a lot more yellow than yours, but the consistency looks to be about the same. I'm not sure why though...

Chef John said...

Must be the eggs and butter color! No prob.

Stanley Morey said...

Can't wait to try this! I've done your creamy salmon and leek pasta and it was wonderful!!!! I'm making it again tonight, but adding fresh strips of chicken breast to the leek saute.....what do you think?

Stan Morey
Chez Morie Facebook page.

Uncommonsense said...

I made this and it is lip puckering tart. Is there anything I could do to cut the tartness of this batch like mix in a bit more sugar or will that destroy the pudding like quality?

PVH said...

I recently made my sceond batch of lemon curd and about an hour after I put it in the refrigerator, I realized I had not added the lemon juice! After a few "bad" words, I put the mixture on top of the double boiler again for 10 minutes and all was well. This is a unique Christmas gift and a welcome change from all the sweet things.
But what, not cayenne???

Em Van said...

Hey Chef John, I had attempted to do this recipe three times. Which I had failed all three. I seem to not be able to make the same fluffiness that you have. Most of the time my is yellow while yours is very white. I simmer my water also and whisk continuously. Is there maybe something wrong or maybe I am not whisking hard enough? I had been whisking past ten minutes and still not fluffy or smooth.

Please let me know :(
Van Tran

cottontofu said...

Just tried this reciped (with the amounts doubled, minus the butter), it worked so well and I got the same result as if I used corn starch! Perfect for my lemon tart, your pie crust recipe is indeed fool-proof and is what I needed to balance the sweetness of my dessert. Thank you for these recipes Chef John!

Unknown said...

Hey Chef John,

I made this and it's absolutely delicious ! Currently it's stiffening up in the fridge.

Moniuk said...

Hi Chef John,

Could you please tell me the ingredients approx. in gramms not cups? In Europe we dont use such measurements and I would love to make this curd. Thank you!

Moniuk said...

Hello, Is it possible to get the measurements in gramms not cups? I would love to make this curd but I dont understand the weighing. Thank you!

Aki said...

I just made this using the most ghetto college student method of tempering eggs: a large pot and a smaller pot on top of that. Fork whisking is a lot of work, but this tasted delicious.

Chef John said...

Nice work Aki!

Moniuk, I don't have metric measurements. Just convert them in Google!

am said...

dear chef john

i learned the hard way.

i decided to make some lemon curd to take to some friends as a gift as they had invited us for lunch, made it the day before.

i looked at your recipe but then i found another recipe which did not faff around with sticking marie in any kind of bath. so i plumped for that one and it was a total disaster : wrong consistency, funny colour, creative cooking time and i will spare you the rest.

so the next morning,i squeezed my last three lemons and went about doing it your way, not changing the recipe by one iota, and hoping that i would not mess it up so i would not show up empty handed and my friends would sample this gorgeous delight.

and it worked, of course, like you said it would - sometimes, a minimum of fuss is absolutely necessary :) thanks for your patience and your hard work.

anne-marie

PS:I crumbled some speculoos on top for a little added crunch.

thisizk8 said...

Hi Chef John!

I'm planing on making a whole bunch of this for holiday gifts. Is it okay to make this in really large batches, or should I make multiple small ones?

Also thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and tips! My cooking has improved so much because of you!

Chef John said...

A larger batch should work fine. Enjoy!

raun tromp said...

instead of using lemon juice and lemon zest can i make it with lime juice and lime zest ??