Lemon Curd

by Rebekahcooked up on January 17, 2013

This past weekend we decided to make an angel food cake. Dave got me a beautiful angel food cake pan for Christmas, and it has been in my kitchen, tempting me, this entire time. Well, no longer (btw, the cake was awesome and is coming soon to a blog near you).

Lemon Curd by PDXfoodlove

The thing about making angel food cake is, you end up with a heck of a lot of egg yolks. And what can you do with egg yolks? Well, there’s enough in the cake that you can make some aioli, some other stuff probably, but you should definitely make some lemon curd to go with that cake.

We actually had lemon curd in our wedding cake, so it will always be a favorite. It’s kind of like if pudding became tangier and tasted more like real fruit. So for that reason, also, it will always be a favorite.

This is adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe for lemon curd. We did a few things differently – we needed fewer lemons and had to cook our curd a little longer to get it to well, be curd.

Here’s what you need:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large lemons, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup of juice)
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled

This recipe made about 2 cups of curd. If you are using  it as a condiment (i.e., to put on slices of angel food or pound cake), then this should be the perfect amount. However, if you want to use it as a filling between layers of cake, I would double the recipe. It might make too much, but I think two cups would be too little to get a decent cake filling.
Separate your eggs, if you haven’t already. If you are starting from whole eggs instead of using leftover yolks, there are plenty of good uses for egg whites, too – low fat omelettes, macarons, and more. Seal them in a plastic container and refrigerate. Zest and juice your lemons.

lemon curd-zest

Put about an inch of water into a medium saucepan (the one you usually use for a double boiler) and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

lemon curd-whisk

In a heat safe bowl, stir the yolks and sugar together with a whisk until they are smooth.

lemon curd-juice



I suspect that AB had smaller lemons when he made his, because we started off doing 4 lemons like the original recipe recommended, and ended up with over a cup of lemon juice. Don’t use four lemons! Unless they are small.

Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk until smooth.

Once the water is at a simmer, reduce the heat to low and put the bowl on top of the saucepan (so it should sit in the opening of the pan, but not touch the water below.

lemon curd-stove

Cook and whisk constantly until the curd is the consistency of pudding – this will take 10 to 15 minutes in our experience, but if your is thicker sooner than that, that is OK too. Pull it off the heat.

Add your pieces of butter to the curd one at a time, as you continue to keep whisking. Store in a clean container such as a mason jar, or if you choose a container without a lid, cover the top with plastic wrap that is right on the surface of the curd, so it doesn’t dry out.  AB says this will be good in your fridge for about 2 weeks. I would let you know our experience if I thought this would actually last two weeks anywhere. It’s too delicious!


  1. Perfect idea for using up those yolks! If you’re looking for other ideas for using the curd, it’s also fantastic folded into whipped cream in an Eton Mess.

    Comment by Michelle @ DailyWaffle — January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

  2. This looks awesome!
    I love lemon curd… it’s so good. Here is another easy lemon curd recipe you might like to check out.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Comment by Jenna — August 19, 2013 at 1:26 am

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