If you’re in the market for a sweet-tart spread that’s lusciously creamy, look no further than my Meyer Lemon Curd recipe. Made with just 5 simple ingredients, this homemade lemon curd is perfect for everything from layering between cakes or cookies to spreading on toast or scones.
Indulgence is an art, and for me, it all starts with the perfect snack. You see, I've always been a lover of small, edible joys that give me a moment to pause and savor in a busy day. And, of all the many snacking options out there, I can't think of anything more convenient and versatile than putting something delicious on toast.
From crafting exquisite jams and preserves with the ripest of fruits to concocting velvety whipped cheese spreads and earthy nut butters — there are lots of delicious options to choose from. Each delectable creation has found its special place in my heart and my kitchen.
Picture a crisp slice of freshly toasted homemade bread, still warm from the toaster. Now imagine spreading that golden canvas with a generous dollop of something so exquisitely silky, so irresistibly tangy-sweet, that it instantly transports you to your happy place. That, my friends, is the glory known as Meyer lemon curd, and it's about to change your snacking and baking game for the better.
⭐ Why You’ll Love This Meyer Lemon Curd Recipe
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty sure this is the best lemon curd recipe around. Using Meyer lemons gives this classically tart spread a slightly milder tang with a more complex floral undertone. It’s delightful!
But, aside from being a superlative toast spread, this deliciously citrusy curd is also:
- Quick & Easy - If you’re worried that making homemade curd is a challenge because of the eggs, not to worry! My streamlined method doesn’t require any fussy multiple-bowl tempering. All you need is a single bowl set over a pot of simmering water and about 15 minutes. Easy peasy!
- Made With Only 5 Ingredients - It’s fresh and simple, just the way lemon curd should be.
- Budget-Friendly - If you’ve ever reached for a jar of curd at the store (if you can even find it!!), you know it typically costs at least $5 for a little jam jar’s worth. This homemade recipe yields about double that amount for about half the price!
- Versatile - Whether you spread it on scones, use it to build towering layer cakes or patisserie-worthy tarts, or simply spread it on toast, a swipe of this sunshiny spread is certain to add a little joy to your day.
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this lemony spread. Here’s what to grab:
- Meyer Lemon Juice - I haven’t been able to find a bottled Meyer lemon juice to purchase, which is just as well. It’s better if you squeeze it fresh, anyway!
- Eggs + Egg Yolk - My recipe calls for whole eggs plus an extra egg yolk for added richness. Separate the single egg while it’s still cold from the fridge to help prevent the yolk from breaking!
- Granulated Sugar - Plain white sugar has a neutral flavor profile, which allows you to taste all the nuance of your Meyer lemons. That said, you *could* swap in brown sugar in a pinch, but the curd will take on some of the brown hue and molasses flavor if you do.
- Salt & Unsalted Butter - I think this curd tastes best with about half as much salt as you’d find in regular salted butter. That said, you can make salted butter work — just don’t add the extra seasoning.
Ingredient Spotlight: Meyer Lemon vs Lemon
Meyer lemons and regular lemons are cousins in the citrus family. Like many family members, they share some similarities, but they definitely have their unique quirks.
First, let's talk flavor. Meyer lemons are the sweeter, more mellow cousin at the lemon party. They have a subtle tartness with a touch of sweetness and even a hint of floral notes. Think of them as the lemon that won't make your face pucker up. On the other hand, regular lemons bring that zesty, puckery punch that's perfect for lemonade and all things refreshingly tart.
Meyer lemons are also smaller, rounder, and have smooth, deep yellow to orange-yellow skins. Inside, their pulp is a sunny, vibrant yellow. Regular lemons, on the other hand, are larger, usually oval-shaped, and their skin is bright yellow to yellow-green with a textured surface.
Finally, Meyer lemons are seasonal celebrities. They shine during the winter months, but they might be a bit elusive the rest of the year. Regular lemons, on the other hand, can be found in your local grocery store pretty much anytime.
⏲️ Substitutions & Variations
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
- Different Citrus Curd - Can’t find Meyer lemons? Try regular lemons instead. You can also swap in lime, grapefruit, or sour orange juice if you like!
- Dairy-Free Lemon Curd - If you love lemon but can’t abide dairy, feel free to swap in the vegan butter of your choice!
📖 How to Make Lemon Curd: Step-by-Step Instructions
This easy recipe for lemon curd comes together in just a few simple steps:
Step 1: Make a Double Boiler. In a saucepan, heat a few inches of water on medium and bring to a simmer.
Step 2: Whisk together all ingredients (except the butter) in a heatproof bowl and place on top of the saucepan.
Step 3: Cool & Add Butter. Once the temperature has lowered to 135 degrees, add ½ inch pieces of butter to the mixture. Using an immersion blender, blend the curd mixture until the butter is fully incorporated.
Step 4: Chill. Cover the curd with a thin layer of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge to chill then enjoy!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Don’t let the bowl touch the water in your double boiler. We want to gently warm the egg mixture to create a silky smooth, emulsified spread. If the bowl touches the water, you’re more likely to get lemon-flavored scrambled eggs. Not ideal!
- Use non-reactive cookware for anything that will be touching the curd. Ideally, it should be non-metal (e.g. a glass bowl and a silicone whisk). However, if you only have metal, make sure it’s stainless steel and not aluminum, otherwise your curd will end up having a flavor undertone reminiscent of a 9-volt battery.
- For a sweeter and less tart flavor, opt for Meyer lemons over traditional Eureka or typical lemons, ensuring fresh-squeezed juice from sources like your local Crescent City Farmers Market or a backyard Meyer lemon tree.
- To diversify the flavor profile, consider mixing in a little bit of mandarin orange or grapefruit curd with your Meyer lemon curd, blending citrus notes for a unique taste.
- When aiming for a velvety texture in your lemon curd, monitor the temperature closely using an instant-read thermometer and ensure consistent stirring on medium-low heat until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a spoon.
❓ Serving Suggestions
Wondering how to use your homemade goodness? Here are a few of my favorite ways to put it to use:
- Lemon Bliss Pancakes: Imagine fluffy, golden pancakes stacked high, with a generous swirl of Meyer lemon curd cascading down the sides. It's a sunny breakfast paradise on your plate. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh berries for the ultimate morning indulgence.
- Tangy Tart Tarts: Turn your lemon spread into a filling for pretty pastries. Feel free to make them mini! These French-inspired treats are perfect for dessert tables or elegant tea parties. A dusting of powdered sugar and a few fresh berries on top adds that final touch of sweetness.
- Luscious Layer Cake: Elevate your cake game by layering it with this floral lemon spread. Whether it's a classic sponge cake or a zesty lemon creation, the curd adds a burst of citrusy brightness between each layer. Finish it off with a silky lemon-infused frosting, and you've got yourself a showstopper dessert.
- Lemon Curd Parfait: Layer the curd with Greek yogurt and granola for a satisfying breakfast that feels like a real treat.
- Teatime Delight: Spread Meyer lemon curd generously on warm scones or crumpets for a teatime treat that's both elegant and comforting. Pair it with a steaming cup of your favorite tea, and you've got yourself a cozy afternoon ritual!
- Sweet and Savory: Don't limit your lemon curd to just sweet treats. It can also shine as a glaze chicken or fish, or act as a sweet-tart emulsifier in salad dressing.
So, whether you're satisfying your sweet tooth or exploring the savory side, Meyer Lemon Curd has a versatile charm that can elevate a wide range of dishes, making every bite a moment of pure citrusy delight!
The curd will thicken during cooking, but will continue to achieve a more spreadable consistency as it cools. Also, remember that the number of eggs you use can affect the thickness of your curd. If you want a thicker curd, use an extra egg or reduce the amount of lemon juice slightly. Conversely, if you prefer a lighter texture, use fewer eggs or more lemon juice. Adjust to your personal preference for the perfect lemon curd.
If you're planning to consume the lemon curd within a relatively short period, you can store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Otherwise, you can totally freeze it! Just make sure it has cooled completely and is a container with sufficient head space for expansion during freezing. Also, be sure to store it in the coldest recesses of your freezer to avoid temperature fluctuations, which can affect the consistency.
To use after freezing, thaw overnight in the fridge. (Thawing in the refrigerator prevents temperature fluctuations that can affect the texture.) After thawing, give the curd a gentle stir to recombine any separated ingredients. It may appear slightly separated after thawing, but stirring should restore its creamy consistency.
First, I'm not a certified health professional, but I can safely say that "healthy" might be a bit of a stretch for this lemon curd.
Citrus curd is a delightful addition to many dishes, but it's typically made with both butter and a decent amount of sugar. So, much like jam, it's more of a meal enhancer than the main event on the health scale.
Since we're making it from scratch using whole food ingredients,it's not all gloom and doom! For instance, this lemon curd contains a bit of protein from the eggs, some vitamin C from the lemons, and it's not loaded with artificial additives or preservatives. I'll call that a win!
So, while lemon curd might not be a bona fide health food, it’s definitely welcome as part of a balanced diet. When you do indulge, savor every citrusy, creamy spoonful because that's what makes it so special! 🍋😊
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Meyer Lemon Curd
- 145 g (½ cup & 2 Tbsp) Meyer Lemon Juice
- 3 Eggs, large
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 150 g (¾ Cup ) Granulated Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 225 g (1 Cup ) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- In a saucepan, heat a few inches of water on medium and bring to a simmer
- With a non-metal whisk, whisk together all ingredients other than the butter in a non-metal heatproof bowl, and place on top of the saucepan allowing the hot steam of the water to slowly heat the mixture145 g Meyer Lemon Juice, 3 Eggs, 1 Egg Yolk, 150 g Granulated Sugar, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Take care to continuously mix while the temperature raises and the mixture thickens
- Remove bowl from heat once a thermometer reads 180 degrees Fahrenheit
- Continue whisking mixture continuously in order to help it cool down
- Once the temperature has lowered to 135 degrees, add ½ inch pieces of butter to the mixture225 g Unsalted Butter
- Using an immersion blender or spatula, continue to blend until butter is fully incorporated