Lemon curd is my absolute favorite cake filling. I've made lemon curd a few ways...with only yolks or with whole eggs - but most include a double boiler which can be tricky. If you aren't careful, you can cook the eggs which then leave little eggy bits in your curd which then requires straining and it's all a bit more effort than I generally prefer for making a simple filling.
I discovered a much simpler and easier way to make lemon curd which completely removes the need for a double boiler and eliminates the eggy bits and that annoying straining step! By combining all the ingredients together first, you can then put into a saucepan and bring to the magic 170 degree temperature. Once you hit 170, you'll have a rich, thick, tangy and perfect lemon curd. And, you might as well call this "citrus curd" because you can substitute lemon with any citrus and it turns out perfectly. This recipe is on the tart side, but you can reduce the lemon zest and lemon juice by a bit if you prefer it less tart.
Check this recipe out. There is zero way it could be easier and trust me, you'll never buy it from the store again.
I hope you give it a try…
1 cup sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter - softened
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice - about 4 lemons
zest of one lemon
Zest one lemon and set zest aside. Make sure you only get the yellow part of the lemon - not the white pith. Then juice the zested lemon and rest of lemons until you yield 6 ounces of juice. Be sure to juice into a strainer of some kind to remove any seeds.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add lemon juice and mix until combined. The mixture will curdle at this point - do not worry! It will come together when it cooks.
Put mixture into a saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 170 degrees. It will look very thin until it reaches about 160 degrees and then by the time it reaches 170 degrees it will have thickened nicely. The easiest way to do this is with an instant read thermometer but if you don't have one, when you start to see it thicken, dip a spoon into the sauce and when you pull it back out, run your finger down the back and if the trail your finger leaves stays clear (does not run back together) it's done. Do not let the mixture boil.
When it reaches 170 degrees, remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest. Pour curd into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to prevent a film from developing and place in refrigerator. Use within a week or freeze for up to 3 months.