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Homemade lemon curd

May 8, 2020 | Accompaniments, Cold dessert, Desserts, sweet treats & baking

You say lemons, I say … lemon curd
In my house, lemon curd is an absolute favourite treat. There are so many ways we enjoy it – on a freshly baked scone or crumpet, with fruit and berries as a dessert or like in this recipe, on warm pancakes. Yes, that’s absolutely delicious.

Lemon curd is available in shop-bought versions, but a homemade curd is just so much better. And it’s not difficult to make, you just need to carefully follow the instructions and have a bit of patience. A curd is made from egg yolks combined with sugar, fresh lemon juice and cubes of cold butter, cooked over gently simmering water until it thickens. Egg yolks are very sensitive to heat, so this is where the extra patience is needed. You have to make sure that they don’t overheat and cook too fast, causing the eggs to curdle. Do test the consistency over the back of a spoon, as described in the method, to know when the curd is ready. Once cooled, the mixture thickens even more, making it easy to spread or dollop onto just about anything. A well-made lemon curd has a delicate, smooth texture and sweet, tangy, tart flavour.

Make your favourite pancake recipe to serve with lemon curd as a special dessert. Or add it to a bowlful of seasonal fruit, topped with chopped dark chocolate. Lemon curd is a great alternative to icing on a butter cake. Garnish the cake with fresh berries for an even more delicious end result. Lemon curd is perfect with meringues. Stir a tin of granadilla pulp into the curd to bulk it up and add an interesting extra flavour to a dessert. Another way to enjoy lemon curd is to mix it into some Greek or double-thick yoghurt. Spoon onto meringues or layer this with fruit and nuts in individual glasses for a fruity dessert. However, you plan to enjoy it, be sure to make a batch this lemon season.

This recipe is from Make five and I shared it in the Muse magazine, a community magazine based in Cape Town, where I regularly contribute a recipe.


Homemade lemon curd
Homemade lemon curd
Homemade lemon curd
Recipe from Make five/ Maak vyf
Makes 250 ml
4 egg yolks

100 ml castor sugar

125 ml (½ cup) fresh lemon juice, strained

100 ml cold butter, cubed

15 ml (1 tbsp) finely grated lemon rind


1. Place all the ingredients in a glass bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

2. Beat everything together until smooth and the butter has melted. Stir for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Take care that the mixture doesn’t boil.

3. Remove from the heat and spoon into a dish to allow to cool.

4. Alternatively, sterilise one or two glass jars with boiling water. Spoon curd into the jars and keep refrigerated until needed. If you want to use the curd immediately, allow it to cool for at least four hours so that it sets properly.

5. The curd will keep in the fridge for two to three weeks in an airtight container.

1. Make a meringue with the egg whites or freeze to make meringues with at a later stage. And did you know that egg whites which were frozen, beat to a higher volume?
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