Of the many versions of lemon curd that I’ve made, Ina Garten’s seems to be the easiest and most foolproof to make. Typically making lemon curd requires some slightly fussy steps like separating the egg yolks from the whites, but this version uses the whole egg. This version also does not require straining the curd through a sieve to remove any egg white residue. The only change I would make is to reduce the sugar by 1/8 to 1/4 cup as the curd is quite sweet. I like to pair my lemon curd with a crisp, thin gingersnap, but I’ve heard of people who eat it straight from the spoon (I’m not naming any names).
Lemon Curd (Ina Garten’s version)
From Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
My notes are in [ ] below.
1 1/2 cups sugar [This lemon curd is quite sweet, so next time I’ll reduce the sugar to 1 1/4 cups]
1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
4 extra-large eggs [I happened to have extra-large eggs on hand which doesn’t occur very often. I’m not sure what the equivalent would be if you use large eggs.]
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. [I used a microplate lemon zester to zest the lemons instead of using the carrot peeler.].
- Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
- Cream the butter [I did this using a stand mixer].
- Beat in the sugar and lemon mixture.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix well.
- Add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
- Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes) [it took about 15 minutes until my curd thickened, and I had to adjust the heat to low-medium], stirring constantly [stirring constantly is important because it keeps the egg from turning into scrambled eggs]. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer.
- Remove from the heat and cool. Store in the refrigerator.