I love lemon curd! It beautifully tops shortbread, angel food cakes, and scones, fills cake layers and cupcakes, and is a key ingredient in my Lemon Curd Frosting and Fresh Strawberry & Lemon Cream Cake. Traditional methods for making lemon curd involve adding the butter after cooking and then straining to remove any bits of cooked egg. This recipe eliminates all of that, and makes it truly easy to have it on hand for impromptu sweet treats!
3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and egg yolks and beat for one more minute. Mix in the lemon juice. (The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as the butter melts while cooking.)
Transfer the mixture to a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over low heat until the butter melts and the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. (The temperature should be about 170-degrees and when you run your finger along the back of the spoon it will leave a path.)
Remove the curd from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken up as it cools.
Store in the refrigerator, covered tightly. It will keep for about a week, or it can be frozen and will keep for 2 months in the freezer.