There are a lot of lemon curd recipes out there but my personal favorite comes from pastry chef Stella Parks and her whimsically delicious website BraveTart. It’s all natural, incredibly easy, and surprisingly light. I’ve used this recipe for several years and its never let me down. It’s intensely lemony and there’s no need for any cornstarch or butter.

Save the egg whites and use them to make an angel food cake and top it with the curd. You can also spread this curd on a scone or smooth it into a tart shell and top with meringue. Small jars with pretty homemade labels would make beautiful gifts for any occasion this spring.

For a quick and easy tart dough click here. I bruleed mine like in Total Eclipse of the Tart.

Lemon Tart, Deborah Missel 2014
Lemon Tart, Deborah Missel 2014

The curd will keep in the fridge for about two weeks or, as always, you can try your hand at canning. However, if you’re going to preserve jars I still recommend keeping it in the fridge as a precaution.

Really any citrus juice can be substituted for the lemon. Try making it with lime or pink grapefruit!

Lemon Curd

Makes about 2 cups

1 cup lemon juice
1 cup of egg yolks (from about 7-10 eggs)
1 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon zest, optional

Bring the lemon juice to a simmer in a medium sauce pan.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and salt. When the lemon juice begins to bubble, being slowly whisking some into the yolk, about 2 ounces at a time. Once the yolks are lemony and warm, pour them into the pot and cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula, until the curd has a thick, pudding-like consistency (about 185°).

Strain into the bowl of a stand mixer, discarding any bits that remain. Add the lemon zest and, with the paddle attachment, stir on low until the curd has cooled to room temperature (You can also use a whisk or hand mixer for this).

Pour into jars and refrigerate up to one week.

Click on the image below for a printable version of this recipe

Lemon Curd