What Is Lemon Curd?

Have you ever heard of lemon curd? It’s okay if you haven’t. It’s not exactly a common food in America. But those fancy British lads love it. They’re always slathering it on their scones and crumpets and talking about the King and stuff. Lemon curd deserves to be more popular stateside. Tangy lemons turned into a sweet treat is an idea that all people across all nations should be able to get behind. So what is lemon curd? How do you make lemon curd? How do you use lemon curd? Let’s find out all we can about the tastiest food in the world that rhymes with turd.

What is lemon curd?

Lemon curd is a rich, tangy, creamy spread or dessert topping. Lemon curd is made with lemons, eggs, sugar, and sometimes butter. It’s kind of like custard or a pie filling, but not quite. Curds are all about the fruit juice while custards require dairy. Fruit curds were popularized in late 1800s England when it was traditionally served with scones for a bit of the old afternoon tea. Back then, it was more of a cream curdled with lemon and squeezed through a cheesecloth. But these days, lemon curd has a much smoother and velvety texture. 

What is in lemon curd?

If you want to experience the zesty goodness of lemon curd yourself, you may be able to find some at your local grocery store. I bought some at World Market once in their British food section. You know, that place where you can buy a sofa and pick up international wines and snacks. Cool store. But if you really want to get the true lemon curd experience, you need to make your own. 

How do you make lemon curd? 

Just whisk some eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest together over medium to low heat. You can throw some unsalted butter in there as well to make it nice and smooth. Don’t skimp out and just use bottled lemon juice. Use a real lemon. It just tastes better. Also, Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular old lemons, so if you can only find those you may want to cut your sugar. Simmer and stir until the concoction thickens up. Then let it cool and serve it up chilled from the fridge. It’s so easy that even a celebrity British Bake Off contestant could make it.

How to use lemon curd?

Okay, so you made some lemon curd. Now how do you use lemon curd? Lemon curd is a popular spread in Britain. It’s served with scones and bread, or stuffed in cakes, tarts, and pastries. If you don’t want to go that route, one of the most common entry points to lemon curd in the U.S. is with lemon bars. A lemon bar is basically lemon curd baked into bar form. Lemon curd can fill crepes, top pancakes, be folded into whipped cream, mixed with ice cream, or even be part of a cocktail or vinaigrette. Any sweet, pastry, or baked good that could use some sweet and smooth tartness is a great candidate for lemon curd! I like to spread it on me and pretend that I’m a scone! I don’t recommend that for everyone.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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