Recipe: Lemon Curd for Two

Lemon Curd
Kate Brittle/Moment/Getty Images
    5 mins
Ratings (7)

While lemon curd is pretty intense on its own, it's great when spread on cheesecake or biscuits. Or fold it into whipped cream to make a delicious topping for shortcake or gingerbread. The only trick to making this small batch of lemon curd is starting with a small pan (1-quart is perfect) and being patient. If you try to speed it up by increasing the heat, you'll risk scrambling the egg.

What You'll Need

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 ounces lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

How to Make It

1. Choose a small saucepan. Place the egg yolks and sugar in the pan and whisk until well blended.

2. Turn the heat on medium-low under the saucepan and stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. Stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to cook until very thick, glossy and opaque. (You may find that you get a foamy white top layer that doesn't seem to want to blend in.

I'm not sure why this happens, but you will need to cook the curd until it disappears, which it should do by the time the mixture is thickened.) When the curd is done, it will look like a very bright, thick Hollandaise sauce.

3. As soon as you reach this point, pour the sauce (now called curd) through a small strainer into a bowl. Press it with the back of a spoon to extract the sauce, but leave the coagulated proteins and zest behind.

4. Let cool for a few minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.