Easy Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is incredibly easy to make with only four ingredients in under 15 minutes. It’s fresh and tangy and wonderful spread on crumpets, stirred into porridge or yoghurt or sandwiched into the most delicious sponge cake.

hand holding a spoon dipped into lemon curd

 

Lemon Curd is a deliciously homey affair but with a hugely punchy flavour which is a world away from the jars at the supermarket.

My mum has always been a huge fan of lemon curd and we would always have a pot of it in our fridge growing up. Not homemade but then my mum isn’t like that. These days whenever I make a pot I make sure to make an extra one for Mum.

lemons on a wooden board

If you have never had the pleasure Lemon Curd is like a tangy buttery lemon custard which can be enjoyed in so many different ways. It’s the jam for people who find jam too sweet. A grown up jam if you will, celebrating the gorgeous tartness of lemons.

What are the ingredients of Lemon Curd?

  • Lemons
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs

lemon juice and zest in a bowl on a wooden board

How do you make Lemon Curd?

  1. Whisk together lemon juice and zest with sugar and butter over a medium heat until just boiling.Making homemade lemon curd in a saucepan
  2. Whisk the hot lemon mixture over beaten eggs until combined.Whisking homemade lemon curd in a bowl
  3. Set back over a heat and whisk until the curd is gently boiling and thickened.lemon curd in a saucepan
  4. Strain the curd to make extra smooth and store in the fridge to cool and set.homemade lemon curd in a jar on a wooden board

Pro Tips

  • To juice any citrus fruit my favourite tool is the Mexican Elbow. You can buy them in different sizes for limes, lemons or oranges. They are super quick and easy for juicing whilst leaving the pips behind.

  • For the most gorgeous golden yellow colour for your curd use very good eggs with orange yolks. I recommend Burford Browns.
  • When you are adding the hot lemon mixture over the beaten eggs go very slowly. You do not want the eggs to start scrambling. I usually start with a small splash of the hot liquid to temper the eggs whisking vigorously before pouring in the rest of the liquid in a steady stream.
  • If the eggs do scramble a little, don’t worry, you will be straining the curd at the end of the process so any small strings of cooked egg will be discarded.
  • If the egg completely scrambles then you may need to begin again.
  • I recommend pouring the hot lemon mixture into a jug so you can pour it into the eggs more carefully rather than direct from the saucepan.
  • Set the egg bowl on a damp cloth to steady it and avoid the bowl spinning around the work surface.
  • When you remove the finished lemon curd from the heat it will still be a little runny. This is normal, your curd will set and thicken further as it cools.
  • Lemon Curd will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

homemade lemon curd in a jar on a wooden board

How can you use Lemon Curd?

  • Spread over toast, crumpets or muffins.
  • Use as an alternative filling in a Victoria Sponge.
  • Stir into yoghurt and crumble over granola for a luxurious breakfast.
  • Filled into pre-baked mini pastry cases and topped with fruit and whipped cream for a cheat’s lemon tart.

Other citrus curd ideas

Just replace the lemon juice and zest with the same amount from these other citrus fruits for more delicious curd ideas:

  • Blood Orange Curd
  • Lime Curd
  • Grapefruit Curd

More recipes like this:

Seville Orange, Grapefruit and Rosemary Marmalade
Raspberry Coconut Jam
Apple Butter
Lemon Garlic and Thyme Infused Olive Oil
Whole Lemon Thyme Cake

I hope you give this Easy Lemon Curd a try. If you do make this recipe then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Easy Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is incredibly easy to make with only four ingredients in under 15 minutes. It’s fresh and tangy and wonderful spread on crumpets, stirred into porridge or yoghurt or sandwiched
into the most delicious sponge cake.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Preserve
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lemons
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs medium sized

Instructions

  • Zest 2 of the lemons, then juice them and another 1-2 more. You need to end up with 125ml fresh lemon juice.
  • Pour the lemon juice, lemon zest, caster sugar and butter into a medium saucepan. Turn the heat on and whisk everything together whilst bringing to a gentle boil.
  • Break the eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl. Lightly beat together then pour a splash of the hot lemon mixture into the beaten eggs, whisking vigorously to avoid the egg scrambling.
  • Gently pour the rest of the lemon mixture into the eggs in a steady stream whisking all the time until the eggs and lemon mixture is completely combined.
  • Pour it all back into the saucepan and bring to a boil, still whisking all the time. Continue whisking for 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove the lemon curd from the heat and strain so the curd is very smooth. Pour the curd into a jar and place in the fridge to cool and set for at least a couple of hours.

Notes

  • Makes 400g Lemon Curd.
  • I use medium eggs in this recipe.
  • For the most gorgeous golden yellow colour for your curd use very good eggs with orange yolks. I recommend Burford Browns.
  • When you are adding the hot lemon mixture over the beaten eggs go very slowly. You do not want the eggs to start scrambling. I usually start with a small splash of the hot liquid to temper the eggs whisking vigorously before pouring in the rest of the liquid in a steady stream.
  • If the eggs do scramble a little, don’t worry, you will be straining the curd at the end of the process so any small strings of cooked egg will be discarded.
  • If the egg completely scrambles then you may need to begin again.
  • I recommend pouring the hot lemon mixture into a jug so you can pour it into the eggs more carefully rather than direct from the saucepan.
  • Set the egg bowl on a damp cloth to steady it and avoid the bowl spinning around the work surface.
  • When you remove the finished lemon curd from the heat it will still be a little runny. This is normal, your curd will set and thicken further as it cools.
  • Lemon Curd will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 228IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel is so much more flavourful than supermarket bought. It isn’t as bitter and has a more fully rounded flavour that captures the essence of citrus season.

Homemade Mixed Peel

Until recently I didn’t use a lot of mixed peel in my baking. Instead if a recipe called for it I simply swapped in the zest of an orange and lemon or perhaps even a tablespoon of marmalade. That’s because mixed peel is one of the ingredients that Luke abhors. He can taste it a mile away so it has been useless to hide it within my fruit cakes as he would simply reject it upon first bite. He also knows which bakery adds mixed peel to their Eccles Cakes, his favourite treat, and takes his custom elsewhere. So mixed peel had been relegated from all baking in our household and substitutions relied upon instead.

Homemade Mixed Peel

What Is Mixed Peel?

Mixed peel is one of those ingredients that is featured in a lot of British baking, from traditional fruit cakes like Dundee Cake or Christmas Cake to tea time fare like the aforementioned Eccles Cakes or Hot Cross Buns. Mixed peel is basically candied lemon and orange peel. Eighteenth century bakers knew that the most intense flavour of any citrus fruit is derived from the peel. So intent on capturing as much flavour as possible in their recipes and mindful of preserving since fresh fruit was scarce, the peel was candied, dried and stored until needed. These traditional recipes are now the backbone of British baking so mixed peel has been handed down to us in our grandmothers’ and great great grandmothers’ recipes often when dried fruit is called for.

Homemade Mixed Peel

Earlier this month I was recipe testing one of my Auntie Lil’s classic cakes, She was a bit of a baker and her Vinegar Cake, which was her traditional everyday fruit cake, was legendary. I have had the recipe tucked into my recipe file for years now and recently I have been attempting to recreate an authentic gluten-free version of her renowned cake. Auntie Lil’s recipe, like a lot of traditional fruit cakes, calls upon mixed peel as an ingredient. Since I wanted a result as near as the cake she baked for her young family I dutifully added mixed peel from the supermarket along with the other dried fruit it asked for. At first bite I couldn’t work out why the cake tasted so horribly bitter, there was almost a sourness that butted up against the soft plump sultanas and raisins which was distinctly and acidically unpleasant. It soon became apparent that in my enforced abstinence from mixed peel I too had developed a dislike for it.

Homemade Mixed Peel

But how could that be? I love citrus, I love the brightness of intense lemon and orange peel. There should be no reason why mixed peel doesn’t appeal to me too. But the supermarket stuff, when tasted by itself is just not that nice. So I set about making my own. And since I now had dominion over the mixed peel I added grapefruit peel as well to add a third dimension of citrus to the proceedings.

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel

Much like my Homemade Glacé Cherries, when you make it yourself there is absolutely no comparison to the shop bought stuff. You could eat Homemade Mixed Peel by the spoonful. In fact since I made so much Cole and I have been dipping our hands into the jar and taking out small sticky handfuls at snack time as a little treat. Making Homemade Mixed Peel is a labour of love and requires about a week of soaking it in a sugar syrup, draining it from the liquid, boiling the sugar syrup down and re-soaking the peel multiple times. Although the really trying time comes after the mixed peel has been drained of the sugar syrup and then needs to dry in a sterile environment for about a week. I dried mine in my switched off oven but since I use my oven almost every day it has required a lot of patience not to bottle the peel earlier just to get it out of the way. I definitely need to invest in a dehydrator for this purpose. When I do I’ll make the recipe again and let you know how it goes.

Homemade Mixed Peel

Suffice to say that when it came time to recipe testing Auntie Lil’s Vinegar Cake with the Homemade Mixed Peel the results were pretty on the money. Gone was the nasty bitterness, instead the lovely fragrance of sharp citrus permeated the cake and sat comfortably alongside the rest of the ingredients. The recipe has been a triumph and I’ll be sharing it soon, so stay tuned. And as for Luke, he has conceded that if I were to start using Homemade Mixed Peel in my baking then that wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Thumbs up indeed.

Homemade Mixed Peel

In the meantime if you are making this Homemade Mixed Peel you will find you have two delicious extra kitchen ingredients leftover from the recipe. You will have copious amounts of citrus flesh from the beginning step once you have peeled the fruit, and also the most beautiful citrus sugar syrup from the end step once you have drained the peel away from its soaking syrup. Do not throw either away. I’ll be posting a recipe for my Triple Citrus Shrub in the next few days to use up that citrus flesh and I’m working on a compendium of recipes to make the most of that delicious citrus sugar syrup which I’ll be sharing soon.

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Homemade Mixed Peel

Homemade Mixed Peel is so much more flavourful than supermarket bought. It isn’t as bitter and has a more fully rounded flavour that captures the essence of citrus season.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 34 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Servings: 72 servings
Calories: 79kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 organic oranges unwaxed if available
  • 4 organic lemons unwaxed if available
  • 1 organic grapefruit unwaxed if available
  • 2300 ml cold water
  • 1350 g granulated sugar

Instructions

Day 1

  • If your fruit is waxed then you will need to wash off the wax from the skin of the fruit first by giving it a light scrub. Cut the oranges, lemons and grapefruit into quarters then with very sharp knife remove the skin from the pith and the flesh.
  • Cut the peel lengthways again. You might need to cut the lemon peel once, the orange peel twice more and the grapefruit peel three times more to get even sized pieces. Then cut widthways into short thin strips.
  • Weigh the peel, you should have around 450g.
  • Place the peel into a stainless steel saucepan with the cold water then bring to the boil. Turn the heat low and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the heat and set a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the saucepan through the sieve, set aside the peel for one moment and weigh out the cooking water.
  • Pour 1140ml of the cooking water back into the saucepan with 900g of the sugar. If you don’t have enough cooking water then just top up with tap water. Bring the sugar and water to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Pour the sugar syrup over the peel, cover and leave the peel to soak for 24 hours.

Day 2

  • Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the peel to the bowl.
  • Add the remaining 450g of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Pour the syrup back over the peel, cover and leave for another 24 hours.

Day 3

  • Pour the peel and syrup into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Pour everything back into the bowl, cover and leave the peel to soak for four final days.

Day 7

  • Drain the fruit, place on a fine wire rack and leave in a sterile dry place until no longer sticky, such as a turned-off oven. Although leave a note on the oven that it is not to be used. The mixed peel can take as long as seven days to completely dry. The best way to store the mixed peel afterwards is in sterilised glass jars and should keep for at least a couple of months.

Notes

Recipe adapted from the Reader's Digest 'The Cook's Scrapbook' Ed. John Palmer

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 26mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 8.1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Have you tried Homemade Glacé Cherries yet?

Homemade Glacé Cherries