Delia Smith Lemon Curd Recipe

Delia Smith Lemon Curd
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

Delia Smith Lemon Curd recipe is a delightful blend of tangy lemon zest and smooth, buttery texture, creating a perfect balance of sweet and tart. It’s an excellent choice for enhancing a variety of desserts, adding a burst of citrus flavor to your culinary creations. This lemon curd is particularly great for spreading on toast, filling tarts, or as a topping for ice cream.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the steps of making Delia Smith’s Lemon Curd, offering practical tips to ensure a perfectly smooth and flavorful result.

What is Delia Smith Lemon Curd Recipe?

Delia Smith’s Lemon Curd is a classic British spread, renowned for its rich, creamy, and tangy flavor. It’s a simple yet luxurious concoction made from basic ingredients: eggs, sugar, lemons, and butter. This recipe, curated by Delia Smith – a celebrated British cook and author – stands out for its ease and reliability. Ideal for those who appreciate fine, homemade preserves, it offers a taste distinctly superior to store-bought alternatives.

This recipe comfortably serves 6-8 people and the total preparation time is around 2 hours.

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Why You Should Make Your Own Lemon Curd

You might be wondering why you should bother making your own lemon curd when you can buy it from the store. Well, there are several reasons why homemade lemon curd is better than store-bought. Here are some of them:

  • Enhanced Freshness and Flavor: Homemade lemon curd offers a superior taste, thanks to fresh lemon juice and zest. It lacks the artificial flavors and preservatives commonly found in commercial versions.
  • Cost-Effective: Making lemon curd at home is more economical than purchasing it. It’s an excellent way to use leftover lemons and save money.
  • Healthier Option: By preparing your own lemon curd, you control the quality of ingredients, adjusting sweetness and tartness to your preference. This way, you avoid additives and stabilizers present in store-bought varieties.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Making lemon curd yourself is enjoyable and fulfilling. It’s a great way to impress family and friends, or even as a thoughtful homemade gift.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Lemon Curd Recipe

To make Delia Smith lemon curd, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 level dessertspoon of cornflour (about 10 grams)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 lemons
  • 175 grams of caster sugar
  • 110 grams of unsalted butter

Useful Equipment

  • A medium-sized saucepan
  • A balloon whisk
  • A fine grater or zester
  • A citrus juicer or reamer
  • A sieve
  • A measuring spoon
  • A kitchen scale
  • A measuring jug
  • A wooden spoon
  • A small bowl
  • A large bowl
  • A ladle
  • Three 350 ml capacity jars with lids, sterilized

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Lemon Curd

Now that you have everything you need, let’s get started with making Delia Smith lemon curd. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Whisk the Eggs

The first step is to whisk the eggs in a medium-sized saucepan. You can use a balloon whisk or a fork for this. You don’t need to whisk them too vigorously, just enough to break them up and mix them well.

Step 2: Add the Rest of the Ingredients

Now, it’s time to introduce the remaining ingredients to your saucepan. These include cornflour, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. For the cornflour, take a level dessertspoonful, tapping off any excess against the jar. Accurately weigh the sugar on a kitchen scale into a small bowl. Extract about 150 ml of lemon juice using a citrus juicer or reamer, squeezing it directly into a measuring jug. For the lemon zest, employ a fine grater or zester to obtain roughly 2 tablespoons from your lemons, transferring it into a large bowl. Lastly, weigh the butter, chop it into smaller segments, and add them to the bowl containing the lemon zest.

With all the ingredients precisely measured, gently add them to the saucepan on top of the eggs. There’s no need to mix at this stage; simply let the ingredients rest together.

Step 3: Cook the Mixture

Now it’s time to cook the mixture over a medium heat. Use a balloon whisk to whisk the mixture continuously as it heats up. This will help to dissolve the sugar and the cornflour and to prevent the eggs from scrambling. The mixture will start to thicken after about 7 to 8 minutes. You will know it’s ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and leaves a clear trail when you run your finger through it.

Step 4: Strain the Mixture

Once the mixture is thick enough, you need to strain it through a sieve into a large bowl. This will remove any bits of egg, lemon zest, or butter that might have formed during the cooking process. You can use a wooden spoon or a ladle to help push the mixture through the sieve.

Step 5: Fill the Jars

The final step is to fill the sterilized jars with the lemon curd. You can use a ladle or a funnel to do this. Fill the jars as full as possible, leaving a small gap at the top. Then cover them with waxed discs, seal them with the lids, and label them with the date. You can store the lemon curd in a cool place for several weeks, or in the fridge for longer.

Delia Smith Lemon Curd Recipe

How to Enjoy Your Delia Smith Lemon Curd

Now that you have made your own Delia Smith lemon curd, you can enjoy it in many ways.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Spread it on toast, scones, muffins, or croissants for a delicious breakfast or snack.
  • Use it as a filling for cakes, cupcakes, pies, tarts, or pastries for a decadent dessert.
  • Swirl it into whipped cream, yogurt, or ice cream for a refreshing treat.
  • Dollop it on pancakes, waffles, or crepes for a sweet indulgence.
  • Mix it with cream cheese, mascarpone, or ricotta for a tangy dip or spread.
  • Spoon it over fresh fruit, such as berries, bananas, or kiwis, for a healthy and tasty snack.

Lemon Curd Recipe Delia Smith

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Lemon Curd

Delia Smith’s Lemon Curd pairs well with a variety of foods, enhancing the flavor of many dishes:

  • On Baked Goods: Spread it on toast, muffins, or scones for a delightful breakfast or snack.
  • As a Filling: Use it in cakes, tarts, or pastries for a zesty twist.
  • With Dairy: It’s delicious when swirled into yogurt, cream, or ice cream.
  • On Pancakes or Waffles: A perfect topping for a sweet and tangy breakfast treat.
  • With Fresh Fruit: Drizzle it over fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Lemon Curd

To ensure your lemon curd turns out perfectly:

  • Use Fresh Lemons: The zest and juice of fresh lemons give the best flavor.
  • Stir Constantly: Continuous stirring while cooking prevents the eggs from curdling.
  • Strain for Smoothness: Straining the mixture yields a silky, lump-free texture.
  • Sterilize Jars: Proper sterilization of jars ensures the lemon curd’s longevity.
  • Cool Completely: Let the curd cool before jarring to maintain its consistency.

Variations of Delia Smith Lemon Curd

There are several ways to modify this recipe for a new twist:

  • Different Citrus Fruits: Try using oranges, limes, or grapefruits instead of lemons.
  • Add Spices: Incorporate spices like cinnamon or ginger for added warmth.
  • Herbal Notes: Mix in finely chopped fresh herbs like basil or mint for a unique flavor.
  • Less Sugar: Reduce the sugar for a tarter curd, or use a sugar substitute for a lower-calorie version.
  • Dairy-Free Version: Substitute the butter with a dairy-free alternative for a vegan-friendly option.

How Do I Store Delia Smith Lemon Curd Leftovers?

Proper storage of Delia Smith Lemon Curd leftovers is crucial to maintaining their quality and freshness. The lemon curd should be stored in a way that preserves its texture and flavor.

Here are the steps to store it correctly:

In the Refrigerator:

  • Use an Airtight Container: Transfer the leftover lemon curd into an airtight container or jar to prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
  • Ensure It’s Cooled: Before storing, make sure the lemon curd has cooled down to room temperature to maintain its consistency.
  • Refrigeration Time: Properly stored lemon curd can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Freezing Option:

  • Suitable Container: Choose a freezer-safe container or jar for storage.
  • Leave Space for Expansion: When placing the lemon curd in the container, leave a small amount of space at the top as it may expand slightly when frozen.
  • Freezing Duration: Lemon curd can be frozen for up to 3 months. Label the container with the date for reference.

How Do I Reheat Delia Smith Lemon Curd Leftovers?

Reheating lemon curd should be done gently to retain its texture and flavor.

Here are the steps for reheating:

  • Use a Water Bath: Place the lemon curd in a heatproof bowl. Then, set this bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring the bottom doesn’t touch the water.
  • Stir Continuously: While heating, stir the lemon curd constantly to prevent it from curdling and to ensure even warming.
  • Avoid High Heat: Never reheat lemon curd directly on high heat as it can cause the eggs to scramble, ruining the smooth texture of the curd.
  • Monitor Consistency: Once the lemon curd reaches a desirable warm temperature and retains its smooth consistency, remove it from the heat.


Can I make Delia Smith’s Lemon Curd without a citrus juicer?

Yes, you can make this lemon curd without a citrus juicer. You can simply squeeze the lemons by hand, ensuring you extract as much juice as possible. Straining the juice through a sieve can help remove seeds and pulp.

How long can I store homemade lemon curd?

Homemade lemon curd can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Ensure it’s kept in an airtight container. If you choose to freeze it, it can last for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons?

While fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor, you can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch. Note that the taste might not be as vibrant and fresh as when using real lemons.

Is it possible to make a sugar-free version of this lemon curd?

Yes, you can make a sugar-free version by substituting the sugar with a sugar alternative. However, the texture and taste might vary slightly from the original recipe.

Can Delia Smith’s Lemon Curd be made with other citrus fruits?

Absolutely! You can experiment with oranges, limes, or grapefruits to create different flavors of citrus curd. Each fruit will impart its unique taste, offering a delightful variation on the traditional lemon curd.

Nutrition Value (per serving (about 2.5 tablespoons)

  • Calories: 98 kcals
  • Fat: 4.3 g (1.7 g saturated)
  • Protein: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g (3 g sugars)
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Salt: 0.1 g

Final Words

Creating lemon curd at home is a straightforward and enjoyable process. Following Delia Smith’s recipe, you can produce a batch of lemon curd that is not only fresh and full of flavor but also free from artificial preservatives. This recipe offers the flexibility to tailor it according to your taste preferences. You can adjust the levels of sweetness and tartness or experiment by infusing additional flavors like vanilla, ginger, or lavender.

The versatility of homemade lemon curd is another highlight – it’s perfect as a spread on toast, as a filling for cakes, or even as a topping for desserts. Moreover, homemade lemon curd makes a delightful gift for friends and family. Once you experience the difference in taste and quality of homemade lemon curd, it’s unlikely you’ll prefer the store-bought version. Give it a try – the effort is definitely worthwhile.

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