Lemon curd is one of my favorite things to make and eat. It’s tangy, sweet, creamy, and versatile. You can use it as a spread for toast, scones, or muffins, as a filling for cakes, pies, or tarts, or as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, or cheesecake. It’s also a great gift idea for your friends and family who love lemon.
But how do you make lemon curd? And what are the secrets to making it smooth, thick, and delicious? Well, you’re in luck, because I’m going to show you how to make the best lemon curd ever, using the recipe from the legendary Mary Berry.
Mary Berry’s lemon curd recipe is one of her classics, and it’s easy to see why. It only requires four ingredients: lemons, sugar, butter, and eggs. It takes about 15 minutes to make, and it yields about 450 grams (1 pound) of lemon curd. It’s also gluten-free and vegetarian, so it’s suitable for most diets.
So, are you ready to make some lemon curd? Let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Lemon Curd?
Mary Berry lemon curd is a homemade lemon spread that is made with fresh lemons, sugar, butter, and eggs. It has a smooth, creamy, and tangy texture and flavor, and it can be used in various ways. It is named after Mary Berry, a famous British food writer and TV personality, who shared her simple and foolproof recipe for lemon curd.
Why You Love this Recipe
To make this cake, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Simplicity in Preparation: With just four ingredients and a brief 15-minute cooking time, this recipe is straightforward and hassle-free.
- Exquisite Taste: It strikes an ideal balance between sweetness and tangy lemon flavor, offering a delightful taste experience.
- Flexibility in Use: Its versatility extends from a delightful breakfast spread to an elegant dessert filling, and even as a unique homemade gift.
- Diet-Friendly: Being both gluten-free and vegetarian, it caters to a wide range of dietary needs and preferences.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Lemon Curd
To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 4 large lemons (preferably unwaxed and organic)
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of caster sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- A fine grater or zester
- A sharp knife and a cutting board
- A small saucepan
- A heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the saucepan (or a double boiler)
- A wooden spoon or a whisk
- A sieve
- A jug or a measuring cup
- A sterilized jar with a lid (or several small jars)
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Lemon Curd
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Lemon Curd
To make sure your lemon curd turns out perfectly, follow these tips:
- Use fresh and organic lemons, if possible, for the best flavor and aroma.
- Adjust the amount of sugar according to the tartness of your lemons and your personal taste.
- Cook the lemon curd over low heat and stir constantly to prevent it from boiling or curdling.
- Strain the lemon curd through a sieve to remove any lumps or bits of zest.
- Store the lemon curd in a sterilized jar or jars and refrigerate or freeze it for a longer shelf life.
Variations of Mary Berry Lemon Curd
Explore the versatility of Mary Berry’s Lemon Curd by experimenting with different citrus fruits.
Here are some delightful variations:
- Lime Curd: Substitute lemons with limes and slightly decrease the sugar for a zesty twist.
- Orange Curd: Use oranges instead of lemons and increase the sugar a bit for a sweeter, milder flavor.
- Grapefruit Curd: Replace lemons with grapefruits, adding a touch of honey to balance the tartness.
- Mixed Citrus Curd: Combine different citrus fruits like lemon-lime, lemon-orange, or grapefruit-lime for a unique and intriguing flavor blend.
How do I store Mary Berry Lemon Curd Leftovers?
Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness of your lemon curd.
Here are the best methods:
- Refrigeration: Place the curd in a sterilized jar or an airtight container and ensure it’s well sealed. Refrigerate and enjoy within two weeks for the best quality.
- Freezing: For longer storage, transfer the curd to a freezer-safe container or a sealable bag. Clearly label with the date and freeze. It remains good for up to three months.
How do I reheat Mary Berry Lemon Curd Leftovers?
Nutrition value per serving (based on 8 servings):
- Calories: 348 kcal
- Total fat: 25.6 g
- Saturated fat: 15.3 g
- Sugar: 27.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.3 g
- Dietary fiber: 0.6 g
- Sodium: 84 mg
- Protein: 2.8 g
Related Recipes to Try
How do I sterilize the jars for the lemon curd?
To sterilize the jars, you can wash them in hot soapy water, rinse them well, and dry them with a clean cloth. Then place them in a preheated oven at 140°C (275°F) for 15 minutes, or in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use a dishwasher on a hot cycle, if you have one.
How do I prevent the lemon curd from forming a skin?
To prevent the lemon curd from forming a skin, you can place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd, before sealing the jar or jars1.
How do I make dairy-free or vegan lemon curd?
To make dairy-free or vegan lemon curd, you can replace the butter with vegan butter or coconut oil, and replace the eggs and egg yolk with 120 ml (1/2 cup) of aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk the aquafaba and cornstarch together, and follow the same steps as above.
Why is my lemon curd not getting thick?
You have to cook the lemon curd for about 10 minutes, or until it coats the back of a spoon, so the egg yolks can thicken. If you don’t cook it for enough time, it will not get as thick as you need it to be. So, make sure that your timing is right.
Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons for this recipe?
While fresh lemon juice is preferred for its superior flavor and aroma, you can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch. Keep in mind that bottled juice may lack the freshness and zestiness of fresh lemons, which could slightly alter the taste of the curd.
How can I tell when the lemon curd is cooked perfectly?
The lemon curd is ready when it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. A good test is to draw a line through the curd on the spoon with your finger. If the line holds and the curd doesn’t run, it’s done. Be careful not to overcook, as this could cause the eggs to curdle.
My lemon curd turned out too runny. How can I fix it?
If your lemon curd is too runny, it may not have been cooked long enough. You can return it to low heat and stir continuously until it thickens. If it still doesn’t thicken, mixing a small amount of cornstarch with water and adding it to the curd can help. Do this cautiously, as too much cornstarch can alter the flavor and texture.
Is it possible to make a sugar-free version of this lemon curd?
Yes, you can make a sugar-free lemon curd by substituting the sugar with a sugar substitute. However, be aware that this can change the texture and taste of the curd. Look for a sugar substitute that is heat-stable and measures like sugar to ensure the best results.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe for Mary Berry lemon curd, and learned how to make it at home. It’s a simple, quick, and delicious way to use up some lemons, and to add some brightness and flavor to your day.
If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you, and to see how your lemon curd turned out.
Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!