January 21st, 2010


Lemon Curd Tarts

This luxurious and velvety lemon curd recipe is very close to my heart. I have had this recipe for nearly 15 years and it’s been used in many of the restaurants where I have worked. I had to think really very hard about where I obtained this recipe but if my memory serves me well, it was from a grumpy old French pastry chef, no not my friend Fabien head pastry chef at Browns Hotel, he’s French but not grumpy….he’s lovely!

It’s interesting how I have changed the recipe overtime, at one stage I used only egg yolks but then I decided to make it a bit more cost effective by incorporating some whole eggs, as well as egg yolks, which made the curd rich and extra creamy without the use of any cream. I have also played with the method and adapted the conventional method for Thermomix users. Both methods are fool proof and work equally as well without any difference to the end result.

As I write this post I realised that this lemon curd recipe became a classic in my recipe collection and one I shall tresure for many more years to come.

I was doing a bit of research by reading a few lemon curd recipes to identify what makes mine different and indeed better than the rest. The conclusion I came to was that it was the stage when the butter is added and this makes this recipe unique, glossy and even more mouthwatering than the rest. I agree that the curd  would not possibly last for three months in a sterilized jar in the cupboard as most recipes advise, then I cannot imagine it would be that seriously fresh and delicious after three months either. Thinking about it, it would never last three months in my household either. It’s so easy to make, so my theory is to make it when needed, it’s lovely and fresh, so eat and enjoy there and then!…OK  if you have to….it will keep perfectly well refrigerated for up to 3 days.

There are so many things you can do with the lemon curd while it’s still warm, pour it into a freshly blind baked tart case, let it set and garnish with fresh figs and pomegranate seeds, mmm very pretty and delicious. Alternatively these mini puff pastry tarts, heavily dusted with icing sugar, are perfect and will take proud place of honour at any tea party.

I make the puff pastry cups a day in advance, let them cool completely and store them in a air tight container overnight then make the lemon curd the following day and serve the slightly warm curd in the crispy puff pastry cases, it’s delicious!

Lemon Curd

  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 whole medium free range eggs
  • 2 medium free range egg yolks
  • 125g cold unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
  • pinch of salt

Bring a medium saucepan half filled with water to a gentle simmer.

Place the eggs, salt and sugar in a metal mixing bowl, choose one that will fit comfortably over the saucepan without falling in.

Use a whisk to mix the sugar and eggs add the lemon juice and mix well.

Place the bowl over the simmering water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, once the curd starts to thicken continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. The curd will coat the back of the spoon and you will be able to draw a path with your finger though it.

Remove the curd from the heat and quickly whisk the cold butter into the curd until it's completely dissolved leaving the curd rich, creamy and glossy.

Transfer the curd to a clean container and place a piece of clingfilm directly on top of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin, let the curd cool.

Themomix Method:

Using the built in weighing scales weigh the freshly squeezes lemon juice, caster sugar, salt, egg yolks and whole eggs directly into the Thermomix bowl, blitz for 10 seconds on speed 8, scrape the sides down, insert the butterfly whisk. Set the timer for 5 minutes at 70°C, speed 4.

Cut the cold butter into small even size pieces, set the timer for 2 minutes at 70°C, speed 2 and slowly drop the pieces of cold butter through the hole onto the curd.

Scrape the sides down, remove the butterfly whisk and secure the lid, blitz the curd for 20 seconds on speed 9, transfer the curd to a clean container and place a piece of clingfilm directly on top of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin, let the curd cool.

Once cooled keep refrigerated until needed.

Blind Baked Puffy Pastry Shells

Preheat the oven to 180°C, and turn a muffin tray with medium 12 size holes upside down and grease the back of the holes.

On a lightly floured work surface roll the pastry about 2- 3mm thick out, cut 12 x 10cm in diameter disks, let the pastry rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Cover the greased pastry moulds with the pastry disks and bake them for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, I suggest you check them every now and then as mine kept on popping off, this might sound weird but my pastry was cooked well all the way through and they puffed absolutely beautifully.

Let the puffy pastry cups cool completely on a cooling rack before filling them with the lemon curd and dusting them heavily with icing sugar.

Makes 12 individual tarts

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17 Comments to “Lemon Curd Tarts”

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  1. Angie says:

    Made these last week and they were amazing. Had a problem with the pastry though as it popped off the tin and ended up round. I just cut a hole in the top, put the lemon curd inside and said they were lemon puffs! The lemon curd is to die for.

  2. melissa says:

    Would it work if you placed another muffin tray on top of the upside down one to hold the pastry on slightly or would it stop it from puffing up completely? Just a thought…


    The Lemon Curd recipe turned out perfect, so fresh, mildly sweet and just right tart. I need to try again for the shells though. My puff’s turned out to be rounded liked cream puffs. They slid right up and off the bottom of the mini muffin pan. If I had a way to pipe the curd into them they would have been great lemon curd puffs!

  4. Mamma Ball says:

    Had to make the lemon curd as my daughter had made meringues and I had the yolks left over- yummy yummy lemon curd!

    Also made the tarts which were delicious but they did look like lemon curd vol-au- vents!!

  5. [...] ‘Tis the season, right?  The recipes are popping up everywhere.  I’m headed to Whole Foods (now that their power is back) and/or Trader [...]

  6. DHoppe says:

    So how many times did you accidentally say Lemon Turd Carts while you were typing up this blog entry. :o ) Just kidding, they look wonderful.

  7. peter thomas says:

    what can I say that has’nt already been said in the comment list, I agree with each and every one, these look absolutly delicious and are a must make, thx for a grat site :) )

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