Custard tarts or pies with lemon curd are typically filled with eggs, sugar, butter, and lemon juice.
Vanilla extract and the grated rind of a lemon or two may also be added to the recipe.
In this article, you will know the answer to the query “How To Thicken Lemon Curd?“.
For breakfast on toast, it can be used as an alternative to jam or as a dessert filling in tarts.
Lemon curd can be made in many different ways, often making it sweeter and with a softer texture.
In classic lemon curd recipes, sugar is accounted for in two parts to one part egg yolk and lemon juice is accounted for in one part (or lemon rind).
Some experts believe that traditional recipes for Lemon Curd require thicker custard than usual because lemon acidity causes the custard to thicken more than milk custard.
How to thicken lemon curd is addressed in this article.
Interesting as it may seem, you can’t just add more pectin.
An improper implementation of that strategy could result in disaster.
How to Make Lemon Curd?
In order to make lemon curd, butter and lemon juice are cooked together until they become thick.
Desserts such as ice cream, cheesecake, and other desserts can also be topped with it.
Traditionally, everything is heated almost to boiling before the sauce is removed from the heat source.
Milk won’t curdle if it is not brought to the boiling point, which is what can happen if it is brought to boiling point.
- In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice with sugar.
- At room temperature, cream the butter and sugar together until pale; this will make mixing into the lemon easier.
- Add to saucepan and warm over low heat until thickened (about 6-10 minutes). Place jars in the refrigerator and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When stored in the refrigerator, lemon curd keeps for about a month.
In order to be considered perfect, lemon curd needs to be thick and pale yellow.
A firm texture is also preferred rather than something hard or crunchy.
A small amount of fruit can remain unincorporated in the liquid mixture (typically the seeds in lemons).
It is inadvisable to consider these when determining the quality of your final product.
Why Your Lemon Curd is Runny & Watery?
There are a few possible reasons why your card is watery and runny.
- It didn’t thicken enough because you didn’t cook it long enough. As long as you remove it from the heat source before it reaches nearly boiling point, you shouldn’t have an issue unless you remove the pan too soon.
- Adding heat slowly can sometimes burn the mixture before it thickens, as well as mixing often.
- Juices that contain too much water tend to dilute them. The amount of lemon juice you should use should not exceed 1 cup for every cup of sugar. The consistency of your curd will also depend on how much lemon juice you use for every cup of sugar.
- There is an ingredient missing from your recipe. Don’t leave anything out. The butter, sugar, lemon juice, and salt should all be included in the mix. Add more water and the mixture will turn watery.
- The amount of butter you use is too little. Without butter, lemon curd will taste different, but it can be made. Creaming the sauce with butter gives the lemon a creamier texture. Making lemon curd with too much water causes the mixture to be watery because not enough butter is used.
Other Mistakes When Making Lemon Curd?
Other mistakes can also make your lemon curd taste different, although they might be hard to identify.
One of the most common mistakes made when making lemon curd is adding the butter too early.
The mixture must be heated before adding butter, and the butter and mixture must be mixed well together to avoid this mistake.
With a handheld beater, you can achieve the same result.
Mix the butter into the mixture for about five minutes before adding it.
It is important to let the butter cool down to room temperature or a warm temperature after melting.
During a very hot day, the lemon juice may curdle and the lemon curd will become watery and inconsistent.
Remember not to substitute margarine for real butter, even though it is a cheaper alternative.
It is rather obvious, but using a lemon whose acidity is very low when you make curd will result in a very cheap and tasteless curd.
The sugar in your curd will balance out the tartness of the lemon so that it will be sweet and mild in flavor.
How to Thicken Lemon Curd?
To the shortly improve the thickness of lemon curd, it needs to be cooked a little longer to eliminate excess water.
The process usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes over low heat.
Follow the correct process, but your curd still appears runny and watery after thickening it.
1. Use Cornstarch
The curd will become runny if it hasn’t completely frozen after cooling in the fridge, which means there is some water left in the mixture.
By adding cornstarch, the excess water will be absorbed and the consistency will be thickened.
In a quarter cup of water, whisk one tablespoon of cornstarch until well combined.
Pour your mixture slowly into the lemon curd while constantly stirring over low heat until it is thick enough to thicken to your liking.
2. Use Gelatin
Several restaurants use this technique when serving lemon curd. Following are the steps for thickening lemon curd using gelatin:
Combine one tablespoon of powdered gelatin with a quarter cup of cool water. Stir until you get a smooth mixture. To ensure that the mixture dissolves completely, allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. It is not possible to completely dissolve the gelatin if you place it in hot water.
While constantly stirring over low heat, gradually add the mixture to lemon curd until it thickens to the desired consistency.
3. Use Egg Yolk
You can perform this trick at home as well. Here are the steps for thickening lemon curd with egg yolk:
A quarter cup of water and one egg yolk should be beaten well.
As you slowly pour the mixture into the lemon curd, stir constantly over low heat until the mixture becomes thick to your desired consistency.
This method requires fresh egg yolks, but you need to make sure that they are intact.
A mixture that is inclined to solidify quickly will not thicken.
4. Add Butter and Mix
To thicken the lemon curd that already has butter in it, you can just add more butter and mix well.
During this process, excess liquid will be mixed in, ensuring the sauce is not runny when chilled.
Additionally, it will give the lemon curd a creamier texture. Having a lumpy curd, or curd that isn’t as firm as you would like may indicate that it is too thin.
Put the mixture in a saucepan and simmer it over medium heat, stirring frequently.
Curd should become thick and creamy after the water has evaporated.
Alternatively, you can strain the curd through a cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh strainer.
Why Does my Lemon Curd Taste Metallic?
Making lemon curd in a metal bowl is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
As a result, your curd will taste metallic as a result of a reaction between the lemon juice and butter.
Plastic, porcelain, and acrylic should be used for all tools and utensils to avoid this.
It is possible to enhance lemon curd by adding ingredients such as orange zest, candied ginger, or even pecans.
Hot sauce can be added to your card if you want it to be spicier.
Finally, lemon curd is a simple dessert you can make at home with some patience and the right techniques.
Unlike other types of curd, getting the right consistency is tricky, but the steps are straightforward.
As discussed above, thickeners can help preserve the consistency of lemon curd when chilled to avoid lumps and clots.
If you’re making lemon curd in the near future, try using the tips listed above.
If you want to read more about cooking, read here: Cooking Tips and Tricks.