Everyone needs a recipe for lemon curd, and this is the easiest one of them all. All of the ingredients go into the pot, and away you go. Don’t be afraid of cooking the egg mixture over direct heat: the lemon juice and sugar will prevent the eggs from scrambling even when the mixture starts to simmer. Use the yolkier version if you want egg whites for meringues or pavlova. Adapted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan, 2012). —Alice Medrich
large eggs, or 1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
Zest of 1 medium lemon
strained fresh lemon juice (from about 3 medium lemons)
unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Set the strainer over a medium bowl.
Whisk the eggs (or egg and yolks) in a small nonreactive saucepan to blend. Whisk in the lemon zest, juice, and sugar. Add the butter. Whisk over medium heat, reaching into the corners and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan, until the butter is melted and the mixture is thickened and beginning to simmer around the edges, then continue to whisk for about 10 seconds longer.
Remove from the heat and scrape into the strainer, pressing gently on the solids. Scrape any lemon curd clinging to the underside of the strainer into the bowl.
Refrigerate until chilled before using. Lemon curd keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).