Lemon Curd

Baking By saberger Updated 2 Aug 2014 , 4:04pm by margeann

saberger Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 3:00am
post #1 of 25

I must be doing something wrong. I have made this three times this past week and have failed miserably. The first and third recipes had the most disgusting taste and aftertaste to them. I used fresh lemons for the juice. Then the second one I made only thickened on the top and was soupy underneath even though it was in the fridge for over 24 hours - I tried the lemon juice from the bottle for that one which I figured to be the problem.

Now, I thought I have had lemon curd before, but I don't ever remember it tasting this gross. What am I doing wrong? Am I going to far into the lemon when I use the hand juicer? Are my lemons bad? I am at a loss here. And getting very frustrated. TIA

24 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 3:29am
post #2 of 25

The key to lemon curd is the heat you cook it on and constantly stirring. I am basically stirring the whole time and have it on medium low heat.

saberger Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:07pm
post #3 of 25

I did the same thing LaBellaFlor.

I think that I just don't like the taste of lemon curd and maybe THAT might be the problem. I have nothing to compare it to. I just made another two batches and they both have that change in smell and the same taste. So that must be how it tastes. I think I am expecting it to taste more like a lemon pudding. But I have read that people would eat it by itself and I couldn't imagine doing that.

Does anyone else notice a change in smell as it cooks?

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:22pm
post #4 of 25

Make sure you are straining it and everything after its cooked....it should be somewhat tart (but sweet too) and creamy and it will have a tiny bit of an "eggy" smell because its a "curd". It will be more tart and slightly less thick than lemon pudding. I would never use the bottled juice though....

Here's the recipe I use: http://www.joyofbaking.com/LemonCurd.html

I LOVE lemon curd....Mmm. icon_smile.gif

2SchnauzerLady Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:25pm
post #5 of 25

I love the recipe on Food Network by Ina Garten - yes, you can eat it with a spoon! It was a big hit with the girls at work when I brought it in to go with homemade angel food cake.

soccermom17 Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:29pm
post #6 of 25

I myself LOVE lemon curd. I use a recipe by Martha Stewart, from her Wedding Cake book. I have used fresh lemons and the lemon juice. I prefer the lemon juice because it's quicker and I always have it on hand. It does need to be stirred constantly and strained well before setting into the fridge to set up. It won't be just like pudding. There are a lot of eggs in this! And the butter. Oh, soo good. But I do like the lemon curd in cake or a short pastry tart. Have someone be your taste tester. You may be doing just fine and don't even know it! icon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:36pm
post #7 of 25

Think lemon meringue, not lemon pudding, which has a much more mellow taste. Mine is not eggy smelling though. Maybe it's your recipe, cause I don't like lemon flavor or any citrus flavor for that matter, but lemon and orange curd are just so delcious!

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:38pm
post #8 of 25

I don't mean really "eggy" but she mentioned an "odor" and the eggs do cause a slightly different odor than just like a pudding or something.

saberger Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:38pm
post #9 of 25

Thanks everyone. These are the recipes I tried already:

Whimsical Bakehouse (too runny - also used ready made juice)
Cake Love, MacsMom, and one from ICES - those had a metallic taste/smell to it.

I have strained it and done all of that. The texture is fine. It is the taste. So, at first I thought my lemons were bad - nope. Then I didn't juice them as hard thinking I was getting too much of the membrane in it (even though it is strained juice) and that was making it bitter. It tastes fine in the beginning, but after about 5-6 minutes on the medium/low heat, the taste and smell changes.

SO....I read that I should use a nonreactive pot (which I thought I was doing with my ALL-CLAD) - otherwise it can get that metallic taste. So now I am going to try it in a double boiler. I also got a jar of it from the store to have something to compare it to. It just stinks that I am having to do this so many times.

Let me know if you have any other ideas and I'll keep you posted. *sigh*

Mike1394 Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:45pm
post #10 of 25

Yeah just make sure you use a SS bowl, or sauce pot.

Here's the one I use. It makes 1 1/2 qts.

4- egg yolks
2# sugar
1# unsalted butter
1 oz lemon zest
12 oz lemon juice.


jessielou Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:08pm
post #11 of 25

I recently tried lemon curd for the first time and thought the same thing. It was very eggy tasting...yuck. I just thought it was supposed to taste that way since I had never had it. I used the Joy of Baking Recipe. Guess ill have to try it again icon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:18pm
post #12 of 25

Ewww! No, it doesn't taste like that at all. If you have a strong egg taste, you cooked the eggs instead of cooking it together. Thats where the constant mixing comes in. I initially wisk it in and then switch to a wooden spoon.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:29pm
post #13 of 25

Buy it in a jar - tastes great and safer at room temp too icon_wink.gif!

icer101 Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:33pm
post #14 of 25

there is a lady, on youtube, showing how to make orange curd. i made it . it is wonderful.. so look this up, just use the lemons. hth. at least, you can see, how simple it is to make. ha!

LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:34pm
post #15 of 25

Once you bust open that jar, it isn't any safer then homemade. A quality jarred lemon curd is made the same way.

saberger Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 25

Okay, here is the update. I just made the one from Joy of Cooking using a stainless steel bowl over simmering water in a pot. My whisk never stopped moving. No curdling or anything. Tasted it along the way. In the beginning it was okay, but as it kept cooking it got that taste that I am not liking. I know I have called it metallic but I don't really know what to call it. It is just very distinctive and has stunk up my kitchen, colander, and pots. icon_surprised.gif

It still had that taste but it wasn't quite as strong. So batch 3 (for today alone - 5 in total) is in the fridge for a taster from my DH tonight (kids HATED it).

I did pop open the jar and saw the texture is rather different (a little jelly like and saw that pectin was added) BUT it, too, has that funky taste that I am disliking so much. Although a lot stronger in the lemon taste which made it not AS bad, I guess. lol

SOOOOO, I guess I have been making it correctly?! Or that brand stinks as well. lol Can I add a little lemon flavoring/oil or something to get it a little more lemony? Or is that totally taboo and will ruin the texture?

Okay, I have to use this for a cake this weekend and I am really dreading it now. However, should I feel better about it also being paired up with the white chocolate ganache? I am nervous now because I don't know if they think the same as I do, that it is going to taste sweeter versus .... this taste.

Thanks again everyone for your patience with me and for your feedback!!!

MikeRowesHunny Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 1:37pm
post #17 of 25
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Once you bust open that jar, it isn't any safer then homemade. A quality jarred lemon curd is made the same way.

Most commercially made curds (of whatever quality) contain a preservative added to them - so yes, they are safer at room temp and will not spoil anywhere as quickly as a fresh made curd - fact.

eatdessert1st Posted 18 Feb 2010 , 1:54pm
post #18 of 25

Definitely use a non-reactive pan... I use a double boiler, too, after getting a sort of metallic taste using other pans. It'll really throw the taste off otherwise.

sdeldridge2 Posted 1 Aug 2014 , 8:43pm
post #19 of 25

I need a recipe for lemon curd.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Aug 2014 , 9:37pm
post #20 of 25

this alone is good reason why the microwave was born:




i've made tons of curd like this-- it's awesome!

Danilou Posted 1 Aug 2014 , 10:16pm
post #21 of 25

AThe Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe is great! If you follow the instructions you won't fail. Her Passionfruit one is scrumptious as well! My husband loves it as a cake/cupcake filling and he's not much of a cake person!

freesia777 Posted 2 Aug 2014 , 12:03am
post #22 of 25

AK8memphis, I've seen that recipe before. Is it really as good as it looks? It sounds too easy!

-K8memphis Posted 2 Aug 2014 , 1:08am
post #23 of 25

AThis is one thing in the world that sounds too good to be true -- but it works!!

my particular formula is a wee bit different now that I'm checking--

mine is 1 cup juice (6 lemons) 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup butter 2 tablespoons zest

and I like it real tangy so I rub the sugar & zest together -- it brings out the aroma and all the oils -- but I use the same directions! So easy so much fun -- you feel like you're cheating but it turns out perfect-- it's awesome!

lemme know if you try it-- best to you

yortma Posted 2 Aug 2014 , 3:12pm
post #24 of 25


Originally Posted by Danilou 

The Rose Levy Beranbaum recipe is great! If you follow the instructions you won't fail. Her Passionfruit one is scrumptious as well! My husband loves it as a cake/cupcake filling and he's not much of a cake person!

I agree. this is my favorite lemon curd recipe, and I, too eat it by the spoonful.  I up the sugar just a bit to 3/4 cup, and cook it an extra 20 minutes at 190 degrees (stirring constantly) to make it extra thick  It is made with yolks only, which may give it less of an eggy taste?.  I have never noted an eggy taste, but It has been so long since I made any other recipe, that I can't tell you if the egg whites make a difference or not.  Also, if you can get a hold of Meyer lemons, they are awesome - a little sweeter and less acidy.  It sounds like you have bent over backward to find a recipe that works.  Maybe lemon curd just isn't destined to be one of your favorite flavors.  Good luck!

margeann Posted 2 Aug 2014 , 4:04pm
post #25 of 25

Do NOT use an Aluminum pan when making lemon curd.  It will give off an unpleasant taste and color too.   USE STAINLESS

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