Thickening Lemon Curd

Baking By liz at sugar Updated 26 Jan 2014 , 5:08pm by twinsmomma09

liz at sugar Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:48pm
post #1 of 11

Hi!  I would like any tips you have for producing a very thick lemon curd.  I prefer the texture and thickness of the Dickinson's lemon curd, which says it has pectin on the label.


I haven't tried adding pectin yet (although it is present in the pith part of the lemon rind naturally) to a basic recipe.


I have tried adding Instant ClearJel, which thickened it up some, but also didn't allow the temp to rise above 175 or 180.  I was trying to get to 190.  I'm not sure about the texture yet, I will check on it later this morning.


Any tips on a very thick curd?


Thanks in advance,



10 replies
liz at sugar Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 1:14pm
post #2 of 11

AOh, and my end use is for cake filling - the usual thickness of my curd is fine for tarts and such, but I'd like it sturdier for a cake. Thanks!


liz at sugar Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 2:37pm
post #3 of 11

Sorry if it seems like I'm talking to myself, but I am just recording my results from my tests today.


First recipe I tried was the Texas cottage food law lemon curd recipe with 1 Tbsp of Instant ClearJel mixed in with the sugar at the beginning.  Makes a thick opaque light yellow curd, which tasted great at room temp, but now that it is chilled, I can detect a tiny texture change (like a slight floury or cornstarch effect).  I will let it get to room temp again and see if it is any different.


Second recipe:  I made an altered version of the Cake Bible recipe - mine is 1/2 cup juice and zest from 3 regular lemons, 1 cup sugar, 5 egg yolks, 4 tbsp butter.   Tried to get it to 190-196 degrees like she says, but mine steams and starts to bubble in the 180's, so that is as high as I can get the temp. (I've read that the longer you cook it before it boils, the thicker it will be)


I did not add pectin to the altered Cake Bible version, but I like that it is a less opaque, more lemon yellow curd than the Texas food law version which has more sugar (1.5 cups) whole eggs (4) and 8 tbsp butter to the same amount of lemon juice.  Before adding pectin I might try another egg yolk or two if my second attempt isn't firm enough.



Stitches Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 2:56pm
post #4 of 11

Liz, you can add gelatin. It works perfectly for a cake filling.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 3:30pm
post #5 of 11

I use the whole rind and the seeds for their pectin, and cook for a long time on low heat. Then push it through a sieve after.
I make huge batches at a time, which helps with the low and slow, then freeze it. Not sure how it would work for a smaller batch.

I use David's Lebovitz's recipe, with an extra yolk.

It isn't thick like a jam, but it's thick enough to hold up to stacking and doesn't totally soak into the cake. I like it a bit though, I'm not a fan of the gummy bear like fillings that don't budge, haha.

liz at sugar Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 3:40pm
post #6 of 11

Thank you both - I will try both ways this weekend!



twinsmomma09 Posted 20 Jan 2014 , 11:32pm
post #7 of 11

Hi Liz ... did you try different methods? How were the results?  I'm also looking for a way to thicken my lemon curd for a cake filling (on a tiered cake) and came across your post.  If you tried different methods offered above, does it change the taste of a regular recipe?  Interested in your end result info

liz at sugar Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 1:18am
post #8 of 11

Hi twinsmomma!  The method that actually got me the thickest curd was the microwave, which isn't listed above.  :)


I'm not where I have the recipe I used handy, but it was very similar to the Texas cottage food law.  I believe it was 1 cup sugar, juice/zest from 3 lemons (1/2 cup), 1 stick butter and I think I used 4 egg yolks.  I'm not sure about that part, though - but I think it was yolks and not whole eggs.  Right now I've got pastry cream on the brain and that uses yolks, so I may be getting them mixed up.


Anyway, I microwaved in bursts of a couple minutes at a time, until I got to 196 degrees.  Whisked between bursts.  Strained and cooled in fridge with plastic wrap on surface.


I did try both the gelatin method with sheet gelatin, and the cooking the pith, skin, etc. and they both produced similar thicknesses, but the microwave method was just as thick and a lot easier!


Good luck!



yortma Posted 21 Jan 2014 , 2:04am
post #9 of 11

I use RLB's recipe for lemon curd. it is delicious and has no added thickeners.   The directions call for bringing it just under the boiling point and then pouring it through a strainer.  I find if I  bring it to about 190-195 degrees F and then continue to stir for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, it is significantly thicker when it sets up.  It is what I use for cake fillings.  (Disclaimer - I still put a dam around the edges with any filling!).  HTH

twinsmomma09 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 5:06pm
post #10 of 11

Thank you so much for commenting & answering my question :)  I appreciate it so much!!

twinsmomma09 Posted 26 Jan 2014 , 5:08pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks yortma!  I will definitely use a dam ... gosh, I'm nervous about the lemon curd filling!! lol

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