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Tart lemon curd

The combination of ingredients makes a citrus curd unique. While eggs thicken the curd and give it its yellow colour, butter sets the curd once chilled and makes it smooth and rich tasting. This pucker-worthy version is sweet enough to spread on Anna's Classic English Scones, yet adds an assertive tartness to desserts like Anna's Lemon Crunch-&-Cream Tray Cake. 



  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sour cream or Crème Fraîche


  1. Whisk the lemon juice, sugar, egg, egg yolks, lemon zest, and cornstarch together in a medium saucepan. Add the butter and place the pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the curd thickens slightly and just begins to show signs of starting to bubble about seven minutes. The curd should coat the back of a spoon but it will remain fluid. TIP: Acid ingredients like lemon juice and lemon zest make it harder for the proteins in eggs to bond and coagulate, which is why you can fully cook the curd without actually curdling the eggs.
  2. Cool and chill the curd. Remove the curd from the heat and whisk in the sour cream (or crème fraîche). Transfer the curd to a container to cool to room temperature. Cover the container and chill until set, at least three hours.
  3. Adding the sour cream off the heat stops the curd from cooking by cooling it down a little. Serve and enjoy! 

TIP: The curd will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days or frozen for up to three months. 

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