Canned Lemon Curd

23 Jun

Hello Everyone,

I adore anything with lemon! I get this love of lemon from my grandmother, and guess what? My niece loves anything with lemon also! I am making her a lemon cake, it will be a topsy-turvy cake (my first one) and turquoise and black are her colors. It’s for her 13th Birthday this year, I can’t believe she’ll be 13! It makes me feel old!!

We made this recipe in my U of I canning class. It is a very tasty lemon curd, one of the best ones I have come across in a long time!

Canned Lemon Curd:

2-1/2 cups superfine sugar*

1/2 cup lemon zest (freshly zested) optional

1 cup bottled lemon juice**

3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into approximately 3/4-inch pieces

7 large egg yolks

4 large eggs

Special Equipment Needed: Lemon zester, balloon whisk, 1-1/2 quart double boiler***(the top double boiler pan should be at least 1-1/2 quart volume), strainer, kitchen thermometer measuring at least up to 180 degrees, glass or stainless steel medium mixing bowl, silicone spatula or cooking spoon, and equipment for boiling water canner. Yields about 3-4 half-pint jars.

If this is your first time boiling water canning please read through the USDA canning guidelines.


Wash 4-half-pint canning jars with warm, soapy water. Rinse well; keep hot until ready to fill. Prepare canning lids according to manufacturer’s directions. Fill boiling water canner with enough water to cover the filled jars by 1-2 inches. Use a thermometer to preheat the water to 180 degrees by the time the filled jars are ready to added.

Caution: Do not heat the water in the canner to more than 180 degrees before jars are added. If the water in the canner is to hot when jars are added, the process time will not be long enough. The time it takes for the canner to reach boiling after jars are added is expected to be 25-30 minutes for this product. Process time starts after the water in the canner comes to a full boil over the jars.

Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, stir to mix, and set aside about 30 minutes. Pre-measure the lemon juice and prepare the chilled butter pieces. Heat water in the bottom pan of the double boiler until it boils gently. The water should not boil vigorously or touch the bottom of the double boiler pan or bowl in which the curd is to be cooked. Steam produced will be sufficient for the cooking process to occur. In the top of double boiler, on the counter top, or table, whisk the egg yolks and whole eggs together until thoroughly mixed. Slowly whisk in the sugar and zest, blending until well mixed and smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and then add the butter pieces to the mixture. Place the top of double boiler over boiling water in the bottom pan. Stir gently but continuously with a silicone spatula or cooking spoon, to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 170 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remove the double boiler pan from the stove and place on a protected surface, such as a dish cloth or towel on the counter top. Continue to stir gently until the curd thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain curd through a mesh strainer into a glass or stainless steel bowl; discard collected lemon zest. Fill hot strained curd into the clean, hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with dampened, clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids. Process in the boiling water canner according to the recommendations in the USDA boiling water canner guidelines. Let cool on a towel, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Shelf Life: For best quality, store in a cool, dark place (away from light). Plan to use canned lemon curd within 3-4 months. Browning and or separation may occur with longer storage; discard any time these changes are observed.

Prepared lemon curd can also be frozen instead of canned for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. Package containers after straining and cooling to room temperature. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks,

Preparation Notes:

*If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a grinder of food processor for 1 minute, let settle, and use in place of superfine sugar. Do not use powdered sugar.

**Bottled lemon juice is used to standardized acidity. Fresh lemon juice can vary in acidity and is not recommended.

*** If a double boiler in not available, a substitute can be made with a large bowl or saucepan that can fit partway down into a saucepan of a smaller diameter. If the bottom pan has a larger diameter, the top bowl or pan should have handles, that can rest on the rim of the lower pan.

Variation: For lime curd, use the same recipe but substitute 1 cup bottled lime juice and 1/4 cup fresh lime zest for the lemon juice and zest.

Other citrus juices or fruits are not recommended for canning at this time.

This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Until next time everyone…

Amanda 🙂


Posted by on June 23, 2011 in Canned Foods


2 responses to “Canned Lemon Curd

  1. Mary from Apron Strings & Wedding Rings

    June 24, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Nice to have this on hand Amanda. I just love lemon anything! Have a wonderful weekend! – Mary L.

    • cakebaker35

      June 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Your welcome Mary! You have a great weekend too! 🙂


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