Barefoot Contessa fresh lemon mousse in a soufflé dish with the edges decorated with swirls of whipped cream and lemon slices.
Quentin Bacon
1 of 5

Barefoot Contessa Fresh Lemon Mousse

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is an essential element of my cooking. I almost always add the grated lemon zest because there's even more flavor in the zest than in the juice. This fresh lemon mousse is easy to make in advance and is delicious as a cool ending to a wonderful meal.
Yellow plate with four lemon bars sprinkled with powdered sugar, one with a bite take out of it.
David Leite
2 of 5

Lemon Bars

These lemon bars have a buttery cookie crust, a silken filling, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar for an old-fashioned and familiar contrast of tastes and textures.

Best lemon bar recipe ever! I have found the perfect recipe……no need to keep looking or trying. 

Meyer lemon tart on a white cake stand black background.
Shimon | Tammar
3 of 5

Meyer Lemon Tart with a Layer of Chocolate

This Meyer lemon tart with a layer of chocolate combines sweet-tart lemon custard with bittersweet chocolate and nestles it all inside a pâte sucrée dough.

I really loved making and eating this Meyer lemon tart. It was the first time I’ve made pate sucreé and lemon curd and, if I do say so myself, it all turned out pretty good.

I was searching for a recipe that combined chocolate and lemon and found that there were, weirdly, not many options. I’m so glad this is the one I ended up with because the tart lemon curd and rich chocolate ganache went perfectly together.

A lemon meringue tart in a white dish, with one slice on a plate beside it and one more being lifted out.
Rita Klimenko
4 of 5

Lemon Meringue Tart

This lemon meringue tart has a crunchy almond tart shell that’s filled with creamy lemon curd and buried beneath clouds of pillowy meringue.
Lemon semifreddo in a pool of lemon sauce and garnished with a twist of lemon, sitting on a white dessert plate.
Christopher Hirsheimer
5 of 5

Lemon Semifreddo

This dessert is like a frozen mousse, which helps explain its name: semifreddo, or "half-frozen. A lemon terrine is an ideal dessert to make ahead and so easy to pull out, slice, and serve when an elegant finish is called for. Keep it in mind when the weather turns warm.

This lemon semifreddo was absolutely delicious. The curd was the best I have ever tasted. 


Lemon Curd FAQs

Can you make curd with other types of citrus?

Definitely. If you love lemon but would prefer a slightly sweeter version, try making Meyer lemon curd. Another alternative is orange curd, which has a flavor reminiscent of orange creamsicle and is a delicious filling for orange curd tartlets. And, don’t forget lime, grapefruit, and yuzu curds.

Curd can even be made from berries, such as cranberry, blueberry, and raspberry.

How can I avoid lumpy curd?

Lemon curd becomes lumpy if the eggs are overcooked. There are a few things you can do to avoid this and to fix the curd if it does get lumpy.

First, cook the curd in a double boiler over a pan of barely simmering water. It’ll take extra time to cook the curd this way, but you’ll be rewarded with smooth, creamy custard.

Second, stir, stir, and stir some more! Continuously stirring the curd helps distribute the heat evenly and prevent it from curdling.

If you do end up with some cooked egg bits in your curd, it’s no biggie. Simply strain it through a fine mesh sieve while hot.

Can Lemon Curd be water bath canned?

Yes, you can process homemade lemon curd in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. However, you must still store the processed curd in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 months, but once opened, use it within a week.

How long does homemade lemon curd keep?

Unprocessed lemon curd will keep for up to one week if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Can You freeze lemon curd?

Yep. Spoon lemon curd into freezer-safe jars or containers, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. Freeze for up to 1 year. Thaw in the refrigerator before using and devour within one week of thawing.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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