No Bake Lemon Curd Tarts

2 Cups of Curd
2 hr 15 min

Over the years, I have experimented with making various lemon curd recipes. I have always loved the smooth, creamy consistency and bright, lemony flavor of lemon curd; however, lemon curd is often a bit of a commitment because you have to cook it for awhile....and I'm not as much of a fan stirring over a hot stovetop, especially in summer! What a cooking conundrum. A few years ago, inspiration struck: what if I used some of the methodology from making key lime filling (and an ingredient) with a lemon curd recipe. After much experimentation (and several large containers of lemon curd that were donated to friends), I give you my own version of lemon curd with a twist! This is now one of my go-to recipes for fancy brunch, birthdays, and baby or bridal showers - hope you enjoy!


Ingredients: Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cups lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature); you will use two eggs whole and two yolks
  • 6 Tbsp (3 ounces) unsalted butter

Ingredients: No Bake Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp salted butter, melted

A Note on LemonsVarious sizes and types of lemons will yield different amounts of zest and juice. Having made this recipe many times, I find that I use 2 large or 4 medium lemons to yield about 1/3 c lemon juice – so I buy ready-made lemon juice to make up the difference. I have also found that Meyer lemons yield more zest…so I only need the zest of 1 Meyer lemon to obtain 1 tsp of zest, whereas when I use other lemons, I need two to get enough zest! So…my advice would be to always have an extra lemon or two on hand when planning on making lemon curd!


A Note on Edible Flowers

Using edible flowers is a fun and simple way to add some enchantment to your dishes! While chamomile flowers and leaves are edible, make sure you check your source for these beauties…the best way to buy them is from a source that sells edible flowers or from a farmer’s market so you can ensure they are not grown with pesticides!

Tools and Timing

  • Heatproof whisk
  • Large spatula
  • Medium pan, preferably with high sides (I use a 2 quart sauce pan)
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Prep bowls, one glass
  • Beaters
  • Cooling rack
  • Large glass bowl for cooling (see notes in step 10 below)
  • Plastic wrap
  • Storage container (if using later)
  • Prep and cook time: 15 min; totally cooling time: 2 hours
  • Yield: almost 2 cups curd; the number of tarts will vary depending on the size of your dishes
  • Curd lasts 1-2 weeks in the fridge; tarts last for 3 days once constructed


Background

I really love the “Perfect Lemon Curd” recipe from Homemade & Yummy; however, I wanted something a little thicker to use as a cupcake filling. With some experimentation (which involved a shift of ingredients and some changes in the cooking process), and a few additional tips and tweaks, I now give you my Lemon Curd Filling recipe!


This recipe is adapted from Homemade & Yummy’s Perfect Lemon Curd


Step-by-step

Prep your Luscious Lemon Curd Filling

  1. Let eggs and butter come to room temperature (get them out of the fridge about an hour before you begin)
  2. Zest the lemon(s) for 1 tsp of lemon zest – keep in mind that various lemons will yield different amounts of zest…that’s why you should have 2 lemons handy for this recipe!
  3. Squeeze the lemons – I find that 2 large lemons yield about 1/3 c of juice; measure out remaining juice to make a total of 2/3 cup
  4. Separate two yolks; place them in a bowl with the cracked whole eggs
  5. Carefully whisk together corn starch and sugar (you don’t want a cloud of corn starch in the air)

When you’re ready to cook:


  1. Using electric beaters, cream (whisk) the butter until it is blended and smooth on medium low – this takes about 15 seconds
  2. Add ½ sugar/corn starch mixture and beat on medium low; then, once the sugar/corn starch is mostly blended, add the rest. *Mixture will begin to look fluffier as it blends, but will not be completely blended (incorporated) due to the corn starch.
  3. Keep the beaters on medium low and begin to add eggs, one yolk at a time. Beat until each yolk is incorporated; once all eggs are added, beat for an additional 1-2 minutes on medium low.
  4. Slowly whisk in lemon juice, a little bit at a time (I add about 1-2 Tbsps at a time), blending after each addition. PS: don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit lumpy! Because of the acid in the lemons, the mixture may separate slightly – it will smooth back together once we start cooking (see above pics).
  5. Transfer to medium pan.
  6. Turn heat to low and begin to whisk. Whisk slowly and continually until mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes and 45 seconds).
  7. Once mixture looks like it coming together again, increase heat to medium and cook, whisking slowly and continually, until mixture just begins to boil (about 4 – 5 minutes).
  8. Return heat to low and cook an additional 2 minutes to encourage mixture to thicken; continue to whisk slowly and evenly!
  9. Remove from heat and whisk in zest.
  10. Using a spatula, transfer into a glass bowl or pan – choose a pan that wide so your mixture is about an inch thick once you transfer it (my bowl is 7 in in diameter with straight sides (so the bottom has the same width as the top).
  11. Immediately cover with plastic wrap PLACING PLASTIC DIRECTLY on the surface of the Lemon Curd Filling (lightly lay wrap on top of bowl – working in sections, gently lift wrap, ease it down onto the curd, and then move to the next section)
  12. Place bowl onto a cooling rack to encourage air flow underneath.
  13. When curd filling is cool (check by placing your hand on the bottom of the bowl – it should be cool – this takes at least an hour), transfer to storage container(s) of your choice and put in fridge.
  14. Once your curd is in the fridge, begin your crust.

Make your No Bake Crust


  1. Measure and melt your butter in a glass bowl – melt for 15 seconds, stir, and repeat until your butter is liquified.
  2. Measure and mix your other ingredients in a second, large bowl.
  3. Stir in butter and mix until butter is evenly blended.
  4. Press your crust into chosen dishes: tart pan with a removable bottom are nice so you can remove the tarts, but I’ve also used creme brûlée dishes! So cute 🙂 I find it easiest to create cute ‘crust’ by first creating the outside edge of the crust then filling the center: spoon some crust into the center of the dish. Then using your hands, guide it to the edge with one hand while you press down to create the crust ridge with the other hand. Then, spoon more curst into the bottom and press it down with the back of a spoon.
  5. Place crust in the fridge for 20 minutes; then fill with curd, cover, and return to the fridge for another 30 minutes. *Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Serve and Enjoy

A slightly thicker version of lemon curd with just as much ‘zest,’ I use this to fill tarts, but you could also layer it with shortcake, fill a cupcake, or use it in a parfait! You can also serve this fresh berries and scones.

Recipe details

  • 2  Cups of Curd
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 2 Hours Total time: 2 hr 15 min
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Ingredients

Ingredients: Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2/3 cups lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature); you will use two eggs whole and two yolks
  • 6 Tbsp (3 ounces) unsalted butter

Ingredients: No Bake Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp salted butter, melted

Jessica
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