Browned butter lemon curd

Browned butter lemon curd

My idea of a well balanced breakfast is to have a slice of lemon curd toast in one hand, and a spoon full of cremezola in the other. Granted, you will not find this as the de jour diet in any of the glossies, but if you landed here by searching for lemon curd, then you probably don’t follow those things anyway. I absolutely adore sweet, tangy & jubilantly yellow hued lemon curd. Not that luminous yellow stuff that could double as a traffic cone in a pinch that you buy ready-made off the shelf in the supermarket. Real, homemade, butter laden curd made with love by your mom and packaged in a great, big glass jar that you can scoop spoons full out of when you need a culinary cuddle. But if mom is far away, or you’ve actually learned how to be self-sufficient, it is fantastically simple to make your own sunshine in a jar.

Browned butter lemon curd

A few years ago, I had a Blue Mountain lemon curd at our local cheese festival that I fell into instant besottedness with (only to hear that they were discontinuing the range!). The curd had a gorgeously nutty flavour. The type of gorgeously nutty flavour that can be achieved by doing one thing and one thing only: browning butter. You know what I’m talking about. And now you can’t imagine why anyone would ever make curd without browning the butter first, right? You can use your favourite lemon curd recipe and just brown the butter before using it as directed, or follow this easy one here. I used a recipe from that old standby that makes up a large portion of every warm blooded Afrikaner girl’s recipe repertoire, Kook & Geniet, and just tweaked it to reduce the risk of scrambling and make it a little more buttery. When in doubt, more buttery is always the way to go.

Browned butter lemon curd

Hands-on time

5 mins

Cook time

10 mins

Total time

15 mins


Recipe type: Condiment

Serves: Makes +/- 350ml


  • 330g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 110g salted butter
  • Juice of two large lemons (roughly 400g in weight, whole)


  1. In a heavy based pot, melt butter over a medium low heat. It will spatter at first and then start foaming, and not long after will turn brown fairly rapidly. Don’t be scared to get a good amount of colour on it, but stop before the salt and milk solids (which will sink to the bottom) burns. Pour the butter – salt and all – into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the sugar and lemon juice to the pot and bring to the boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the butter.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and egg yolk in the bowl that the butter was in. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  4. Return the mixture to the pot and return to the heat, stirring until the mixture thickens. Do not let it boil or you will land up with sweet, lemony, scrambled eggs.
  5. Serve smeared on warm toast, swirled over ice cream, spooned onto meringue nests or poured into sweet tart cases.

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