Get your tart and sweet fix with these lemon curd desserts!
Unlike jams which contain whole fruits, lemon curd is made using juice.
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And where pie fillings might look similar, fruit curds have a much higher quantity of juice, making the flavor super bold.
So, expect these lemon curd desserts to be lip-smackingly delicious!
The truth is, whether you make lemon, passion fruit, raspberry, or mango curd, it’s not something you’d eat on its own.
It needs cake, cream, or something extra to help mellow it out.
That said, fruit curd is one of my all-time favorite cake fillings. You just can’t beat how much flavor you get from even a tiny amount.
If you’ve never made lemon curd before, don’t worry. It’s easier than you think. Just remember to add the eggs, and you shouldn’t have any issues!
(Yes, I’ve forgotten the eggs before and spent 20 minutes stirring the pot, wondering why it’s not thickening.)
You can use this stuff to fill cupcakes, fruit tarts, or even just on your morning toast if you want. Although it’s sharp, it’s also silky smooth and pretty creamy.
I like it mixed with cream cheese and whipped cream to make a lightning-fast dessert, but it’s also terrific in pies and sweetbreads.
I almost always see fruit tarts filled with either whipped cream or pastry cream. They’re both mild, sweet, and pair pleasantly with the fruit on top.
But if you want to amp up the flavor, lemon curd is the ideal addition.
Of course, it’s not a pure lemon curd filling. That would be too much, especially with the extra acidic fruit on top.
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So instead, you’ll make a cream cheese blend with powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Then, you’ll add a thin layer of lemon curd on the tart shell and top it with the creamy filling before decorating with sliced fresh fruit.
I know I said you don’t usually eat fruit curds on their own, and that’s still true. This recipe uses a pastry shell to reduce the sharpness.
Still, the filling is pure curd, making it very tart.
However, since these are so small, it’s not overpowering. In fact, it’s just the right amount to get your tastebuds tingling.
An excellent way to cut through that would be with a small rosette of whipped cream on top.
Lemon loaves can so easily go wrong, and it’s awful when they come out dry.
But since they need so long in the oven, it’s not always easy to find that balance between cooked and overcooked.
By adding a layer of lemon curd in the middle, you’ll infuse this cake with both incredible flavor and tons of moisture.
It comes out more dense, so don’t expect a light and fluffy cake. But it’s so tender and zesty you’ll want more than one slice.
When I’m in a rush, this is my go-to recipe. I use whatever fruity jam I have on hand and make a quick shortbread base, baking until it’s golden and bubbling.
With fruit jam squares, you can even serve them hot. But with this lemon curd version, you’ll want to let it cool before you slice inside.
One thing I noticed about this recipe was the severe lack of topping. It looked a little bit like I’d spilled something and couldn’t get it off.
I like my shortbread bars with plenty of crumble, so I doubled the base recipe and saved enough to cover the top almost completely.
Then, as it bakes, the filling bubbles up and peaks through.
Thumbprint cookies are always a hit, and they’re a great little cookie to make with the kids.
I bet they’ll love getting their hands dirty and tasting the yummy cookies when they’re done.
They’re more or less just shortbread cookies; only you’ll handle the dough more than you usually would with shortbread.
The dough should be smooth, and then you’ll roll out the portions before pressing your thumb in the middle.
As tempting as it may be, don’t overfill these. If you add too much lemon curd, it will bubble up and over, making a mess on the sides.
If you’ve ever made bread pudding, you’ll know it’s dense, sweet, creamy, and best served warm.
The key to making the best bread pudding is to use stale brioche. That way, it’s buttery and able to soak up so much more of the eggy filling.
But once you try this version, though, you’ll never want to make it with anything but croissants again.
They’re crazy buttery, after all, and I love the added texture they provide.
I almost always cut the croissants into cubes so they can absorb as much moisture as possible, but it also works if you just slice them in half and layer them slightly.
I mentioned above that I once forgot to add the eggs to my lemon curd.
It was a while before I realized it wasn’t thickening, and that’s I’d missed a key ingredient.
I blame the early mornings of a baker!
But vegan lemon curd doesn’t include eggs at all. Instead, you’ll make almost a lemon pudding, using cornstarch and agar agar to help it thicken and set, respectively.
You could omit the setting agent, but then, it wouldn’t be a clean slice.
Here’s another vegan lemon curd recipe, and you’ll notice right away that it’s agar agar-free.
So it won’t set like a gel, but rather seep into the cake a little and set more like jam would after baking.
It’s easy too. Just toss everything in the pot and gently heat until it’s thick and smooth. The turmeric is optional but adds a lovely color.
Since this cake has no frosting, is full of nutty goodness, and is free of eggs, dairy, and gluten, I think it’s ideal for breakfast.
I wanted to like this recipe. I really did!
It has two delicious components, and since I love chocolate and raspberry so much, this should have been a home run.
But for me, the brownie and the lemon were too intense to pair well.
One is rich and chocolatey, while the other is zesty, and I think they’re too contrasting to be balanced.
I’ve included the recipe because my friends loved it, and I’m curious to hear what you think. Does it work, or is it too out there?
I will say that I made this again with lime curd instead, and it was to die for.
Since lime isn’t as zesty, I find it much more complementary. Orange curd would likely work well too.
A ‘fool’ is a classic British dessert that folds fruits into either sweet custard or whipped cream.
The name comes from the French fouler, which means to crush or press, and it refers to the fruit that’s muddled or crushed before being added to the cream.
This yogurt fool is a healthier take on the classic recipe, and it would be just as tasty for breakfast as it would an afternoon snack.
One mention of bread pudding, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. So, I just had to include this zesty, sweet, tart recipe!
Brioche is an enriched type of bread. Regular bread can contain nothing more than water, flour, salt, and yeast, but brioche is full of eggs, milk, and butter.
That added dairy makes it richer and beautifully buttery, and you can taste it in every bite of this dish.
First, you’ll coat the stale bread in lemon curd, and then it’s soaked in sweet custard.
I always leave mine to soak overnight to ensure maximum flavor and tenderness.
I don’t know who first thought to whip aquafaba to make meringue, but I’m so glad they did!
Vegan meringue is light, sweet, and a real game-changer for the vegan community.
Believe it or not, aquafaba is the juice or syrup you find in a can of chickpeas.
Whisk it with cream of tartar like you would egg whites, and it will form stiff peaks.
Slowly add sugar, and it should turn glossy and thick, just like regular meringue.
How stunning does this tart look? Those colors are vibrant and look delicious, plus, they’re all-natural and bursting with fruity goodness.
If you don’t want to make the pastry, this will work just as well with graham cracker or shortbread crust. Keep it light and thin and be sure to bake it until golden.
The trick to getting these layers to remain distinct is to let the lemon curd cool entirely before adding the blueberry.
If it’s still warm, the two will start to seep into each other.
Also, be super gentle with the blueberry layer. Use a pitcher or measuring jug and slowly pour from one side to the other.
As if adding lemon curd to the cake wasn’t enough to wake up your senses, this recipe also includes Limoncello glaze for an added boost of citrus.
This pound cake recipe is pretty simple. You’ll start by whisking eggs with milk, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla until it’s nice and smooth.
To that, you’ll add coconut oil followed by flour and baking powder.
The oil will ensure the crumb is nice and moist, but it won’t have that rich, buttery-pound cake taste.
Feel free to use melted butter in the same amount if you prefer that creamy flavor.
When adding the lemon curd (to the middle and the top), keep it away from the sides.
It will burn if it touches the edges, and nobody wants that in their cake!
If you need a last-minute dessert, this lemon curd mousse couldn’t be more perfect.
Just whip some heavy cream with sugar until it’s thick and sweet. Then, gently fold through as much lemon curd as your heart desires.
It’s pretty much a lemon Fool, right? And if you top it with crushed graham crackers, it will taste like a simple no-bake lemon cheesecake.
In that States, we have apple crisp, but in the UK and Australia, they have the crumble.
A crumble dessert is essentially a fruity base, like apple and rhubarb, with either an oat or shortbread-like crumbled topping.
Just like apple crisp, the fruit base is sweetened and often includes cornstarch to help it thicken.
Then, the whole thing is baked until the top is crisp and golden.
You’ll find all kinds of crumble recipes out there, but this is one of my favorites.
The blend of sweet blueberries with tart lemon is perfect, and that color is gorgeous!
This recipe has you bake the crumble top separately to keep it crunchy.
But if, like me, you prefer the underneath part to be soft and infused with fruit, bake this with the top on.
Being a baker, I obviously love all things sweet, and of course, frosting is something I care deeply about.
We all have our favorite recipes, and I think the more, the merrier.
Having said that, I can also appreciate cake without frosting, and I know people don’t always like too much on their cupcakes.
So, these meringue-topped cupcakes are a lovely middle ground.
You’ll have a tender sponge with a tangy lemon curd filling, plus something sweet to balance the citrus out.
This will work with non-vegan recipes too. If you have a favorite cupcake recipe, go ahead and fill it with lemon curd, and then top it off with whipped egg whites.
Just keep in mind that meringue is nowhere near as stable as frosting. So, if you want to make and serve these babies, it’s best to do so on the same day.
Also known as the caveman diet, paleo recipes need to be free from processed foods.
Instead, the idea is to eat natural foods that our ancestors would have eaten.
But that doesn’t leave much room for baked goods, does it?
These cookies are made using ground almonds, arrowroot, maple syrup for sweetness, and coconut oil as a binder.
They’re gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
If you leave out the graham crackers, this recipe makes a terrific breakfast parfait.
I love the layers and the colors, and it’s already made using Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream.
Plus, how fantastic are the contrasting colors of the white yogurt, the bright yellow lemon curd, and that wonderfully deep purple of the blackberries?
I crushed the berries until the juices started to seep out. Just put them in a bowl and press down with the back of a spoon.
So long as you have a thick layer of either yogurt or granola between that and the lemon curd, they won’t run together and make a mess.