To make lemon curd, you need just four ingredients — lemons, butter, sugar and eggs. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cook, require complicated kitchen equipment or need to be traditionally canned. Use lemon curd on toast or muffins, as a filling for cookies or crepes, mixed into yogurt, as a substitute for syrup on pancakes or waffles or layered with whipped cream and thin cookie wafers for a simple dessert. Store it in the refrigerator or give extras away as gifts.

Things You'll Need

Wash room-temperature lemons and pat them dry with paper towels or dish cloths. Roll each several times on a hard surface, pressing down firmly with your hand.

Zest each lemon with a zester, microplane or the small holes of a box grater. Remove only the top yellow layer of the peel, avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. Keep the pieces of zest as small as possible, mincing them, if needed.

Cut each lemon lengthwise. Juice the halves by hand or with a citrus squeezer or hand juicer.

Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a simmer. Use a heatproof bowl that can fit securely over the top of the pan without touching the surface of the water.

Put the lemon juice and zest into the bowl along with the sugar and cubed butter. For every 4 medium-sized lemons, use approximately 1 cup sugar and 7 tablespoons of butter.

Allow the butter to melt, whisking the mixture frequently. Adjust the temperature as needed to keep the water in the pan at a consistent simmer.

Mix eggs lightly in a separate bowl. Use 3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk for every 4 lemons. Pour the eggs into the lemon mixture in the heated bowl.

Cook the curd, whisking frequently, until it is well-combined and has developed a consistency resembling custard. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Stir the lemon curd, then use a spoon to divide it into sterilized jars or containers with tightly fitting lids. Avoid filling the jars too high — leave some headspace at the top of each. Put the lids in place and place the jars in the refrigerator.