Can You Reheat Lemon Curd to Thicken?

Lemon curd is a staple in many citrus desserts from lemon bars to toppings on pies. Its light and creamy texture are what make it good in so many different forms. It’s an intermediate recipe to make, but it tastes so good that it’s worth it. 

However, what if you want to make some changes to your batch or your lemon curd is too runny. Can you reheat lemon curd?

Short answer, yes. The long answer, lemon curd is difficult to reheat to make changes to. It is possible, but it will take a bit of time to make sure the curd doesn’t break. Slowly adding heat to the lemon curd using a double boiler and adding a few more ingredients will help make it thicken.

Double Boiler

Using a double boiler will help make sure that your lemon curd will not break. This method slowly heats the mixture with the surrounding water.

Step 1: Put your lemon curd into a jar or bowl. Set this container into a bot half full of water. You want the container to be able to float upright. 

Step 2: Add heat on low. You don’t want to heat it too quickly or it will break.

Step 3: Use a whisk to keep stirring the mixture. You’ll want to keep stirring until the lemon curd has reheated. This can take at least 5 minutes, depending on how much lemon curd you have.

Step 4: To thicken, keep stirring. Be prepared to be stirring for another 20-30 minutes. Because you have to reheat the lemon curd at a low, it will take a while for changes to take place.

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Step 5: Another way to thicken the curd is to mix a teaspoon of cornstarch into a tablespoon of water (mix this before reheating.) Then, add that mixture to the lemon curd.

Step 6: Make sure that the lemon curd can coat the back of a spoon before taking it off heat.

Once you get your lemon curd to the consistency that you want, you can put it into a new container and store it. Lemon curd can be stored in the fridge for around 4 weeks. If you freeze it, your lemon curd can last up to 6 months. Just remember to store it in an air-tight container.

Now it’s perfect to eat on its own or to pair with desserts.

What NOT to Do

Making lemon curd is already a delicate process, and reheating it is just as delicate. In order to not ruin your lemon curd, there are a few things to make sure not to do.

  • Don’t use too high of heat. Lemon curd creates is amazing consistency on low heat. Medium or high heat can break the mixture.
  • Don’t overcook your lemon curd. Overcooking can turn it lumpy. Let the curd take its time but don’t allow lumps to form.
  • Don’t stop stirring. Allowing the mixture to sit while it cooks can cook the eggs and also make the lemon curd lumpy.
  • Don’t add additional ingredients too quickly. While adding ingredients like the cornstarch mixture will thicken the curd, adding it too quickly can break it. Slowly incorporate any ingredients that you want to add and remember to keep stirring.
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Making a Thicker Curd

With these tips, you won’t need to reheat the curd to thicken it. By altering your recipe the next time, you’ll know how to make it thicker to start.

  • Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the main recipe
  • Add another egg yolk or two to the recipe
  • Keep the mixture on the heat for a longer time
  • On the heat, whisk in some butter

If you’re worried that your lemon curd isn’t getting as thick as you want it to on the stove, know that it will thicken more as it cools. 

Final Thoughts

Even though something is challenging, doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Lemon curd is a delicious treat that has the ability to be changed if something doesn’t go the way you want. 

Even though it can be used in both a thinner and thicker form, there are different uses for each kind. Thicker forms are great in tarts, cakes, or even spread on toast if that’s your thing. Its creamy and preserve-like consistency gives it plenty of uses. 

Now that you know how to change the consistency of your lemon curd, you will be able to create all of the lemon-y treats you could ever want.