Who doesn’t enjoy some creamy lemon curd with baked goods or even on its own? But the problem with lemon curd is that you may have a hard time finishing it up in a week or two. What can you do with it?
Can you freeze lemon curd? Yes, you can freeze lemon curd to extend its shelf life. Lemon curd and other products made with it will keep for up to a year in the freezer, without undergoing any texture changes once defrosted, as long as it is kept in a tightly-sealed container.
Follow a few simple rules and instructions when freezing lemon curd and enjoy perfectly delicious citrus spread for your breakfasts or late evening desserts for months.
This article is all about freezing lemon curd. We have covered it all, from basic freezing instructions to what mistakes you should avoid while freezing lemon curd.
What Is Lemon Curd?
Fruit curds are creamy spreads that can be eaten on their own or with different kinds of baked goods.
There are a number of fruits you can make curd with. Curds with citrus fruits, such as lime and oranges, are quite popular. You can also use berries or such tropical fruits like mangoes or passion fruit to make curd.
Lemon curd, however, is the front-runner for many people. It is both sweet and tangy at the same time and tastes refreshing in whatever way you choose to use it.
Lemon curd is delicious. But most importantly, it’s versatile. You can take plain cupcakes, waffles, or scones to the next level with lemon curd. It also comes in handy as a filling for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, etc.
If you don’t like baked goods, you can enjoy this citrus spread with fruit too. It can also be used to make a beautifully layered granola parfait.
How It’s Made
If you have never tried lemon curd you may think that it would be something complicated to make. But it isn’t!
Lemon curd is made with only 4 ingredients. It contains egg yolks, lemons, sugar, and butter. Some recipes skip the butter to make it dairy-free, while others may also incorporate egg whites.
Lemon curd is generally made with these easy steps:
- Beat the egg yolks with sugar.
- Once they reach a creamy consistency, add lemon zest and juice, as well as pieces of unsalted butter.
- Heat the curd on a double boiler for the best results.
- Once the curd has thickened up enough, turn off the heat. With curds it is important to not overheat them otherwise the eggs will start to cook.
- Let the curd cool off and enjoy it!
Can You Freeze Lemon Curd?
You can freeze lemon curd to extend its shelf life. In fact, if you are not making lemon curd to use it all at once for a cake or muffins, you might find it hard to finish it up soon.
Storing lemon curd in the freezer is a safe way of extending the shelf life of this creamy spread.
How Does Freezing Affect Lemon Curd?
Freezing often affects the texture of products. They may suffer a whole lot of changes. From becoming grainy to turning slightly watery, we are ready to overlook these changes as sometimes extending the shelf life of products is all that matters.
Luckily, with lemon curd flavor and texture changes are not a problem.
Once you thaw frozen lemon curd you will find it tasting and looking the same as it was before. Of course, this will be the case only if you cook and store the curd properly in the freezer.
The only time your lemon curd will suffer changes is when you haven’t stored it properly in the freezer. If the curd is exposed to air in the freezer and suffers a freezer burn, you will notice that it tastes different.
However, you can remove the outer layer of your lemon curd before eating as this is the part that will suffer most if you have failed to seal the container properly. Doing this will improve the taste of your fruity spread.
If you don’t close the container or jar with lemon curd well, it may also absorb odors from other products in your cold storage. So be sure to choose a storage option with a tight seal.
Can You Freeze Homemade Lemon Curd?
You can buy lemon curd at your local supermarkets and it will taste good. But there is something special about homemade lemon curd. It certainly tastes richer than store-bought lemon curd.
If you are making lemon curd at home, you can always make a bigger batch and freeze some for later use.
Freezing store-bought lemon curd is not a problem too. You can keep an unopened jar of lemon curd in your pantry. But once you open it, it needs to be either refrigerated or frozen.
How to Freeze Lemon Curd
If you are making lemon curd specifically to freeze it, do it when it is freshly made. This way defrosted lemon curd will taste much better.
Freezing lemon curd works well and is very easy to do if you follow a few simple steps:
- Let the lemon curd cool down if you have just made it.
- Place the curd into a freezable container. You can use airtight plastic containers or glass jars. If you are using a glass container, make sure it is freezer-safe.
- Seal the lid of the container or jar tightly.
- If you are not sure that the lid is tight enough, wrap a cling wrap around the lid to secure it and make sure that no air gets to the lemon curd.
- Mark the containers with a date and put them in the freezer.
If you are freezing store-bought lemon curd, don’t freeze it in the glass jar it comes in. transfer it into another container suitable for freezing.
Freezing Lemon Curd in Smaller Portions
If you have frozen lemon curd in a big jar or container and are yet to thaw it, you will soon learn why it is important to freeze it in smaller portions.
The first reason why you probably shouldn’t freeze lemon curd in bigger portions is that it will take hours to thaw.
Secondly, lemon curd should be eaten shortly after it has been defrosted. You can’t leave it sitting in your fridge for days. And what would be the point of freezing your lemon curd if you won’t have time to enjoy it properly?
Freezing lemon curd in smaller portions is the way to go if you are living alone or know you won’t be able to finish a jar of citrus curd within a couple of days.
To freeze lemon curd in smaller portions try doing it in an ice cube or freezer tray. Go for the ones with bigger sections.
To freeze lemon curd in a freezer tray, follow these simple steps:
- Pour equal amounts of lemon curd into ice tray sections. Using a silicone ice tray will make it easier to get the frozen curd out when you need to defrost it.
- Wrap the tray with food wrap so that the curd is not exposed to air when you put it in the freezer. You can also put it in a sealable plastic bag for extra protection.
- Every time you take out a cube of lemon curd to defrost it, make sure to wrap the tray well with the plastic wrap to keep the rest of the curd cubes in good condition.
Using smaller sealable bags to freeze the curd in is also an option if you don’t have much room in your cold storage.
When using sealable plastic bags to store lemon curd in the freezer, squeeze out as much air as you can from the bags.
How Long Does Lemon Curd Last in the Freezer?
Whether it is homemade or store-bought, lemon curd should always be stored in the fridge. Considering that it is made with such ingredients as eggs and butter, it is not safe to leave it out once it has cooled off.
An unopened jar of store-bought lemon curds will keep quite long in the pantry. Check the ‘best used by’ date on the jar to make sure you are not letting your product go to waste.
Once opened, store-bought lemon curd is usually good for 6 months. Homemade lemon curd has a shorter shelf life. It usually keeps in the fridge for a week or two.
The shelf life of lemon curd is significantly extended when you store the spread in the freezer. Lemon curd will keep from several months up to 1 year in the freezer if you keep it at the right temperature and well-packaged.
Can You Freeze Lemon Curd Tarts?
There are no health risks involved in freezing lemon curd tarts. However, the crust may become soggy and lose its crispiness once you thaw it.
If you want to have half-made lemon curd tarts in your freezer, freeze the curd and the shells separately. It is best to freeze unbaked tart shells.
When you are ready to make lemon curd tarts, let the curd thaw in the fridge. Meanwhile, bake the shells and assemble your lemon curd tarts.
Can You Freeze Lemon Curd Cupcakes?
You can freeze cupcakes and you can freeze lemon curd. Therefore, there is no reason why you can’t freeze cupcakes with a lemon curd filling.
Freeze each cupcake individually wrapped with food wrap and store them in the freezer. Defrost lemon curd cupcakes in the fridge as you can’t thaw lemon curd at room temperature.
How to Thaw Lemon Curd
If you have some lemon curd sitting in your freezer and think it is high time you used it, know that it will take hours for it to thaw completely.
The only way of accelerating the defrosting process of the curd is by freezing it in smaller portions. If you freeze your lemon curd in a big jar, it might take it over 24 hours to fully defrost.
Here is how to defrost lemon curd:
- Transfer the container or jar with lemon curd from the freezer into the fridge.
- Put it on the plate to avoid water leaking in your fridge.
- Leave the curd in the fridge for a few hours until it is fully defrosted. You can leave the curd in the freezer overnight. The ideal temperature for thawing lemon curd in the fridge is just under 40 F.
- Once defrosted, give the curd a good stir to bring back the initial consistency. When frozen and defrosted, there may be a slight water separation in the curd. Stirring it will restore the original texture and creaminess of the spread.
- Keep the defrosted lemon curd in the freezer and use it within 2 weeks.
Don’t try refreezing lemon curd that has once been frozen. This may not be safe and will certainly deteriorate the quality of the spread.
Signs That Lemon Curd Has Gone Bad
Due to the acidity of lemons, lemon curd has a shelf life long enough to properly enjoy it.
If you store lemon curd at the right temperature and in a well-sealed container, you shouldn’t experience any issues with it going bad too soon.
In any case, inspect the curd once it has defrosted. Give it a sniff, look closely at the texture, and last but not least, do a little taste test to see if it still tastes the same as before freezing.
3 Things You Should Know When Freezing Lemon Curd
If you have decided to freeze lemon curd, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These are mistakes that you may make unknowingly, especially if it is your first time freezing lemon curd.
Here is what you should not do when freezing lemon curd:
Never Freeze Lemon Curd When It Is Still Warm
The most important rule to follow when you are freezing lemon curd is that you should never put it in the freezer while it is still hot or warm.
And there are two reasons why you shouldn’t do it.
Firstly, doing this may lead to bacterial growth in the lemon curd which may lead to health issues if you eat it later. Secondly, putting hot food in the cold storage will affect the freezer temperature. This is not good for the products that are already in your freezer.
Let the curd cool down properly before you transfer it into the freezer. Separate it into portions to speed up the process.
Don’t Overfill the Jar
When filling the container or jar with lemon curd to freeze it, leave an inch of space between the curd and the lid.
Lemon curd contains liquid (lemon juice). Thus, it will expand once it freezes.
You should be especially careful when freezing lemon curd in glass jars. If there is little room for the curd to expand, it may result in cracks in your jar.
While overfilling the container with lemon curd is certainly not recommended, you should not leave too much room there too. The lemon curd should not be exposed to too much air.
Don’t Freeze Lemon Curd in Metal Containers
If you read the cooking directions of lemon curd, you will notice that in every recipe it is recommended to not use a metallic bowl to make it. This is because you will end up with a metallic-tasting spread.
Metal leaches into the curd because of the high acidic level of lemons.
The same will happen if you freeze lemon curd in a metal container. While the latter may work for freezing certain products, it is not a good choice for this fruit curd.
What’s a Good Recipe for Lemon Curd?
If you’re still trying to decide on your perfect recipe for lemon curd, we suggest giving this one a try from the Preppy Kitchen channel on YouTube.