If you’re searching for an easy-to-make macaron filling that will provide your macarons with a bright and fresh flavor, your search ends here. With just 5 ingredients and a few minutes of kitchen work, you will have a zesty lemon curd macaron filling that’s to die for.
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If you are a fan of bright and fruity citrus flavors, this macaron filling recipe is the one for you. Not only is it super simple to make, but there's a good chance you already have the 5 ingredients needed just lying around your house.
Pair this zesty filling with flavors such as blueberry and lavender for a beautifully complex harmony. This filling is a great option if you are interested in layered macaron fillings. Follow along as I take you step-by-step through how to make lemon curd.
Pair this filling with my macaron shell recipes using either the Italian method, Swiss method, or French method for making macarons. All of these recipes will walk you through everything you need to know about baking macaron shells.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- The step-by-step process for making lemon curd. You can use this same technique for other types of citrus curds.
- My tip for making curd macarons last longer instead of getting soggy easily.
Need more macaron filling recipe ideas? Grab these 15 delicious and easy-to-make recipes for free.
Ingredients You Need
It only takes a few simple ingredients to produce a scrumptious lemon curd macaron filling.
- Freshly grated lemon peel: While you may be tempted to pass on the zest from the peel, do not. The zest provides a ton of flavor and you will be missing out on that if you opt out. You can use a microplane to zest the lemon. When zesting, you do not want to collect the pith (soft white part between the skin and the lemon flesh) because it is bitter. Additionally, be sure to give your lemons a good scrub and rinse before zesting. You want to wash and chemicals or wax off of the outside.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice: You can also use bottled lemon juice if that's all that you have on hand. However, fresh juice always provides a brighter and fresher flavor. Use the same lemon(s) that you zested for the juice.
- Granulated sugar: Granulated sugar is not only used to sweeten the curd, but it is also a thickening agent. For this recipe, the sugar will need to be divided. To make this easier on yourself, measure out ¼ cup (59 grams) of sugar twice into two separate bowls.
- Egg: When using an egg, be sure you purchased a large one or accurately measure out the proper gram measurement. An improper quantity of egg can ruin this recipe.
- Unsalted butter: Pull the butter out of the fridge before use. You will want your butter at room temperature and cut into 1 tablespoon (14 gram) pieces.
How To Make This Recipe
This recipe is super quick and simple to make. That being said, follow the instructions closely to avoid any mistakes.
1. To start, get a small saucepan and add in the lemon peel, lemon juice, and ¼ cup (59 grams) of granulated sugar. Bring this to a boil.
2. While the mixture in the saucepan is heating, whisk the remaining sugar and the egg in a medium-sized mixing bowl until combined.
3. Now it is time for the most important step of this process. When the mixture in the pot is boiling, shut off the heat. Very carefully and slowly pour the hot mixture into the cold one. As you pour, constantly whisk the mixture.
Constant whisking ensures that the egg does not scramble. This step is known as tempering.
4. When the two mixtures are fully combined, pour it all back into the saucepan. Turn the heat up to medium-high and heat the mixture for 1 minute. Whisk vigorously the entire time during this stage.
After a minute is up, shut off the heat. While the mixture is still hot, add the butter one piece at a time, and whisk to incorporate.
5. Transfer the curd to a small heat-proof bowl. Cover the curd with plastic wrap and press it against the surface of the curd, essentially preventing any air from contacting the curd. If air comes into contact with the curd, a skin can coagulate and form, resulting in an undesirable texture.
Refrigerate the mixture for 1 - 2 hours until the curd has fully cooled and thickened.
Lastly, close up your macarons and let them mature in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 hours. This step allows the macarons to slightly soften, preventing them from crumbling apart when eating. Maturing the macarons also helps develop a deeper flavor with each of the components.
- Storing your lemon curd:
- This filling should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will be good for 2 - 3 weeks. You can pipe the curd right out of the refrigerator, no need to wait for an increase in temperature.
- Long-term storage: Place the lemon curd filling in an airtight container in the freezer and it will last up to 2 months. Take the curd out of the freezer a day before using it and leave it in the refrigerator to thaw.
- The great thing about this curd is that it is super easy to layer flavors together. Try using an Earl gray ganache, blueberry buttercream, or lavender ganache for the outer ring of filling. You can find all these delicious recipes in my Flavor Fillings digital cookbook.
Curd piped inside a ring of buttercream or ganache filling will last up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Without the ring of buttercream, macarons filled exclusively with curd should be filled and eaten on the same day or they will get too soggy. Check out this post that tells you everything you need to know about storing macarons.
To serve the macarons, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come up to room temperature. Once at room temperature, dig in and enjoy.
Be sure you add the correct amount of egg, butter, and sugar. These ingredients help thicken the curd. Additionally, allow the curd to sit overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator to thicken.
More Macaron Filling Recipes
Lemon Curd Macaron Filling (4 Ingredients)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar divided
- 1 large egg
- 8 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter cut into 1 tablespoon (14 grams) pieces
- Bring lemon peel, lemon juice, and ¼ cup (49 grams) granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Whisk the remaining ¼ cup (49 grams) granulated sugar and egg in a medium sized mixing bowl until combined.
- Once the lemon juice is boiling, pour the mixture into the egg and sugar while whisking constantly to temper the egg.
- Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan, and continue cooking over medium high heat for 1 minute while whisking vigorously. Remove from heat; add in butter one piece at a time, whisking to incorporate.
- Transfer the curd to a small bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming on top), and refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours until the curd has thickened and cooled.
- Mature the macarons with the filling in the refrigerator for 2 -3 hours. This will allow the macarons to slightly soften and develop a deeper flavor.