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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lemon Curd (sugar-free and low carb)


Yesterday I was reminded of my favorite lemon cake. It’s a lemon pound cake, made with lemon curd in the batter, which gives it not only a decadent lemony moisture, but a lovely yellow color.

But not only that, the whole thing is then drenched in lemon syrup which will seep into the cake and moisten it further. When you leave it out for a bit, a tiny little crackly sugar crust will form on top of it, adding to the whole experience.


So, of course by then I had already decided that I want to see if I can make the whole thing low carb Smile And it occurred to me that really, lemon curd is the perfect low carb spread/ filling/ frosting  or ingredient to so many other yummy things (tarts, pies, fillings, bars, ice cream etc.) – once you work around the sugar and maybe reduce the amount of lemon juice a little!


The first step was the Lemon Curd.

You can make this several ways to achieve the intensity of lemon flavor you desire, as long as you observe the basic liquid to thickening agents ratio.


Here’s the way I like it best. It’s pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing, especially in baked goods!


Sugar-free Lemon Curd



  • 4 whole eggs (for a richer Lemon Curd, use 6 egg yolks)
  • 1/4 cup erythritol, powdered or granular
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, strained
  • 1/2 cup (-2 tbsp.) of water (or use 1/4 cup of Monin*** unflavored sweetener and omit the liquid sweetener later)
  • 1/2 tsp. unsweetened Cool Aid Lemonade powder *     **
  • sweetener of choice (I used 1/4 tsp. of liquid stevia)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (COLD and cut into small pieces to melt faster )
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind, VERY finely grated (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Glucomannan (can be replaced with guar gum, or xanthan gum, but glucomannan gives a more authentic mouth feel)


  1. Beat the eggs until well blended and light  yellow in color.
  2. In a 1/2 cup measuring cup, add the 2 tbsp of lemon juice, then fill up to make the 1/2 cup.
  3. Add the erythritol, and lemon juice, water, lemonade powder, liquid sweetener and glucomannan and whisk to combine, and cook in a double boiler until the mixture gets thick and coats the back of a spoon. Do this slowly and under constant stirring so you don’t get scrambled lemony eggs!
  4. Pass through a sieve straight away. This is the secret to silky smooth lemon curd – removing any lumps, shells and “scrambles”!
  5. Pour into a heat proof 4 cup measuring cup and stir in the cold butter pieces, which cools down the mixture quickly and will thicken it some more. Stir in the lemon rind.                       I find that lemon rind gets a tad bitter, even with the white stuff removed when cooked with the rest of the ingredients. When you add it later however, it permeates your lemon curd with a truly luscious lemon flavor.
  6. Transfer to whatever storage container you want. I tend to use small jam jars, as it only opens a small amount at the time!
  7. This MUST BE REFRIGERATED! Keeps 2 weeks.


* Depending on how lemony you like your Lemon Curd, adjust the lemonade powder.

** Could also use 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (omit water/syrup and up the liquid sweetener) but it does up the carb count of course!

*** Monin syrups have a thicker consistency than other sugar-free syrups. If you are using any other unflavored sugar free syrup, you may have to up the thickening agent (Glucomannan, or guar gum, or xanthan gum) to get the same consistency


If you would rather not use Cool Aid powder, you could also use Ascorbic Acid powder (Vit C ) and Lemon Oil to taste.


Nutritional Info for recipe as stated:

Whole recipe makes about 17 tbsp.

1 tbsp. @ 0.35 g net carbs , 69 calories, 7.2 g fat, 1 g protein


Lemon Curd made with 1/2 cup of lemon juice:

1 tbsp. @ 0.7  g net carbs, 76 calories, 7.2g  fat, 2 g protein

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1 comment:

  1. Birgit, did you ever manage to make that whole cake low-carb?? It sounds incredible!


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