Lemon Cream

Pierre Herme

Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups

This lemon cream is dangerously delicious. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tart with a silky smooth texture that would tempt anyone to down it by the spoonful. Use it to fill cakes or crapes, but it’s also amazing frozen and served with blueberries.


  • 1 c sugar
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ c lemon juice
  • 2 sticks plus 5 Tbsp butter

Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer on the stove. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a metal bowl that can be fitted over the saucepan, acting as a double boiler and making sure water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Off the heat, use your hands to rub the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist, grainy and smells great. Whisk in the eggs and then the lemon juice.

Fit the bowl over the simmering water and cook, stirring with a whisk until the cream thickens and reaches 180F. This could take as long at 10 minutes, depending on how much water you have simmering. When you first begin cooking the mixture the cream is light and foamy, but it will thicken and start to leave tracks and that’s the signal that it’s reaching temperature.

As soon as the cream cooks, remove it from the heat and strain it into a blender or food processor. Let it rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 140F or about 10 minutes.

Working with the blender on high or the food processor, beat the cream while adding the butter, about 5 Tbs at a time. After all the butter is incorporated, keep beating the mixture for another 3-4 minutes.

You may eat it immediately and it freezes well.

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