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Meyer Lemon Curd Trifle

Meyer lemons give a sweet update to this traditional dessert.

December 12, 2017

Meyer lemons give a sweet update to the traditional lemon trifle recipe. Walton’s version of this recipe was inspired by one from Tyler Florence, who used regular lemons. Meyer lemons, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or orange, tend to be sweeter and less acidic than the traditional supermarket lemon — which means less sugar is needed, as well. 

Lemon Curd


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced (This should equal 3/4 cup of juice and 3 teaspoons of zest. If unable to find Meyer lemons, use 1/2 cup regular lemon juice and 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Add 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest.)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into chunks

Trifle Base


  • 2 cups slightly whipped cream with a dash of vanilla and sugar to taste
  • 3 pints berries: strawberries (stemmed and quartered), blueberries, raspberries and blackberries (whatever looks good)
  • 1 prepared pound cake, either regular or lemon-flavored 
  • Grand Marnier or Limoncello liqueur (optional)


For the lemon curd, bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Combine egg yolks, sugar, juice and zest in a metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set the bowl over the simmering water without the bottom of the bowl touching the water. Continue to whisk for 10 to 15 minutes. You are looking for this mixture to become light yellow, thick and doubled in size. Do not allow mixture to boil and do not stop whisking or you will get lemon scrambled eggs.

If the side of the bowl is high enough, you might be able to use an electric hand mixer. If you have an electric hand mixer, wait until the curd has thickened slightly before using it.

Once this lemon mixture has become thick, doubled in size and is pale yellow, remove from the heat. Start whisking in the butter, adding a few chunks at a time and waiting until they are melted and incorporated before adding a few more chunks of butter. Continue this until all of the butter has been incorporated. Refrigerate until the curd is cold and firm.

For the trifle base, whip the cream. Add the vanilla extract and sugar to taste. Fold the lemon curd and whipped cream together. It is OK if this mixture is slightly streaked with white and yellow. You now have a lemon mousse.

Toss the berries in a bowl so they will be evenly distributed and easier to scatter in the trifle. Slice the pound cake. (You will want to have at least 3 layers of cake when the trifle has been assembled.) Lay the first layer of cake in the base of the glass trifle bowl. Try to place the cake in an even layer, covering as much of the bowl as possible. If you are using Grand Marnier or Limoncello liqueur, brush or drizzle about half on the cake. Spread one-third of the lemon curd mousse over the cake. Scatter one-third of the berries over the mousse.

Repeat these layers until all ingredients are used. My trifle bowl usually holds three layers of cake, three layers of curd mousse and three layers of berries. It is the best if the last layer is berries. Chill before serving.

Top image credit: Debra Roby, Flickr Creative Commons.