When Life Throws Lemons

I’ve recently started saying to friends and family “When life throws lemons at you, I make lemon curd.” While I personally don’t grate the lemon into my lemon curd, I do like the idea of not wasting the lemon peel so I’m also including a gluten-free lemon polenta cake recipe that I’ve tweaked over time which uses the grated lemon peel in the recipe. So before making the lemon curd I often will grate the peel first before I go about squeezing the juice out of the lemons.

In spirit of the previous blog entry I did on clever storage ideas, here’s also a method I use for storing away finely grated lemon peel in the freezer using silicone cupcake cups that I wedged in pairs inside a glass pyrex container to keep portions separate:


~ Miss M’s Lemon Curd ~

  • 4 Lemons, juiced (don’t worry about taking out the seeds yet)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • drizzle of vanilla extract + pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks (you can also save the egg whites for something else!)
  • 6 Tbsp butter

I use a non-stick sauce pan but if I were to use something else, I would definitely go the double boiler route (putting the pan over another water-filled pan). If you are using the non-stick pan like me, I would say go ahead and do a straight cook on direct heat on the stovetop. As you can see, I just put everything in the pan at the same time and CONTINUOUSLY stirred it with a spatula until it’s the consistency of the image to the bottom right:

When it looks done (if you can start seeing a glimpse of the bottom of the pan for very brief moments as you run the spatula through it’s done), transfer the mixture into another container (I usually use a 1-Quart Pyrex bowl which is a perfect size for the amount yielded by this recipe) by pouring it through a sieve. This will filter out the seeds from the lemon as well as other items that you don’t want in the curd in order to end up with a smooth consistency.

Let it cool off a bit at room temperature and occasionally check on it to stir up the curd (which will help get rid of the light film of thickened curd on the surface). Then, I like to pour them into smaller containers for storing and gifting in Mason jars or Weck jars as I have done in the photos below:

You can put a ribbon around the neck of the jar and attach a label to indicate when the batch was made as I like to do:


Don’t forget to keep the lemon curd in the refrigerator (where it will stay good for about three weeks).


~Lemon Polenta Cakes~

  • 2/3 c (100g) polenta aka cornmeal
  • 1 3/4 c (200g) almond meal, sometimes called almond powder*
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp (168g) butter
  • 3/4 c (150g) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla

*Note: You can also substitute a little bit of the almond meal with coconut flour

Again, I prefer to use a non-stick sauce pan for this. In the pan, melt the butter with the sugar and salt on medium heat. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla and zest. Then, alternately stir in the dry ingredients with the eggs (making sure you don’t cook the eggs from the residual heat). Pour in muffin cups and bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for approximately 20 minutes or until slightly brown on top. Remember, you can underbake and bake more if necessary but you can’t unbake something!

Here’s the cakes made into cupcakes for my father’s birthday:


I filled/topped the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and raspberries & toasted almonds.

As a savory meal compliment, you can also make/use them as cornbread muffins!

Bon appétit,



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