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Lemon Custard

Lemon Custard

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Fills six 5–fluid ounce (148ml) ramekins.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe found in a restaurant trade journal.

This is a delicious custard with just the right amount of lemon flavor for a fresh appeal. Garnish with fresh berries in season for a summer dessert. In winter, top with nuts such as roasted pecans. The custards are very easy to make.


For the Custard:

1 ¼-ounce packet gelatin (such as Knox Gelatine)
¼ cup (30ml) cold water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely minced
1 cup (237ml) heavy cream
½ cup (100g) sugar
1¾ cups (414ml) (13 oz./ 370g) sour cream
3/8 cup (88ml) (3oz./85g) mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Lemon Syrup:

1¼ cups (250g) sugar
1¼ cups (~300ml) water
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely minced
¼ cup (60ml) orange-flavored liqueur (such as Cointreau)


For the Custards:

1. Sprinkle the gelatin onto the water in a small bowl and set aside to soften. Heat briefly (less than a minute) in the microwave to melt into a liquid.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the remaining ingredients, adding the dissolved gelatin. Place the saucepan over a larger saucepan in which about a cup of water is brought to a simmer. Heat the custard until warm and liquid, but not hot (about 100°F/38°C).

3. Ladle the custard into custard cups or ramekins, leaving space at the top. Cover each cup with plastic wrap, being careful to keep the plastic from touching the top of the custard.

4. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours.

For the Lemon Syrup:

Place all the ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook to a temperature of 230°F (110°C), or until the mixture become a syrup. Stir occasionally. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

For Serving:

Garnish each custard with syrup before serving. Fresh fruit and/or chopped nuts can be added.