Spread or Pie Filling?

Reader Jack wants to know if lemon curd is the same thing as lemon meringue pie filling. The answer is yes, more or less. Spreadable curd recipes tend to be a bit sweeter and more lemony, since they’re used as condiments. Also they lack cornstarch, which is a common addition to lemon meringue pie filling for the simple reason that it both thickens and provides a little added insurance against over-baking, cracking and weeping. And I suppose if you want to get technical about it, lemon curd is a “stirred” custard whereas lemon meringue pie filling is a ‘baked or “still” custard. Hm…guess they’re more different than I originally thought. I’m addicted to both.

4 thoughts on “Spread or Pie Filling?”

  1. I’m a total lemon curd addict (at least making it). Don’t do a lot of pies. I bake for such large groups a pie doesn’t go far and then I’m baking more pies and I’m not that crazy about baking pies to start with. So I’m definitely in the curd family more than the filling family. I swear I remember a recipe where they baked the curd. LOL Maybe not.

  2. You can make a lovely lemon curd/filling with the leftover egg yolks from the pavlova and fill/top it with that instead of fresh fruit.

  3. Lemon curd is thickened with butter, which gives it the nice spreading consistency as opposed to the cornstarch used in pie filling. Both are irresistible 🙂

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