Layered Lemon Custards

These lemon custards are so simple and yet very elegant. Layered lemon custards can be made ahead so all you need to do is garnish the plate and you have a lovely plated dessert for a special spring treat.

The Recipe

by volume                                                by weight

1 cup sugar                                           198 grams sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice              120 grams fresh lemon juice

3  large eggs                                        204 grams eggs

3 egg yolks                                           54 grams egg yolks

1/2 cup whipping cream                114 grams whipping cream



Preheat the oven to 325F. Whisk the sugar and lemon juice together.

Next, whisk in the eggs and yolks until thoroughly combined.

Gradually stir in the whipping cream and strain through a fine sieve.

Straining is necessary to make the custard completely smooth. It can certainly be baked  without straining but the extra effort is worth it. See what gets strained out?

Pour the mixture into 4 custard cups or ramekins.

Place the cups in a baking pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. (Add the water with the pan already on the rack in the oven. This way, it’s not necessary to carry a sloshing pan of water!)

Bake until the custards are just set in the center, approximately 30 minutes.

Remove the cups from the water bath and allow the lemon custards to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, run a sharp knife around the outside edge of the custard to loosen.

Turn out onto a plate by jiggling the ramekin gently to encourage the custard to release from the ramekin. It may be necessary to use a small spatula to “help” the custard. Smooth the sides, if necessary, with a small offset spatula.

The custards form layers while baking so all that is needed is a simple garnish to really make these special.


These layered lemon custards are a perfect plated dessert – simple, elegant, and delicious. I like them with fresh berries. In addition, a dollop of whipped cream would be great on the plate. A mixed berry sauce is also an excellent complement to the custards.

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