Italian Lemon Cream (Ready in 20 Minutes)

Italian Lemon Cream is a very versatile and widely used basic preparation in Italian pastry. It’s a quick and easy recipe that does not require any special culinary skills. Its main characteristic is its intense and irresistible lemon taste.

To make lemon cream, you need to use both lemon zest and lemon juice. For this reason, I recommend using organic lemons without chemical additives.

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You can think of Italian Lemon Cream as a fresh and flavorful twist on the classic Italian Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera).

The most common use of lemon cream is as an addition to basic preparations. For example, you can make delicious tarts with lemon cream and pasta frolla (Italian sweet shortcrust pastry). You can use it as a cake filling and make fantastic layered cakes with our recipe for Pan di Spagna (Italian Sponge Cake) for parties or birthdays.

Lemon Cream is also the ideal filling for a light and fluffy lemon cake. It can also be enjoyed on its own, by the spoonful, served in small cups. Perhaps accompanied by Italian cookies such as delicious Canestrelli or Savoiardi (Ladyfingers for Tiramisu).

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You can also serve it with fresh fruit, chocolate chips or nuts and almonds, depending on the season. This way you can create desserts that are always new and original.

Italian Lemon Cream is really versatile and quick to make! Find out how to make it for your own fantastic dessert recipes!

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Ingredients

Doses enough to fill a cake about 24 cm (10 inch) in diameter or for 4 dessert cups. You will get about 250 g (~1 cup) of lemon cream.

  • Prep Time: 10 Min + cooling time
  • Cook Time: 10 Min
  • Servings: 4

  • 2 medium egg yolks
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) of granulated sugar
  • 40 g (4 tablespoons) of potato starch
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of whole fresh milk
  • The peel of 1 organic lemon + its juice (~40 ml or 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice)

Kitchen Tools and Equipment

  • WHISK: A hand whisk is essential to mix all the ingredients well. You will need to use the whisk throughout the entire process to prevent lumps from forming in the cream.
  • JUICER: You will need a juicer to extract the lemon juice. If you often make citrus juices, an electric juicer will come in handy. For this recipe, a hand juicer will also work. The manual white ceramic juicers. are very nice, even as a small gift.
  • STRAINER: You will need a fine-mesh strainer to strain the juice and prevent seeds or lemon pits from getting into the cream.
  • PEELER: To remove the lemon peel thinly without removing too much of the white bitter part, you will need a peeler.
  • TONGS: Finally, you may find it useful to use cooking tongs to remove the lemon peel from the cream without scalding yourself.

Italian Lemon Cream Recipe: Instructions

Italian lemon cream recipe step 1

Step 1) – In a small saucepan, beat 2 egg yolks with 100 g (1/2 cup) of granulated sugar using a hand whisk.

PLEASE NOTE: It’s not necessary to use an electric whisk because the eggs and sugar should be well mixed, not whipped.

Italian lemon cream recipe step 2

Step 2) – Add 40 g (4 tablespoons) of potato starch and 250 ml (1 cup) of whole fresh milk and continue to mix with the hand whisk.

Italian lemon cream recipe step 3

Step 3) – Use a peeler to remove the peel of 1 lemon. Make large pieces of peel for easier removal later. Try to remove only the superficial yellow part of the rind. The white part can make the cream bitter. Then squeeze the lemon and set the juice aside (about 40 ml or 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice).

Italian lemon cream recipe step 4

Step 4) – Now put the saucepan on the heat. Add the lemon zest and cook the cream over a low heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.

Italian lemon cream recipe step 5

Step 5) – When the cream begins to thicken, remove the lemon zest with a pair of tongs. Continue to stir and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Finally, remove from heat and add the strained lemon juice. Stir well.

Italian lemon cream recipe step 6

Step 6) – Pour the lemon cream into a bowl and allow to cool before serving.

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YOU MUST ALSO TRY:

How to Store Lemon Cream

You can store Lemon Cream in the refrigerator for up to two days, covered with plastic wrap in contact with the cream.

When ready to use, stir with a spoon to soften it again.

You can also freeze and defrost in the refrigerator as needed.

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Italian Lemon Cream: Tips and Variations

  • ORANGE CREAM: Instead of lemon juice, you can use orange juice or mix the two citrus fruits for an even more fragrant and delicious cream.
  • LEMON EXTRACT: For a more intense flavor, add a few drops of lemon extract to the cream.
  • HEAVY CREAM: Many use cream instead of milk or a mixture of the two. In my opinion, it’s not necessary to make the cream more caloric and heavy.
  • CORNSTARCH: As a thickener, always gluten free, you can also use cornstarch instead of potato starch in the same doses.
  • FLOUR: If you prefer to use just flour, you will have to double the doses (80 g – 5 oz). If you use flour, pour the very hot milk in a trickle over the egg yolk-sugar-flour mixture and mix well with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Then place on the heat, stirring constantly.
  • EGGS: Use only egg yolks to make Italian lemon cream.

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Italian lemon cream
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Italian Lemon Cream Recipe
Italian Lemon Cream is a very versatile and widely used basic preparation in Italian pastry. It’s a quick and easy recipe that does not require any special culinary skills. Its main characteristic is its intense and irresistible lemon taste.
To make lemon cream, you need to use both lemon zest and lemon juice. For this reason, I recommend using organic lemons without chemical additives.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian lemon cream recipe, lemon cream for filling cakes, lemon crem
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 212kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 egg medium, the yolk
  • 100 g granulated sugar 1/2 cup
  • 40 g potato starch 4 tablespoons
  • 250 ml milk 1 cup, whole and fresh
  • 1 lemon The peel of 1 organic
  • 40 ml lemon juice 2 1/2 tablespoons
Instructions
  • In a small saucepan, beat 2 egg yolks with 100 g (1/2 cup) of granulated sugar using a hand whisk. It's not necessary to use an electric whisk because the eggs and sugar should be well mixed, not whipped.
  • Add 40 g (4 tablespoons) of potato starch and 250 ml (1 cup) of whole fresh milk and continue to mix with the hand whisk.
  • Use a peeler to remove the peel of 1 lemon. Make large pieces of peel for easier removal later. Try to remove only the superficial yellow part of the rind. The white part can make the cream bitter. Then squeeze the lemon and set the juice aside (about 40 ml or 2 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice).
  • Now put the saucepan on the heat. Add the lemon zest and cook the cream over a low heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
  • When the cream begins to thicken, remove the lemon zest with a pair of tongs. Continue to stir and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  • Finally, remove from heat and add the strained lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Pour the lemon cream into a bowl and allow to cool before serving.
Nutrition
Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 1mg
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