Elevate Your Fresh Fruit With Tangy Lemon Curd Whipped Cream

Craving something sweet, but don't feel like baking? There's another way to enjoy dessert, and it doesn't require turning on the oven to make something special. All you need is your favorite fruit, some whipped cream, and lemon curd (homemade or store-bought, depending on your preference). Combine the dairy and lemon for a light, bright, and delightful topper that elevates the classic pairing of fresh fruit and whipped cream. 

This simple twist is the perfect choice whether you're in need of an easy pick-me-up for yourself or want something to share with loved ones for a special occasion, and it can even be customized for guests with gluten allergies or for those who are vegan. It also makes for a fun brunch alternative to a breakfast parfait and is well-suited for an afternoon treat served along with coffee or tea.

While the fruit offers a delicately sweet and refreshing base beneath the whipped topping, it's also perfectly balanced between the mild sweetness of the milk and the tartness of the lemon curd. Served in a glass, ramekin, or small bowl, it's both simple and elegant.

How to make and enjoy lemony whipped cream

When preparing this dessert, you can opt to make things easy on yourself and purchase both the whipped cream and the lemon curd pre-made from your local grocery store. Alternatively, if you have some extra time to spend in the kitchen and the patience to wait for the curd to properly set in the refrigerator, you can choose to make everything from scratch for an extra special touch.

Once you have both the lemon curd and the whipped cream ready to use, place them side-by-side in two separate bowls. With a spoon, scoop the lemon curd gently into the whipped cream. You can briefly swirl the curd into the cream as well to create a beautiful marbling effect, especially great if you plan to present your dessert, or you can continue stirring until the cream takes on a soft buttery hue all over. Make sure not to stir too vigorously or your whipping cream will lose its pleasantly airy quality.

Variations on this unique creamy dessert

The simplicity of this lemon whipped cream and fruit combo makes it easy to customize based on preference or desire to play around in the kitchen. Just about any fruit works in this three-part recipe, but the sweetness of berries — such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries — make them especially good companions for lemon curd and whipped cream. 

All kinds of tart fruits make a great curd as well — so if you feel up to preparing one from scratch, you can experiment with other citrus like lime, grapefruit, and blood orange, or even passionfruit, pineapple, or cranberry. For a crunchy finish, top it all with shards of dark chocolate or toasted nuts.

The lemony whipped cream topping is also great on top of pavlova and sponge cakes or piped into cream puffs or doughnuts. If you have any lemon curd leftover, there are plenty of ways to put it to good use as well. It's the perfect filling for pastries, such as homemade pop tarts, but it's also surprisingly tasty in some savory dishes, like roast chicken.