Lemon Curd is an easy homemade lemon curd recipe that’s luscious, tangy and bursting with lemon flavor. You’ll never buy store bought lemon curd again!
**The photos, recipe and text for this post were updated in April 2018. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.
When life gives me lemons, my mind always runs wild with the different ways to use them up. Lemonade normally isn’t one of them oddly enough, but homemade Lemon Curd is always at the top of the list!
If you’ve made homemade lemon curd, then you know how much better it is than store bought. It simply tastes fresher, and the big bonus is that you can customize it to your tastes.
I find that most lemon curd recipes are too sweet and aren’t lemony enough for me. The lemons should be the star, not sugar or butter.
I absolutely love the tangy lemon flavor in this recipe.
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon Curd is basically a preserve that’s thick and luxurious. The eggs are the thickening agent in the recipe and also give the curd its richness.
The butter gives the curd its creaminess. Most lemon curd recipes include 6 tablespoons of butter but I only like to use half that amount because I want the lemon flavor to shine!
- Fresh lemon juice (or change it up with any fresh citrus juice)
- Lemon zest
The great thing about curd is that you can use any type of citrus. Try my lime curd or substitute with key lime, orange, blood orange or even grapefruit.
How To Make Homemade Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd is very easy to make, but it can be tricky because it involves eggs. The curd should be cooked gently in the top of a double boiler to keep those eggs from curdling.
I don’t own a double boiler so I like to fill a saute pan with water about 2 inches high. Bring to a simmer over medium low, then place a heatproof bowl right in the water. It’s super simple!
Before you get started, set a medium bowl with a fine mesh strainer next to the stove top. Cut the butter into small chunks and grate your lemon zest (I like to use my Microplane for this).
Bring the water to a gentle simmer, then whisk the sugar, eggs and lemon juice together in a heat proof bowl or the top of a double boiler. Stirring constantly, cook the curd until it thickens to the texture of sour cream.
Keep a close eye on the curd…if you start to see bits of egg and it’s not thick enough yet, reduce the heat. Don’t worry, any bits of egg will be strained out. A few tiny bits of egg are normal, but the curd will taste “eggy” if a large amount of egg curdles.
Once finished, place the curd in the fine mesh strainer set over the bowl and strain. Stir in the butter and lemon zest and allow to cool at room temperature. The curd will thicken as it cools.
This lemon curd recipe is tangy, luxurious and pairs beautifully with scones, gingerbread, waffles and pancakes. It’s great for filling pies, tarts, cakes or topping cheesecakes as well.
It’s also great eaten by the spoonful.
Just sayin’. 🙂
Ways to use lemon curd:
Lemon curd tart by Joy of Baking
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons), strained to remove seeds and pulp (I like this juicer)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- Whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, and lemon juice in a stainless steel or heat proof bowl. Place over the top of a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly so the egg doesn't curdle, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of sour cream, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour the curd through a fine strainer placed over a small bowl.
- Add the butter, and stir until completely melted. Stir in the lemon zest. The curd will thicken as it cools.
- Once the curd has cooled, place plastic wrap over the surface of the curd to keep a skin from forming, and store in the refrigerator.
- Serve chilled. The curd will keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Total time above does not include cooling and chilling time.
- Substitute lemons with your favorite citrus! Lime, orange, blood orange, grapefruit and meyer lemons are all wonderful options.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 71Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.