This easy lip-smacking good homemade Lemon Curd takes less than 15 minutes to make. Tart, sweet, and refreshing, it’s the perfect condiment for breakfast pancakes and scones, or use it as filling for cakes and other baked goods, just to name a few.
When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd! If you happen to have a lemon tree or a neighbor with a lemon tree like I do, then you’re in luck. This lemon curd recipe is so easy to make and it adds a little bit of sunshine on just about anything.
What you’ll need
The original recipe requires just 5 ingredients (pictured below), but I’ve since then added just a pinch of salt (not pictured) and a splash of vanilla (not pictured) to enhance the flavor of the lemon curd.
How to make lemon curd
It only takes a few simple steps to make this easy lemon curd. Keep reading for the step by step instructions with process photos.
- Whisk together lemon zest and sugar in a small saucepan. Then add the eggs, lemon juice, and place the saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Add the cubed butter and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking and stirring constantly until the curd thickens, this will take about 6 -7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve for a smoother texture. Stir in a splash of vanilla extract and allow to cool.
Do I need a double boiler?
You do not need a double boiler to make this lemon curd. I’ve made this recipe so many times already just using a saucepan heated directly over a gas stove or an induction cooktop.
- This recipe calls for whole eggs instead of egg yolks which eliminates food waste if you don’t know what to do with your leftover egg whites. However, when using egg whites in making curd, it’s better to cook it low and slow to avoid overcooking the egg white.
- Also, stir the mixture constantly for even cooking so you don’t have localize overcooking of the egg white.
- You’ll want to take the curd off the heat as soon as it thickens to avoid overcooking it, since it can overcook fairly quickly. Check if it coats the back of the spoon, if so, it is ready. If not, you can always put it back on the heat for just a little longer.
- If you end up with little pieces of cooked egg whites in your final product, don’t worry, pressing it through a fine mesh sieve will do the trick to keep your lemon curd smooth and creamy.
How to store it
Store your homemade lemon curd in a clean glass jar or an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 2 weeks.
Can I freeze it?
This lemon curd freezes beautifully and stays creamy when thawed. You can freeze it in an airtight container or jar for up to 6 months. Just thaw at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours before serving or using in a recipe.
Uses for lemon curd
There are seriously endless uses for this refreshing and delicious curd. But here are some ideas:
- Serve it at brunch as topping for pancakes and dutch baby.
- It’s also great for tea time with these lemon blueberry scones or these lemon poppy seed scones.
- Use it as filling for lemon cake, lemon blueberry cake, and these strawberry lemonade cupcakes.
- Spread it on homemade biscuits and croissants.
- Use it as a topping on this mixed berry cake or this strawberry dump cake.
- Stir it into yogurt, cottage cheese, and chia pudding.
Can I make this curd with different citrus?
I haven’t tried it but you absolutely can try it. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
More fruity sauces and spreads
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- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons, 4 g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (184 g)
- ½ cup lemon juice (from about 2 – 3 lemons, 124 g)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 oz unsalted butter (cubed, 57 g)
- A pinch of kosher salt
- A splash of pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together lemon zest and sugar in a small saucepan to release the lemon essential oil.
- Add eggs, lemon juice, and place saucepan over medium low heat, stirring until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Add the cubed butter and a pinch of salt.
- Continue cooking and stirring constantly until the curd thickens, this will take about 6 -7 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve for a smoother texture. Add a splash of vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Allow lemon curd to cool completely and keep refrigerated.
- Salted butter can be used instead of unsalted butter, but omit the salt called for in the recipe.
- Make sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
- This recipe yields about 1 ½ cup of lemon curd.
This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home.
Originally published on 5/14/2018. Updated and republished on 2/11/2021 with a slight tweak to the recipe, extra tips, and a video.
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Nancy J LeClair
I have never made lemon curd before. This was the easiest recipe and most delicious lemon curd i have ever had. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Normally I use my great grandmothers lemon curd recipe which is very labour intensive. I came across this recipe and thought I would give it a try. Oh my goodness am I ever glad I did! It is delicious. And so quick to whip up. I had to stop myself from eating the entire jar. Thank you for this taste of sunshine that takes me back to my childhood!
Thank you Laura! I’m so glad you tried it 🙂
I just made this. It’s awesome! I love the simplicity of this recipe – no tempering eggs, etc. I often shy away from making lemon curd because it’s labour intensive/using multiple bowls. This will be my go-to recipe for lemon curd.
Thanks Carolyn! I’m glad you find it easy!
Hi I am planning to use this recipe for your blueberry lemon cake with meringue frosting so how many egg yolks can I use for this recipe as I am planning to use the whites for the frosting so the yolks won’t be wasted
Pls reply as soon as possible
I think you’ll need 6 egg yolks if you make the full recipe, or you can make half the recipe with the 3 leftover egg yolks from the cake recipe. Or go with the American buttercream frosting for the cake if you don’t want to waste the yolks.
You just can’t go wrong with lemon curd, and this is no exception. Beautifully balanced, and SO smooth after I strained it twice (worth the extra effort)! Just lovely. 🙂
Very delicious! And simple to make! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Glenna, this is a wonderful pairing with the blueberry scones 🙂
Easy and delicious! Perfect lemon flavor.
Thank you Vickie!
Would this lemon curd work between cake layers? Or is it too thin?
Yes this works fine for filling between cake layers, see this lemon blueberry cake for example.
I love anything lemon and this is fantastic!!
Just amazing. Perfectly tangy and so delicious.