The joy of homemade Lemon Curd is unmatched - it's a delicious, sweet-tart delight that instantly perks up any dessert.
It’s a simple mix of eggs, lemon, and butter you can whip up in no time.
What Is Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is a type of spread or topping typically made from fresh lemons, sugar, egg yolks, and butter.
The ingredients are cooked together until they form a thick, creamy, and custard-like consistency. The result is a sweet, tangy condiment with a bright, citrus flavor.
Why This Lemon Curd Recipe Works
SIMPLE INGREDIENTS - Only a handful of everyday ingredients are needed.
QUICK TO MAKE - Ready in about 10 minutes; it's faster than a trip to the store.
VERSATILE - Perfect in everything from lemon bars to a layer cake or even just on toast.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
EGGS - They thicken the curd, giving it a silky texture.
LEMONS - It gives the curd its zing and unmistakable lemony flavor. We'll use both the juice and the zest.
QUESTION: Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice?
Fresh lemon juice is recommended for the best flavor in lemon curd. Bottled juice may have added preservatives or chemicals that can affect the taste and texture of the curd.
BUTTER - It makes the curd rich and creamy. I recommend using unsalted butter.
SUGAR - It balances the tartness of the lemon.
How To Make Lemon Curd
Please check the printable recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a heatproof bowl.
- Set the bowl on a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the water doesn't touch the bowl.
- Cook and whisk continuously, adding butter gradually until the mix thickens.
Optional: Use a fine mesh strainer to remove any zest and lumps.
- Cool to room temperature, transfer to a container, and refrigerate until use.
Recipe Success Tips
USE FRESH LEMONS - Look for seedless lemons if you can find them. Also, because you are zesting the lemons, I recommend choosing organic ones. But no matter if you are choosing conventional or organic lemons, make sure to wash them thoroughly. I keep this veggie wash always in my kitchen.
KEEP STIRRING - Stir constantly while cooking to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
COOL COMPLETELY - Let the curd cool completely before using it in desserts.
Homemade Lemon Curd is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways:
PANCAKE OR WAFFLE TOPPING - Swap your maple syrup for lemon curd to give your pancakes or waffles a refreshing, zesty flavor. And, of course, you can serve it over crepes, too.
MERINGUE PIE - A classic dessert that features a layer of lemon curd topped with fluffy meringue.
ICE CREAM TOPPING - Scoop a dollop of lemon curd onto your favorite ice cream for an added burst of citrus sweetness that balances the rich creaminess. Top with some fresh strawberries or blueberries, and you've got yourself a heavenly summer dessert.
CHEESECAKE SWIRL - Swirl some lemon curd into your cheesecake batter before baking for a tangy surprise.
CAKE FILLING - Lemon curd is a fantastic filling for cakes, especially between fluffy vanilla or coconut cake layers.
TART FILLING - Classic lemon tart is a popular dessert that uses lemon curd as the main filling.
PARFAIT LAYERING - Alternate layers of lemon curd with granola and Greek yogurt to make a delicious parfait.
STORE - Keep in an airtight container in the fridge, with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent skin from forming.
Make sure to use clean utensils when scooping out the curd to prevent introducing bacteria that could cause it to spoil faster.
Homemade Lemon Curd can last for up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
FREEZE - Homemade lemon curd can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. It's best to divide it into small portions before freezing, so you can defrost only what you need at a time.
Once defrosted, it should be used within two days and should not be refrozen.
REHEAT - Thaw in the fridge overnight and give a good stir before using.
More Delicious Sweet And Tart Lemon Dessert Recipes
LEMON CHEESECAKE - Delight your guests with this creamy dessert that's bursting with tangy lemon flavor!
EASY LEMON ICEBOX PIE - This no-bake pie, full of citrusy sweetness, is the perfect, refreshing dessert for warm days.
GLAZED LEMON SPONGE CAKE - Enjoy a piece of this light and fluffy cake with a zesty glaze that's sure to brighten up any day.
LEMON DUMP CAKE - With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you'll have a deliciously sweet tart treat that the whole family will love!
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- Whisk eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Add the lemon juice and zest, and mix well.
- Set up a double boiler: Fill a saucepan with about 1 inch of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water.
- Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Start adding the butter a few pieces at a time, whisking continuously until each batch of butter has melted before adding the next.
- Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
- Once the mixture has thickened, remove the bowl from the heat. If you want a super smooth curd, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove the lemon zest and any bits of cooked egg.
- Let the lemon curd cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. It will continue to thicken as it cools.