This lemon curd is super simple to make and has the perfect balance of tart lemon, sweet and buttery. Swirl it in ice cream, use it as a cake or a pie filling, sandwich it between cookies or layer it in a parfait/trifle.
Why you’ll love this lemon curd
- It’s very quick and simple to make.
- The lemon curd is perfectly sweet, tangy and sharp.
- It can be used on top of or as a filling in countless recipes.
Some of my favorite ways to use lemon curd is to use it as a filling for mini lemon meringue tarts, lemon curd macarons or lemon curd cake, swirl it into brown butter lemon ice cream or on top of lemon poppy seed pie.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sugar: I used granulated sugar to make lemon curd and I don’t recommend reducing it or swapping it.
- Lemon: you’ll need one large lemon or two small ones – we need the juice and zest.
- Eggs: make sure to use room temperature, large eggs.
- Place them in hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold.
- Butter: I like to use salted butter in lemon curd but it really doesn’t matter, unsalted is fine too, I would just add an extra pinch of salt.
Step 1: Zest the lemon in a small nonstick or enameled pot (NOT METAL) and add the sugar. Use your fingers to rub them together for a few minutes. Sugar will draw out the oil from the peel of the lemon which will add extra flavor. I strain out the zest and any chunks at the end when it’s done.
Step 2: Add the lemon juice, eggs and butter to the sugar and zest and place over medium-low heat, whisking continuously.
Step 3: After about five minutes the lemon curd should begin to thicken, whisk aggressively for another 30-60 seconds. Once it’s thick enough to cover the back of the spoon (see photo below), remove it from the heat.
Step 4: Place a sieve on top of a bowl or a jar and press the lemon curd through it to remove any chunks and the lemon zest (discard). Allow to cool or use as desired.
What type of pan to use for lemon curd
This is something I’ve learned from experience that I never want anyone else to do lol. Lemons are very acidic and can react with certain metals, drawing that metallic flavor into the lemon curd. It is INCREDIBLY unpleasant.
If you don’t have one of these, you can make a double boiler (bain marie) using a metal pan and a glass bowl. Just put a cup of water in the metal pan and bring it to a simmer. Then place the glass bowl, with the ingredients inside, on top of the metal saucepan. Proceed with the recipe instructions but it will take longer to cook this way.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use dairy free butter to make lemon curd.
I have not tested an eggless lemon curd but I suppose you could try to replace the eggs with cornstarch and water? I would search for an eggless recipe that’s been tested :).
Yes! I use the same recipe for orange curd and lime curd. I haven’t made it with any other fruits.
How to store lemon curd
Lemon curd can be made in advance if you’re using it in a recipe. It’s probably easiest that way since you’ll likely need it chilled when using it.
Store it airtight in a jar or a bowl with a lid or cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below.
If you make this lemon curd recipe, I’d love it if you left a star rating for me. If it’s less than five stars, please let me know why! 🙂
As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
- 1 small saucepans not metal, use enameled or nonstick
- 1 bowl or jar
- 1 sieve
- 1 grater
- 1 Whisk
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon zest 1 large lemon
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1/4 cup (2oz) freshly-squeezed lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons)
- 3 Tbsp (42g) salted butter softened or melted
- Combine the sugar, eggs, lemon juice & zest, butter and salt in a small nonstick or enameled (NOT metal) saucepan over medium-low heat.*1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest , 1 large egg , 1 large egg yolk, 1/4 cup (2oz) freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 3 Tbsp (42g) salted butter
- Whisk continuously until it thickens, about 5 minutes. The curd should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- While it’s still hot, press the curd through a sieve into another bowl/jar, cover it and allow it to cool completely to room temperature. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.