The last time I went to the supermarket with my kids who wanted EVERYTHING, they pointed out lemon curd. I started to reach for it and then thought better of it. Because this lemon curd recipe is so simple, so fresh, and so delicious, I definitely don’t need some pre-made store-bought gunk. When I make lemon curd, my husband and kids want to put it on everything. Make extra because it will go lightning-quick with the plethora of lemon curd uses!
Best Lemon Curd Recipe
Lemon curd is delicious, no doubt about it. But making it yourself is better than anything you’ve ever had. Trust me here, once you make it, you’ll find any excuse to make it again and again!
Lemon Curd Ingredients
- Fresh lemon juice – Please squeeze it yourself from real lemons.
- Lemon zest – Also, you’ll need real lemons so you can zest them
- Granulated sugar – Brings out the sweetness.
- Salt – Balances that sweetness.
- Egg yolks – Helps give it that gorgeous texture.
- Butter – Use unsalted and make sure it comes to room temperature first.
Easy Lemon Curd Recipe
Lemon curd is easy because it requires only a few simple ingredients. And it takes no time at all to prep and cook. The cooling time requires patience but it’s so worth it!
When life gives you lemons…make lemon curd!
How do you Make Lemon Curd from Scratch?
You want to place a saucepan of simmering water over medium/medium-low heat and put a heatproof bowl on top of that for a double-broiler effect. Put the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt into the heatproof bowl, whisking until thoroughly blended. Keep whisking constantly to keep the yolks from curdling, until the mixture thickens and is like hollandaise sauce in consistency, roughly 10 to 12 minutes. Then take it from the heat. Cut the butter into pieces and whisk it into your lemon curd, then pour it into a glass jar or bowl, add plastic wrap that touches the curd on top and let it cool completely before serving.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Lemon Curd Every Time
- Just keep whisking. This keeps it creamy and prevents the eggs from turning curdy.
- Avoid boiling. It’s so important to be vigilant here or you’ll have curdled curd which is no good.
- Be patient. Think of it as an arm workout, but your persistence in whisking until it thickens properly will pay off.
- See if you need more sugar. Depending on your lemons, your curd may be too tart for your tastes. You can adjust with more sugar if desired.
What is lemon curd made of?
Lemon curd is made of fresh lemon juice and zest, granulated sugar, egg yolks, butter, and salt.
Is lemon curd the same as lemon jam?
No, it’s different because jams and jellies are made by cooking down the whole fruits with sugar while curd is made just with the juices of the fruit plus egg yolks.
Can you buy lemon curd at the grocery store?
Of course you can buy it at the store! However, it is easy to make at home and tastes better because you’re making it without preservatives.
What can I substitute for lemon curd?
Lemon pie filling can be subbed in for lemon curd in a recipe. But if you have the ingredients to make lemon curd, I recommend making it.
How to Cook Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is cooked on the stovetop using a double-broiler method.
Can I mix egg yolk with curd?
Egg yolks are what you use to make lemon curd, so yes, mix them well and keep whisking them to avoid them curdling.
Why is my lemon curd not thickening?
You may not have cooked it long enough. It takes patience to do this and you should also make sure the temperature is medium too to be hot enough to cook it. Doing this should thicken it up. Plus, it thickens as it cools.
How do I make lemon curd set?
Lemon curd needs to cool properly. At that point, it will set beautifully.
What goes well with Lemon Curd?
There are many wonderful lemon curd uses. Lemon curd is amazing with crepes, pancakes, muffins, in pastries, for lemon bars, in breakfast breads, and other breakfast and dessert formats too.
How to Store Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd will need to be refrigerated. You should keep it in an airtight container to prevent spoiling.
How long does lemon curd last?
In the fridge, lemon curd can keep for up to 4 weeks. If you want to keep it longer, the freezer is best.
Can you freeze lemon curd?
Yes, and the best part? You can freeze it for up to a year. I had a nice stash going for a while until I did some baking recently. Now I will need to make more!
How to Reheat Lemon Curd?
I don’t recommend reheating it but you can let it thaw in your fridge overnight if frozen and then it will be the right consistency for use. If you’d like it less chilled, you can let it sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before spreading it on toast or whatever you like.
Watch How To Make Lemon Curd (Video)
Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)
- Create a double boiler by place a saucepan of simmering water over medium to medium-low heat and placing a heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan. Add the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, juice, and salt into your heatproof bowl and whisk until thoroughly blended. Make sure to constantly whisk to prevent the yolks from curdling. Whisk until the mixture thickens to about the viscosity of a hollandaise sauce, about 10-12 minutes. Once the mixture has reached the desired thickness, remove from the heat.
- Cut the room temperature butter into pieces and whisk into the curd. Pour the curd into a glass jar or bowl and place a single layer of plastic cling wrap so that is touches the top of the curd. Allow the curd to cool completely before serving.
More lemon curd recipes:
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