Easy Lemon Curd Recipe

4.78 from 18 votes
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My easy Lemon Curd recipe is the perfect easy curd! Just a few ingredients and you can make it from scratch. It tastes so much better than from the store.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s always silky smooth and perfectly tart and sweet.

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lemon curd in jar with spoon

I am in love with lemon curd and lemon all the things! I’ve been making this homemade curd for years and decided I finally needed to share it with you.

If you’ve never made homemade lemon curd, you should. It’s so much tastier than the kind from the jar. Plus, store-bought is sometimes hard to find and it’s expensive.

Lemon Curd is a simple recipe made with just a few ingredients and it goes great on toast, in fillings for desserts, or on a spoon.

lemon curd in jar

This is my go-to recipe!

Now, if you’ve been around these parts for awhile, you’ll know I have a lime curd recipe on this site. I made that years ago when I made my Key Lime Cheesecake and Lime Curd Pie. Every time a reader asks me for lemon curd, I just point them in that direction and tell them to substitute lemons…and basically that’s what I’m doing in this recipe.

I wanted to make this a new recipe post all on it’s own so that when I make lemon desserts that use lemon curd I can link straight to this one without any disclaimers. You can use this curd to make things like lemon tarts or fillings for lemon cupcakes or lemon pastry.

Ingredients

All lemon curd recipes are basically similar, with similar ingredients. However, my lemon curd recipe has one big difference:

 I use whole eggs.

Most recipes for lemon curd that you see will call for just egg yolks. I hate using yolks and not whites because I always forget to use the whites for something. They end up going to waste which kills me because eggs aren’t cheap. So I developed a lemon curd recipe with whole eggs to eliminate waste.

Not very many! Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Butter

That’s it! Sometimes I add a pinch of salt as well, especially since I use unsalted butter.

It’s like making a custard, but instead you’re making curd. I like to think of this as a cross between jam and lemon custard. It’s got a consistency that’s between the two and a flavor that’s unparalleled.

How to make lemon curd

I do it in a saucepan, right on the stove. It’s really important that you whisk all the ingredients together first, before turning it onto the heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble! Then, like when you’re making pudding or a cream sauce, you cook and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. It’ll bubble and coat the back of a spoon and that’s how you know it’s done.

Now, because we are using whole eggs, we have to make sure that none of the egg whites cooked. This is why I always strain my curd using a fine mesh strainer. It takes out any lumps or chunks and gives a nice silky lemon curd.

Always strain your curd so it stays silky smooth!

PRO TIP

At this point, the curd is a bit thin but don’t worry: it will thicken as it cools.

How to make easy lemon curd

Commonly asked questions

My curd didn’t set, what happened?

Did you cook it long enough? It should boil and coat the back of a spoon and be very thick. Let it cool. Once it cools and chills it will thicken. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice so the pectin can work its magic.

How does curd thicken?

Lemon curd thickens because of the eggs and the natural pectin in the fresh lemon juice. That’s why it’s important to use fresh lemon juice! It thickens more as it cools as well.

How do you store it?

Store this in a jar or other airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze lemon curd?

Yes you can! I like freezing it in plastic containers. Just thaw in the refrigerator.

Lemon Curd Uses

There are so many ways to use this recipe! Besides putting it on toast or eating it with a spoon, you can use it anywhere you’d use jam or pudding. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use this in:

Easy Lemon Curd

This easy lemon curd recipe is perfect for breakfast or dessert! It’s easy and comes together in under 10 minutes.
4.78 from 18 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter diced

Instructions

  • Place eggs, sugar, salt, juice, and zest in a medium saucepan. Do not put it over the heat yet. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  • Place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Turn all the way to low and add the butter. Stir until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and pour into jar(s). Makes just shy of 2 cups.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword curd, lemon

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35 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. I’m usually not a lemon curd fan, and I pretty much only like Meyer lemons because they are not so tart … but your recipe has converted me! OH MY GOODNESS!!! I will never buy or make another lemon curd other than yours! Thank you! I can’t wait to try your lime curd with my key limes.

  2. I’ve made this recipe 3 times, twice with limes, and once with lemons. All three times, my curd came out perfect! I can’t wait to try it with blood oranges next. Fantastic recipe, I highly recommended it.

  3. I don’t know what happened but I had to up the temp and cook it almost twice as long to get it to thicken up. Once it thickened, it turned out great.This was my first attempt at making curd so I was a bit nervous but it was a lot easier than I expected. I will definitely use this recipe again. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This lemon curd is delicious! I also had little bits of egg white in my curd and strained as noted in your commentary. Would definitely add it as a required step in the recipe. My husband loves lemon, will certainly be making this again.

  5. Made lemon curd smells and tastes great but I had bits of egg floating in it.
    So I strained it now it is smooth. Did I do something incorrectly?
    Using for your triple lemon cupcakes.

    1. Sometimes that happens if the eggs aren’t whisked in enough (you know those pieces of egg white that just don’t want to mix in). Straining it is just fine – I often do that anyway!

  6. I love lemons. Use to eat them with salt. I will make lemon curd for my crispy almost fried chicken. Thank You