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Easy Lemon Curd Recipe

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

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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 lemon curd for years and decided I finally needed to share it with you.

Normally, other than when I’m eating lemon desserts, I’m not a yellow fan…until now. Did anyone else watch the ME video by Taylor Swift when it debuted last week? I did; I watched it about 10 times that night. #TaylorSwiftAddict When she started dancing in the street in a yellow pantsuit I kind of wanted to call Express and see if they sold them. I’m not going to lie: I’m a 40-something Taylor Swift fan. Not only do I love her, but I love her music, and I want her marketing team.

So now, every time I look at these photos, I think about Taylor Swift. The flavor of this lemon curd isn’t the only thing that makes me happy! 🙂

If you’ve never made homemade lemon curd, you should. It’s so much tastier than the kind from the jar. Plus, store-bought lemon curd 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

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.

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.

What ingredients do you need to make lemon curd?

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.

How does lemon 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’s like making a custard, but instead you’re making curd. I like to think of lemon curd 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 do you cook 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 lemon curd using a fine mesh strainer. It takes out any lumps or chunks and gives a nice silky lemon curd.

The butter is added after straining so that it gets nice and glossy and rich.

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

Lemon curd will last about 1 week in the refrigerator, if stored properly.

How to make easy lemon curd

A common question I get when people make my lime and lemon curd recipes is that the curd didn’t set. This could happen for a few reasons:

  • 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.

What is lemon curd used for?

There are so many ways to use lemon curd! 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 that use lemon curd:

I know you could have chosen to use Martha Stewart’s lemon curd recipe or even Alton Brown’s but I’m delighted you’re here to use Dorothy Kern’s. Because I really do think it’s the BEST lemon curd ever!

And I’m not biased at all.

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lemon curd in jar with spoon
5 from 2 votes
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Servings: 16 servings

Easy Lemon Curd

Prep Time:
3 mins
Cook Time:
7 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
This easy lemon curd recipe is perfect for breakfast or dessert! It's easy and comes together in under 10 minutes.

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from heat and pour into jar(s). Makes just shy of 2 cups.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: curd, lemon

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 serving) — Calories: 74, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 12mg, Potassium: 19mg, Carbohydrates: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 1g, Vitamin A: 130%, Vitamin C: 3%, Calcium: 5%, Iron: 0.1%

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

I use lemon in so many recipes:

Lemon Cake Roll

Lemon No Bake Dessert

pan of lemon dessert

Lemon Tarts

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6 comments

  1. How long will it last? Store in refrigerator and covered?

    • The text above the lemon curd photo says,
      “LEMON CURD WILL LAST ABOUT 1 WEEK IN THE REFRIGERATOR, IF STORED PROPERLY.”
      (it’s all in caps)

  2. Can you make this with Stevia or an artificial sweetener? Will it change how it sets?

  3. I am definitely going to make this recipe as it looks delicious and seems easy to make. Don’t apologize for being a Taylor Swift fan as i too am a 68 year old fan of her and her music

  4. I made this today and it was delicious, thanks for posting the recipe!  

  5. Once the lemon curd is finished cooking, and is in a jar, do I have to leave it out to cool first and then refrigerate it, if im not using it right away?

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