Homemade Lemon Curd
Easy recipe for homemade lemon curd! Whip up this classic filling in just a few minutes. The tangy citrus flavor & buttery richness will wow you!
*This post originally published on April 1, 2016. I thought it was due for an update, so I’ve added a step-by-step picture tutorial and answers to some frequently asked questions. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this lemon curd recipe as much as I do!*
Summer is finally here!
Is it warm and sunshine-y where you are? It is here, and I am LOVING it!
All I want to do is make treats that are bright and refreshing and that I don’t have to turn the oven on for, lol!
I’ve got a nice collection of no-bake dessert recipes here on Baking a Moment. Be sure to check out my easy chocolate mousse recipe, peanut butter fudge, and bananas Foster, just for starters!
But today, it’s all about lemon curd.
This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes ever. I love making it, and I love eating it! It feels kind of special and fancy, but it is dead easy to make.
And the result is so incredibly bright and citrus-y, with a buttery richness that lingers on your tongue, carrying all that tangy, floral lemon flavor with it. It’s truly a special treat, and I think you’ll just love it!
WHAT IS LEMON CURD?
Lemon curd is a simple and classic topping, made from eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and butter. It’s got a creamy, satin-y texture, and it can be enjoyed in all sorts of different ways.
WHAT DOES LEMON CURD TASTE LIKE?
The predominant flavor in this lemon curd recipe is LEMON. It is bright and tangy and zippy tasting, with a rich, buttery mouthfeel that is just so scrumptious.
WHAT TO USE IT FOR
Lemon curd can be served at breakfast, brunch, or for dessert.
I especially love it spread over scones and muffins. It adds something so special to a simple breakfast or brunch.
It also works really well as a filling. Try sandwiching it between the layers of this white cake. Or spoon it into a tart crust and top it with whipped cream or fresh berries.
You could also dollop it over slices of bundt cake, like this angel food cake or this velvety pound cake.
And I really love to give little jars of lemon curd as a gift or party favor. It’s so thoughtful to give a homemade gift!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE LEMON CURD
You are going to love how easy this is to make. It’s basically just a dump and stir situation, with a little bit of heat added to tighten things up.
Start by whisking your eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice together, in a big bowl.
Place the bowl over a little pot of simmering water, and add the butter.
You just want to gently cook this mixture, while whisking, until it starts to become thick. This should happen when it gets to be just below a simmer, or if you want to get real specific, at around 170 degrees F.
At first, the butter will still be in little chunks, but it will slowly start to melt. Then, it will seem really runny. But after a little while, you’ll feel it start to thicken to a consistency that’s similar to yogurt, and you’ll see your whisk leaving tracks.
It’s go time!
Pour the hot lemon curd through a strainer and into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process.
Then, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill it in the fridge.
Lemon curd will continue to become thicker as it cools.
CAN IT BE MADE IN THE MICROWAVE?
You can absolutely make this lemon curd recipe in the microwave. I know it seems crazy, but it works!
Just be sure to cook it S-L-O-W-L-Y, so the eggs don’t scramble. I would recommend heating it in 15-second intervals, whisking after each, until you see that whisk leaving tracks. Then just continue on with the recipe from there!
IS LEMON CURD HEALTHY?
Everyone has their own definition of what “healthy” means, but I can tell you that this recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian. However, it is not vegan as it does contain eggs and dairy.
You can find lots more specific information in the nutritional label within the recipe card below.
TROUBLESHOOTING: WHY IS MY LEMON CURD RUNNY?
If you’ve been cooking your lemon curd for a long time, and it just won’t thicken up, try turning the heat up on your stove just a little bit.
It basically just needs to reach that magic temperature to become glossy and thick. But you don’t want to rush it too much or else the eggs can scramble. So keep the heat on the low side, and keep whisking, non-stop!
Also, keep in mind that it will continue to become thicker as it cools.
CAN THIS BE MADE AHEAD?
Lemon curd is a great make-ahead treat!
I love packaging it up in little mason jars. If you’d like to buy the tulip-shaped jars I have used in these pics, click here: Mini Tulip Jars.
You could also can it in regular mason jars, and then it can be stored in your cupboard at room temperature. Be sure to use sterilized jars, leave a 1/2-inch headspace, wipe the rims of the jars with a clean towel, and apply the lids. Then submerge them in boiling water for 20 minutes, allow them to cool, and check the seals.
For more info on how to preserve/can, read this post: Strawberry Jam.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST
If you process the jars as noted above, lemon curd will keep (unopened) at room temperature for 3 to 4 months.
Once opened (or if it hasn’t been canned), lemon curd should be kept in the refrigerator. It will last there for up to 4 weeks.
A FEW MORE OF MY FAVORITE LEMON RECIPES:
As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Homemade Lemon Curd
- 3 (132 g) eggs, (large)
- 3 (54 g) egg yolks, (large)
- 1/2 cup (118.29 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (122 g) lemon juice , (juice of 2 lemons)
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, (1 stick), cut into small pieces
- Place the eggs, yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and add the butter.
- Cook, whisking continuously, until thickened. (The mixture should be about the consistency of yogurt. It will continue to thicken as it cools.)
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a heat-safe bowl, and pour the mixture through.
- Press waxed paper or plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate.
Happy Friday everyone! Before I dive into the post I just want to ask a quick favor. I’ve got a chance to be on the Today Show!
They’re looking for fresh culinary talent and I’ve tossed my hat into the ring. As you probably already know, I’ve done a bunch of appearances on my local Fox station, and this is my chance to take it to the next level! Do I have the chops to be on national tv? I sure hope so! You can help me get there by voting me up. Just click here to see my entry page, and right at the top left corner there’s a little speech bubble. Just click it to cast your vote! I’m so grateful for it!
And now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the good stuff.
Lemon curd, baby. Am I right? Is it not like the best thing ever? I love it so much, I don’t know what’s wrong with me that it’s taken this long to finally post a recipe.
If you’ve never had it before, boy are you in for a treat. So lemony, so bright, and zingy. It’s perfect on scones or biscuits, layered in a trifle or tart, or even just eaten straight from the jar with a spoon. I may or may not have done that. A few times. Ok a lot!
The best thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is the richness. It’s got the most incredible satiny texture. The butteriness lingers on your tongue, carrying with it all that floral, citrusy flavor. It’s to-die-for! I just can’t get enough of this stuff!
The second best thing about it is how easy it is to make. It’s basically a dump and stir situation, with a little bit of heat added to tighten things up. Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water. Whisk it every now and then, until all the butter melts and it gets hot. You’ll notice it gets thicker, almost the consistency of yogurt. It will thicken even more as it cools in the fridge.
You will love having a jar of this around. Especially at this time of year, when fresh berries are coming into season. There’s just so many things you can do with it. I’ll be showing you several over the coming weeks.
And definitely think about gifting a jar or two. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive a delicious homemade treat like this!?
Thanks again for voting, guys! I owe ya big!
I’ve searched the recipe and the comments and can’t find the serving size. It makes 16 ounces but how many servings? I’m thinking maybe a tablespoon is one serving! Thanks!
Great question and my apologies for the confusion. A serving size is 1 ounce.
I’ve many this recipe several times and it was always an absolute hit!
I want to make it again now but I’d like a more subtle lemon flavor. Would it work to sub water for half the lemon juice?
Meaning to do 1/4 lemon juice and 1/4 cup water – would that work?
I halved this recipe to test it.
1/4 cup sugar.
1/4 cup salted butter sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice from a bottle
1 tsp lemon extract
Whisked it for 15-20 minutes on medium low heat until it started to turn yellow & thicken looking like sour cream consistency.
Then I took it off the heat added the lemon extract, strained it into a little wide mouth 1 cup or 8 ounce diamond cut mason jar, so cute!!!!!!
Then I chilled it covered for an hour.
Such a yummy quickly made lemon curd.
I greatly suggest adding lemon extract into the warm strained curd, it made this curd taste like restaurant quality lemon curd!!!!!!!
I made this lemon curd to put on top of a lemon cheesecake. I tried the lemon curd before putting it in the fridge and it’s very delicious. It’s my first time making it and it was a very easy recipe to follow. Thanks 🤗
Did it today, and it is soooo good.
Want to do a little jar as a little give away to my Christmas presents – so I should do it just some days before I give them to my friends, right?
Is it OK if it is not in the fridge for some days (until they open it for Christmas?) – should I put it into small jars when the Lemon Curd is still hot or let all of it cool down to put it then in several small jars?
Thank you for helping me.
It is SO delicious!!
So glad to hear that! Unless you are processing the jars in boiling water, this will need to be kept cold. Good luck!
I just finished making your lemon curd! Your recipe is spot on, I watched your video and did everything just as you did! I tasted it before I put in fridge and it is so creamy and good I could have eaten it all right then!! However I am making your coconut cake tomorrow for my sisters birthday, she adores lemon and coconut I know she will love it! Will let you know!!
That sounds wonderful! Lemon and coconut are such a nice combination. So glad you were pleased with the recipe, and I hope you and your sister both enjoy!
Love licking the lemon in bought tarts so can’t wait to make my own. How many jars does this make is it only one because I don’t see anything in your recipe stating how much this recipe makes. Thank
It makes 16 ounces, it says it right above the list of ingredients. Hope you have fun and enjoy!
Is orange curd made in the same way by adding orange juice instead of lemon??
Yes absolutely! You could use lime juice too, for lime curd!
Is there a problem if the lemon curd is kept without straining??.
It just might not be as smooth. Sometimes if the eggs don’t cook perfectly evenly, you might get some lumps.
Do you find you get this lemony enough without the addition of lemon zest? I can’t wait to try this!
Yes it’s quite lemon-y, with or without the zest! Hope you enjoy!
What kind of jar is that and where did you find it?
There’s a link to purchase the jars online- just above the recipe card.