How to make the perfect homemade Lemon Curd Recipe! This recipe makes a tart (easy!) lemon curd that’s perfect for using as a filling or spread! Recipe includes a step-by-step how-to video!
When Life Gives You Lemons…
Make Lemon Curd!
Have you ever made homemade lemon curd before? Bright and sunny, creamy and tart, lemon curd is a refreshing treat that’s surprisingly simple to make. You need only 5 ingredients: lemons, eggs, sugar, salt, and butter.
For years, whenever I needed lemon curd I would buy it from the store (I used store-bought in my Lemon Blueberry Tarts and in my Strawberry Lemon Layer Angel Food Cake). The reality is, it’s easy. If you can squeeze a lemon, you can make lemon curd. Below I walk you through all the tips and tricks to make sure yours comes out perfectly every time, and I even made a short and simple video (just below the recipe).
How Long is Homemade Lemon Curd Good For?
Homemade Lemon Curd will keep for up to two weeks if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
What is Lemon Curd Used For?
If you’re anything like me, it’s for eating right out of the jar. However, lemon curd typically is not meant to be enjoyed alone, it’s just too tart! Here are a few other options:
- Spreading over freshly baked Scones.
- As a filling for Vanilla Cupcakes or cake.
- Served on the side along with a slice of Pound Cake or (my favorite) Angel Food Cake.
- A tart filling for Cream Puffs — I recommend folding the lemon curd with some whipped cream so the filling isn’t too pucker-inducing.
- Topping off a stack of Buttermilk Pancakes or Blueberry Pancakes.
- With a warm slice of Gingerbread. I’ve never tried Lemon Curd with Gingerbread myself, but every holiday season I get so many comments from people telling me how wonderful the two are together!
What do you do with your lemon curd?
Tips for Making Lemon Curd
- When zesting your lemon, make sure to avoid the white “pith”. Essentially, you want to zest the yellow part only. Once you break through that, the white layer between the yellow skin and the lemon fruit is the pith. The pith is bitter and doesn’t taste very good, you don’t want it in your lemon curd!
- I always use a thermometer to test that my lemon curd reaches at least 160F before it finishes cooking. Because we’re using egg yolks, you want them to reach at least 160F so that they are safe to consume.
- Watch the heat! Keep your heat low and stir constantly and don’t let it the lemon curd come to a boil! You don’t want to end up cooking your eggs, nobody wants bits of scrambled eggs in their lemon curd!
- For best results and a smooth lemon curd, pour through a fine mesh strainer before serving. This will filter out the zest (you don’t need it once the curd has finished cooking) and give you a perfectly smooth curd.
Tools I Used to Make Lemon Curd (affiliate links):
Be sure to check out the How to Make Lemon Curd video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 6 large egg yolks¹
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice² 120ml
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150g
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces (113g)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest³
- Combine eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk until well-combined. Transfer to stovetop over low/medium-low heat and add butter and lemon zest.
- Cook, stirring constantly (do not let the curd boil) until thickened and it coats the back of a spoon (see video below for visual). I also like to use an instant read thermometer to check that the curd reaches 160F (to ensure eggs are cooked all the way through).
- Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the lemon curd to avoid a skin forming. Allow to cool to room temperature for 20-30 minutes then transfer to the refrigerator or divide into serving jars. Chill for several hours then use as desired.
How to StoreThis homemade Lemon Curd will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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