Learn how to make the perfect homemade Lemon Curd Recipe! My easy version makes a tart lemon curd that’s perfect for using as a filling or spread. Recipe includes a how-to video!
When Life Gives You Lemons…
Make lemon curd! Have you ever made your own before? If so, then you already know that it’s so much tastier than the store-bought kind. My homemade lemon curd recipe is bright and sunny, creamy and tart, and completely refreshing. Plus, it’s surprisingly simple to make. So simple, in fact, that you need only five ingredients!
If you’re a lemon lover, chances are you may have already made this recipe. My lemon bars use a sweetened version of today’s recipe for their filling, and it’s a key ingredient in the bright yellow filling of my lemon cake and my lemon frosting.
Why You Should Try Homemade Lemon Curd:
- It cooks in just 10 minutes and is so easy to make!
- The texture is silky smooth (as long as you strain it!).
- It has a fresh, perfectly tart flavor that truly outshines the store-bought stuff.
- It pairs well with so many desserts, from cakes and cupcakes to pavlova.
What You Need
My lemon curd recipe uses only five ingredients for the simplest, easiest, and tastiest results! Here are a few of the key players:
- Egg yolks. If you’d rather not throw your egg whites away, check out the list of egg white recipes I included in the recipe notes.
- Lemon juice. You’ll need fresh squeezed lemon juice for today’s recipe. I find that I usually need about three lemons to get enough juice.
- Lemon zest. Always zest your lemons before you juice them! It’s almost impossible to zest a juiced lemon.
SAM’S TIP: Once you break through the yellow skin of your lemon, the bright white layer underneath is called the pith. The pith is bitter and doesn’t taste very good, so only zest until you reach that point, then stop!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Lemon Curd
- Add the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and salt to a medium saucepan.
- Whisk until everything is combined, then set the heat to low/medium-low and add the remaining ingredients.
- Stir constantly and cook until the mixture is thickened, then pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the curd and allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge for several hours.
SAM’S TIP: Watch your heat! Keep it low, stir constantly, and don’t let your curd come to a boil–you don’t want to end up scrambling your eggs!
Frequently Asked Questions
While I find this lemon curd recipe to be delicious straight from the jar, here are a few (more civilized) options for enjoying:
Add a sunny layer in lemon blueberry cake or petit fours.
Serve it with freshly baked scones.
Use it as a filling in macarons.
Add a dollop to a slice of pound cake or (my favorite) angel food cake.
Fold it with some whipped cream and use it as a filling for cream puffs.
Pair it with crepes, pancakes, or waffles.
Spread it on a warm slice of gingerbread.
Lemon curd may be runny if it isn’t cooked properly, for example if it is cooked too quickly on too high of heat or if it isn’t cooked until thickened as indicated. Keep in mind that the curd will thicken as it cools, so while it still may seem a bit loose as it is cooking, it’ll thicken in the refrigerator. If your curd is still runny after cooling, it may have needed a few more minutes on the stove.
Homemade lemon curd will keep up to two weeks if stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Let me know your favorite way to serve lemon curd in the comments below!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 6 large egg yolks¹
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice² (120ml)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ 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 if a visual is helpful to you). 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.
¹Ways to use leftover egg whitesLooking for a recipe for your leftover egg whites? Here are a few suggestions: ²This took 3 whole lemons for me ³Zest the lemon before squeezing, it’s much easier that way than trying to zest an empty lemon skin. Be sure to avoid the bitter white pith when zesting (don’t grate all the way down to the actual lemon!)
How to StoreKeep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.