The best lemon curd is the one you make yourself. It's sweet and tart all at the same time. I love it on toast, scones, pancakes, quick breads, cupcakes, ice cream or many of my other favorite desserts. I'm excited to show you how to make lemon curd. This easy recipe is made with just five ingredients and about 15 minutes of time.
I guarantee that once you make this homemade lemon curd you won't be tempted to pick up a jar at the store again because it's so easy and tastes even better! You only need five simple ingredients: Fresh lemons, lemon zest, butter, sugar, egg yolks. It’s smooth, creamy in texture with a bright, sweet flavor perfect for using in desserts or simply spreading on a biscuit for breakfast.
What Is Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd is a sweet and tangy spread. It's the perfect addition to any dessert, but it can also be used as a topping for toast or even in yogurt! The main ingredient of this lemon curd recipe is lemons, which are mixed with butter, sugar, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Then cook until thick enough. This dessert is best served chilled from the fridge.
If you are like me, you've been waiting all day for that dessert and now it's time to enjoy. You dish out a bowl of creamy, sweet goodness with just the right amount of tartness from your favorite lemons. I am such a lemon lover and this curd is just a perfect snack for me. The butter, sugar and egg yolks make this tangy treat even more perfect as they melt on your tongue.
What Do You Need To Make This Recipe?
Lemons - Use good quality, fresh lemons. No bottled lemon juice for this recipe. Since we are using the zest I usually go with organic. If that's a budget bust, just be sure to wash the lemon well.
Egg Yolks - These are used to thicken the curd. Once you separate the eggs, you can freeze the whites and use later for other recipes.
Butter - This also helps to thicken the curd. It gives it a great texture and loads of flavor.
Sugar - Only use white granulated sugar. Anything else will not give you the desired outcome.
How to Make The Lemon Curd
- In a small to medium saucepan add ½ butter, ½ sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a light boil over medium low heat, you want it to just start bubbling.
- In a second bowl mix ½ sugar and egg yolks.
- We are going to temper the eggs. Tempering eggs is simply a process of slowly warming the eggs before introducing them to your recipe so they mix smoothly. Pour ⅓ of the saucepan ingredients into the egg yolk and sugar combination. Whisk until incorporated.
- Pour all that back into the saucepan. Bring to a light boil again. When the curd is thick enough you should be able to run your finger down the back of a spoon and it holds.
- Add the remaining ½ butter and stir.
- Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator.
Steps to Tempering Eggs
Tempering eggs is very easy and with just a tiny bit of work you will have the perfect base for your curd. The goal of this is to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them.
- Bring your liquid to a boil
- Whisk the eggs and sugar in a second bowl
- Slowly add the hot liquid to the eggs a little bit at a time and whisk consistently
Pro Tips For Making the Lemon Curd
- Always strain your lemon curd.
- Because we are not using a double boiler for the recipe keep the heat low and be patient. You don't want to scramble the eggs.
- Don't stop whisking until you take it off the heat.
- Once you transfer the lemon curd to a bowl, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd. This keeps a skin from forming.
- Don't use bottled lemon juice. It will just ruin the tangy citrus flavors.
- Egg yolks are what gives the curd richness, skip the whites.
Did you know that California and Arizona produces most of the United States lemon crops. When I lived in California I had 4 lemon trees. My neighbors loved me!
The most common types of lemons are the Meyer lemons, Eureka lemons, and Lisbon lemons.
You can find more lemon facts from That's It Fruit. I love knowing this kind of information about my favorite foods.
Did you cook it long enough? It should come to a boil, coat the back of a spoon and thicken. Then let it cool, it will thicken up more in the cooling process.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will last for almost two weeks.
Yes you can, lemon curd freezes! I freeze it in an airtight container like a plastic jar and when I'm ready to use it, it take it out and put in the refrigerator over night. You can keep this in the freezer for up to three months.
This is an easy fix. Once you have let it cool and determined it is still too thin, warm it back up over low heat and add a small amount of cornstarch slurry. (Cornstarch and cold water mixed together) Continue cooking until it thickens up.
Looking For More Recipes?
How To Make Lemon Curd
- 149 grams Unsalted Butter
- 128 grams Sugar
- 135 mL Lemon Juice
- 9 grams Lemon Zest
- 128 grams Egg Yolks (About 7 eggs)
- Combine 75 grams of the butter, 64 grams of the sugar, the lemon zest and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir gently to dissolve the sugar.
- In a bowl combine egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Temper by slowly adding about ⅓ of the lemon juice mixture. Stirring constantly with a whisk. Return the tempered egg mixture back to the saucepan. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until mixture returns to a boil.
- Stir in the remaining butter until the butter melts.
- Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the curd.
- Store the curd, covered in the refrigerator.
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