Lemon Curd

Our Thoughts:

Lemon curd is so unbelievably good, so decadent, that you will not believe us when we tell you that it’s also easy to make yourself. But give this recipe a try, and you’ll not resort to buying the overpriced jar at the market ever again.

This makes a wonderful topping for any of our various lemoncake recipes, a classic accompaniment to scones and tea, or eaten directly off a spoon.

Lemon Curd Recipe

prep: 5 minutes       cooking: 15 minutes


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl andwhisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup.

Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water). Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon.

Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Transfer to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

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17 Responses to Lemon Curd

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Lemon curd is wonderful and has many uses. I just wish I had the guts to can so it would last longer. :)

  2. Do you know if this can be canned at home and kept safely unrefrigerated? It’s very citrusy, obviously, so my instinct would be yes, but my instinct might give someone botulism. haha

    • A_Boleyn says:

      It probably can though the instructions I have are for refrigerating the jars for 4-6 weeks. I’m just too chicken to try. :)

      Jar Instructions – cut from a post found on the net

      Wash the jars well and sterlize. I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water. Shake as much water from the jars as possible before filling. Alternatively put the jars in an oven set to 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Be careful to put them on a dry surface when removing or they could crack. Shake as much water from the lids as possible before filling. I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on.

      Once the jars are filled and the lids well screwed on, invert them to improve the heat seal. Turn the jars the right way up once they are cool.

      Pour into the prepared jars, cover and label. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4-6 weeks.

  3. nyxmyst says:

    According to what Ive found you can freeze home made lemon curd for up to a year without issues. That might be a better option than canning in this case.

    • A_Boleyn says:

      I’ve frozen my home made lemon curd in a small (1 cup) freezer safe container and > 2month later when I thawed it, I found that curd needed to be stirred thoroughly to re-incorporate the water that had leeched out and the resulting thawed curd wasn’t as thick as at start.

  4. This is a great idea for a blog! Love it!

  5. Chris says:

    My mother used to make this regularly when I was growing up. Her recipe was thicker, like jelly, but it was just as good.

  6. Luap says:

    I’ve been using this exact recipe for years. Doubled, it makes the best lemon meringue pie you’ve ever had!!
    It works wonderfully with limes as well.

    Keep up the good work!! I truly love reading the recipes y’all come up with to match the books!!!

  7. aeflinn says:

    That curd looks much too thin to me, more like lemon sauce. The stuff I make is very spreadable and thick, but I believe it uses the exact same ratio of ingredients. Must be the different cooking method. I cook mine much longer than 8 minutes, probably 20-30 mins, or until it reaches 160 degrees F. My directions say “coats the back of a spoon and when you draw a finger through it, the mark stays”. It’s a nice proper custard that can be spread on scones or poured into a shortbread crust and baked into lemon squares.

    I’ve had mine in a tupperware container in the freezer for a year with no problems. Still tastes amazing.

  8. Maiko says:

    “Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. ” I don’t understand how the juice of 4 lemons can give less than 1/3 of a cup ? One lemon is about 1/3 of a cup?

    • Needs Mead says:

      It’s just in case one has especially small lemons; Not all lemons are created equal! ;)

      • Maiko says:

        Well, I ended up using only 2 lemons which gave me about a cup of citrus juice and it was WAY WAY too sour. So I guess the amount of lemons is irrelevant, you should have 1/3 of lemon juice no matter what?

  9. Nicole says:

    Maiko, depending on the size and juiciness of the lemons you have (and the method you’re using to juice them, whether it be by squeezing by hand, with a reamer, or an electric juicer) the amount of juice can vary pretty widely. I usually juice mine into a large measuring cup if it’s for a recipe where precision is more important like this one (vs adding a splash for flavor enhancement). I hope you try making this again, lemon curd is easily one of my favorite foods and this looks like a solid recipe.

    Needs Mead, I LOVE the textured plate you used in this photo, if you don’t mind sharing where did you find it? I generally stick to white dinnerware since I like the way the colors of the food pop against it, but it can get a bit boring sometimes, so I always have my eye out for interesting design.

  10. Elizabeth Wells says:

    My husband and I just made this for the Season Two feast. We are highly impressed with the strength of the taste. If you want lemon – this will sublimly satisfy. We can’t wait to try it on the lemon cakes.

  11. Eunice says:

    re Lemon Curd
    Can I suggest:

    4 eggs
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup / 250ml thickened cream
    1 cup lemon juice

    it makes it more custard-y creamy and you just have to mix it all together and cook it. Spreads better. :D

  12. Joe says:

    And old home canning trick is to keep the jars for a month before you use them. If they swell they’re infected. If they’re fine, your good to go. It’s always worked for me.

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