Lemon Curd

How did I not learn about lemon curd until I was 30? I’m not a person who loves condiments on things. When I was a kid I liked plain peanut butter sandwiches – no jelly or jam. The only jam I liked was my grandmother’s raspberry freezer jam. I guess it was more ignorance is bliss rather than living under a rock. I don’t remember how I learned about it but man am I glad I did. Lemon curd is SO good. If you love lemon it’s like lemon jam that is so deliciously addictive. But it’s also quite easy to make.

If you haven’t ever had lemon curd, or any fruit curd, it’s sort of a buttery fruit custard. It can go on toast or desserts and it’s just really delicious and an amplified version of that fruit flavor.

Lemon Curd Key Ingredients

  • Lemons – We use both the rind for zest and the juice in this recipe for ALL the lemony goodness. Regular or meyer lemons are both fine!
  • Sugar – Not a lot, but some to cut some of the tartness.
  • Butter – This is what makes the lemon curd velvety and smooth. I use unsalted, but if you enjoy salt, it can be used as well.

Here’s the best thing about the three key ingredients. They are 75% of the ingredients you need for the entire recipe. The only other thing you need are eggs!

If you’re like wait a minute.. eggs and lemon? Sounds weird, I thought the same thing. I don’t love that eggy taste, but trust me. We only use the yolks and it doesn’t taste like eggs at all.

Lemon curd can be used for so many things too. My favorites are putting it on scones (my Vanilla Cream Scones), as a topping for vanilla ice cream, and in my lemon babka. Personally, I put mine in a mason jar, then directly into the freezer after it’s set in the refrigerator. It will keep for months there, and you don’t have to unfreeze it to use it. It won’t freeze completely solid and I just take it out when I want to add it to something, scoop what I need and back in it goes.

It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s better than store bought. What are you waiting for?

Curd Variations:

Follow the same directions on the lemon curd recipe card, but swapping out ingredients.

Pineapple Curd

  • 1/3 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Curd

Be the first to rate!
Print Pin Rate
Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Servings: 1 cup


  • 3 Med-Lg Lemons
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks room temperature
  • ½ Cup Granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp Unsalted butter cut, cold


  • Zest 2 lemons into a bowl. I never really measure the amount of lemon zest but it's probably between 1-2 tbsp of zest.
  • Juice the lemons to produce 1/3 cup lemon juice and add to zest
  • Add ½ cup of granulated sugar into lemon and zest mix.
  • Set up your double boiler. I recommend using a glass bowl to avoid any metallic taste. Put a few inches of water into a saucepan, make sure the bowl will not be touching the water when the water is boiling. Turn the burner on medium and get the water to a boil.
  • Separate your egg yolks into a small bowl.
  • When the water is boiling, add your yolks to your lemons and sugar, and place the bowl over the boiling water. I reduce the heat slightly but you still want a low boil.
  • Whisk your mixture for about 12 minutes. It will be ready when the mixture has visibly thickened a little bit and if a spoon is put into the curd and you run your finger through it, a line remains.
  • Take the curd off the heat and immediately add the cold butter. You can use room temperature but I prefer cold as it helps bring the temperature of the curd down and stop the residual heat from cooking it any further.
  • Once your butter is completely melted into the curd, you can transfer it to a jar or leave it in the bowl. If you want super smooth curd, strain the curd to remove the zest as you pour it into a jar.
    Use plastic wrap and lay it directly onto the top of the curd. This will prevent any skin from forming while it sets in the refrigerator.
  • Place curd in the refridgerator for at least 4 hours to let it set up a bit. The curd will get thicker as it sets. I usually let it set overnight before I place it in the freezer. After about 4 hours you can remove the plastic wrap and use immediately.


  • Curd will last about 7-10 days in the refrigerator and at least 6 months in the freezer
  • Do not add your egg yolks to your sugar until you are ready to put on the heat. Sugar can change the structure of the eggs if it sits for too long.
  • This recipe works with both regular and Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter, so you may want to reduce the sugar slightly, but it is not necessary if you do. 
  1. Pingback:Lemon Babka -

  2. Pingback:Vanilla Cheesecake with Lemon Raspberry Curd -

  3. Pingback:Piña Colada No Bake Cheesecake

  4. Pingback:Lemon & White Chocolate Biscotti

  5. Pingback:Lemon Blackberry Muffins

  6. Pingback:Best Vanilla Cream Scones Bread Baking Babe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating