Last updated on April 19th, 2024.

Lemon curd is a delightful spread bursting with tangy citrus flavor, perfect for adding a zesty touch to your desserts or breakfast treats. If you’ve ever wondered how to whip up this delicious concoction from scratch, you’re in luck! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, from understanding what it is to storing it for future use.

lemon curd in a mason jar with lemons around.

What is Lemon Curd?

It is a smooth, creamy custard made from fresh lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. It boasts a vibrant yellow color and a rich, tangy flavor that pairs beautifully with various baked goods and desserts. From filling tarts and cakes to topping scones and pancakes, this lemony curd adds a burst of citrusy goodness and bright flavor to any dish.

If you are a fan of lemon recipes, check out this Torta Paradiso, this Lemon Sponge Cheesecake, this Lemon Blackberry cake, and this Lemon Blackberry Bread.

For more fruit curd recipes, check out this Orange curd recipe, this Lime Curd, this Raspberry Curd, this Blackberry Curd, and this Meyer Lemon Curd.


This recipe calls for simple ingredients, but the key to making it the best lemon curd is high-quality butter, fresh eggs, and lemon juice.

  • Egg yolks (from large eggs)
  • Large egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon juice. This recipe will work for regular lemons or Meyer lemons.
  • Fresh lemon zest
  • Unsalted butter, cubed
ingredients to make lemon custard.

How to Make Lemon Curd

Time needed: 15 minutes

The full recipe, including measurements, can be found in the recipe card below.

  1. Rub the zest into the sugar.

    This step will release the zingy flavor of the lemons.lemon zest rubbed into sugar in a bowl with a fork.

  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar: 

    Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined.eggs, and sugar mixture.

  3. Combine the ingredients: 

     Add the lemon juice to the egg-sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.Adding lemon juice to egg mixture.

  4. Cook over low heat:

     Place the pan over the stove until the mixture thickens. It will transform from a light and thin mixture into a slightly thick and opaque. thickened lemon custard in a pan with a wooden spoon.

  5. Strain the curd:

     Once thickened, remove the bowl from the heat and strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or zest.custard in a sieve over a bowl.

  6. Mix in the butter:

     Add the cubed butter to the curd and gently mix it until melted.adding butter to custard.

  7. Allow the curd to cool.

    Store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks before transferring it to a sterilized mason jar or airtight container.curd in a bowl with a spoon and lemons around.


  • Use room temperature eggs and butter for best results.
  • To check if the curd is ready, run your finger at the back of a spoon dipped. It is done if it leaves a thick coat and creamy consistency.
  • Be sure to thoroughly whisk the eggs and sugar to ensure a smooth texture in the final curd.
  • Avoid letting the curd boil over low heat, which can cause the eggs to curdle. Use a double boiler to avoid direct heat, and take an extra step to ensure the recipe’s success.
  • You can increase the amount of butter used in the recipe for a thicker curd.

How to Use Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways


Store the curd in the refrigerator for up to five days. To freeze, place it in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to twenty weeks. When ready to use, refrigerate overnight.


Can I use whole eggs instead of egg yolk?

Yes, you can use three whole eggs instead of the egg yolks. But remember that the egg yolks provide a creamy texture.

Why did my curd taste eggy?

Not fresh eggs, or when very cold, can contribute to an “eggy” flavor.

 What makes lemon curd thicken?

The eggs and yolks coagulate as they are heated, trapping the liquids in between the gaps. That’s why it is essential to cook the mixture long enough.

How can I make my curd thicker?

Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with the zesty sugar before mixing in the eggs.

My lemon curd turned out too runny. What did I do wrong?

When hot and fresh, lemon curd might seem runny; allow it to cool and set. If your curd is too watery, it may not have been cooked long enough. Make sure to cook it until it thickens to a custard-like consistency. Additionally, be sure to strain the curd to remove any excess liquid.

More Custard Recipes You Might Enjoy

Pastry Cream, Creme Legere, Italian Pastry Cream.

Please rate and comment if you enjoyed this recipe, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram when you bake one of my recipes.

Lemon Curd Recipe

Tangy and sweet lemon custard.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon curd
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 Cup
Author Dikla


  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (100g)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 1 Large Egg at room temperature
  • 2 Large Egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh squeezed lemon juice (120ml)
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch pieces (85g)


  1. Tun the lemon zest into the sugar.

  2. Mix the egg and egg yolks into the sugar.

  3. Mix in the lemon juice.

  4. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, while constantly stirring until the mixture has thickened and coats the wooden spoon you are using.

  5. Run the curd through a sieve over a bowl.

  6. Add the butter and gently stir until the butter is completely melted.

  7. Allow the curd to cool, then use or refrigerate for up to five days.

Recipe Notes

  • Store in the refrigerator for up to five days. To freeze, place in an airtight container or a freeze bag for up to eight weeks. When ready to use, place in the refrigerator the night before.
  • To establish the curd’s readiness, swipe the back of a spoon dipped into it with your finger. It’s done when it coats the spoon thickly and exhibits a creamy consistency.
  • Prevent the curd from boiling over low heat, which may cause the eggs to curdle. Use a double boiler to avoid direct heat and take an additional precaution to ensure the recipe’s success.
  • If desired, increase the quantity of butter in the recipe to achieve a thicker curd.
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