This is the Best Lemon Curd recipe - light, creamy, tart, sweet, and it only takes about 10 minutes to prep. Spread it over scones, spoon over ice cream, or use as lemon filling for pies, cakes, trifles and more.
If you are a lemon fan, this recipe will become your new best friend. Lemon Curd has a million different uses, and it can even be used as a base for lots of other recipes.
The Best Lemon Curd Recipe
A solid Lemon Curd Recipe is a thing of beauty, and once you make it yourself, you’ll never go back to the stuff from the jar. Homemade Lemon Curd tastes so much better and you will be shocked by just how simple and (mostly) foolproof it is.
Because lemon juice is so acidic, it holds for quite some time as long as it’s stored properly in the fridge. Or, you can make a large batch and freeze it. Lemon Curd also makes great gifts and can be canned just as you would can jams or jellies.
Uses for Lemon Curd
- Serve over vanilla ice cream or mix into yogurt
- Spread it over pancakes, scones, muffins, bundt cake or toast
- Use inside this delicious Lemon Raspberry Trifle
- Fill pastries like cream puffs or macarons
- Lemon Curd Cookie Cups
- Use for filling in pies or cakes
Lemon Curd Ingredients
- Lemon Juice - use fresh lemon juice to get the very best flavor. Bottled lemon juice just isn’t the same, but it will work in a pinch. You’ll need about 6-7 whole lemons to get 1 cup of juice. Make sure and save the lemon zest to add at the end. You could substitute Meyer Lemon juice if you can find it.
- Egg Yolks - use the yolks from any type of large whole eggs. You can save the whites for another use, or just discard.
- Sugar - use white granulated sugar.
- Cornstarch - this helps thicken the Lemon Curd.
- Lemon Zest - you can save the zest from some of the lemons that you use for lemon juice.
- Butter - it’s best if the butter that you use is either cold or slightly chilled so that it doesn’t immediately melt when you add it to the hot curd.
How to Make Lemon Curd
- Cook the curd. In a blender, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Blend until smooth.
- Add the lemon mixture to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low while whisking constantly until the lemon mixture starts to bubble and simmer. Keep whisking for about 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, then remove from heat.
- Add butter. Add in the and butter, stirring well, until butter is completely melted and mixed in.
- Cool and store. Transfer to a sealable container or bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent a thick skin from forming. Let it cool at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes, then cover and transfer to the refrigerate to chill until completely cooled. Store Lemon Curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Tips for Making the Best Lemon Curd
With these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating the best lemon curd – a luscious, tangy treat that's perfect for spreading on toast, filling pastries, or topping desserts!
- Fresh Citrus is Key: Start with fresh and high-quality lemons. The zest and juice should be vibrant and fragrant for the best flavor in your lemon curd.
- Zest First, Juice Later: Zest the lemons before juicing them. This helps to capture the essential oils in the zest, maximizing the citrusy flavor in your lemon curd.
- Use Unsalted Butter: Opt for unsalted butter in your lemon curd recipe. This gives you better control over the salt content, allowing the bright lemon flavor to shine.
- Cook Low and Slow: Cook the lemon curd over low to medium heat. This gradual cooking process prevents the eggs from curdling and ensures a smooth, silky texture.
- Whisk Vigorously but Gradually: Whisk the eggs and sugar together thoroughly, but add the lemon juice and butter gradually. This step-by-step incorporation helps prevent lumps and ensures a homogenous mixture.
- Strain for Smoothness: Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve after cooking. This step removes any bits of cooked egg or lemon zest, resulting in a velvety smooth curd.
- Cool Before Refrigerating: Allow the lemon curd to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. This prevents condensation from forming on the surface and maintains the ideal texture.
- Cover with Plastic Wrap: When refrigerating the lemon curd, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. This prevents a skin from forming and helps keep the curd fresh.
- Store Properly: Keep your lemon curd in a sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator. This helps preserve its freshness and prevents any off-flavors from developing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lemon Curd is basically just a thick and creamy lemon jam that is made with lemons, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and butter. The ingredients are whisked together and cooked over low heat, or a double boiler, until the mixture thickens thanks to the egg yolks and cornstarch.
You can! Transfer Lemon Curd to freezer bags, then flatten and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
We thicken this Lemon Curd with egg yolks and cornstarch. This allows us to use slightly less eggs, keeping the lemon flavor as bright as possible. If you wanted to thicken lemon curd even more for a particular lemon curd filling, you could simply add a touch more cornstarch (I would start with 1 teaspoon).
Storing and Freezing
- Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Freezer: store in freezer bags or another airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 1 cup Lemon Juice about 6-7 lemons
- 3 large Egg Yolks
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest
- ¼ cup Butter
- In a blender, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Blend together until well combined.
- Add the lemon mixture to a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low while whisking constantly until the lemon mixture starts to bubble and simmer. Keep whisking for about 1 minute, or until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon, then remove from heat.
- Add in the butter, stirring well until butter is completely melted and mixed in.
- Transfer to a sealable container or bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to avoid a thick skin from forming. Let it cool at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes, then cover and transfer to the refrigerate to chill until completely cooled.
- Store Lemon Curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
More Lemon Recipes That We Love
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
- Lemon Cream Cookie Cups
- Homemade Lemon Bundt Cake
- Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake
- Lemon Sugar Cookie Bars
- Creamy Lemon Bars
- Lemon Blueberry Cream Scones
- Lemon Bars Recipe
- No Bake Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
- Lemon Curd Cookie Cups
- More Desserts
- More No Bake Recipes
If you are a lemon fan, this homemade Lemon Curd recipe will become your new best friend. It's light, creamy, tart, sweet and only takes about 10 minutes to prep.