Ever wondered how to make lemon curd? I for one, love lemon curd. It’s smooth velvety texture, and sweet, tangy taste is so unique and absolutely delicious, I can eat it on its own.
This is a made from scratch recipe, using fresh lemons and eggs. With only 4 main ingredients – lemons, sugar, eggs and butter, you can whip up this lovely yellow lemon filling/sauce in under 30 minutes.
Lemon curd is used in many desserts like lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, lemon tart, lemon pie, just to name a few . It even pairs well as a delicious spread on your toast, French toast or even scones and as fillings in doughnuts and between layers of cake, just to name a few.
Table of contents
How to Make
- Whole eggs
Preparing the zest and sugar
Here is the step by step guide on how to make lemon curd from scratch:
- Start by getting your lemons ready. Zest the skin and juice the fruits.
- Strain the juice and set it aside.
- Mix the zest with sugar.
- Blend both in a food processor to a fine powder.
Cooking the curd
- Add the blended sugar into a heatproof bowl. Add the lemon juice and double boil over medium-low heat until the sugar is melted while whisking occasionally.
- Once sugar is melted, add the lightly beaten eggs and butter and continue to double boil until the mixture starts to thicken. Keep whisking the entire time.
- Once the curd has thickened, check its consistency by dipping a spoon into the curd. If the curd covers the back of the spoon as you lift it out, the curd is cooked and can be removed from heat.
- Strain the curd with a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, especially the eggs. At this stage, if the lemon zest was not finely blended earlier on, it will get strained out here, so it actually helps to finely process it.
- Wrap the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap. Make sure the cling wrap touches the entire surface of the curd to avoid skin from forming on top of the curd as it cools down.
- Let the curd cool down completely and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. The lemon curd can be refrigerated for about a week. If frozen, this delicious tangy curd can be kept for a good 3 months. Bring the curd to room temperature before using it.
- Always use fresh lemon juice – any kind of bottled lemon juice will not produce the same results as fresh lemons, so it is really worth using fresh fruit.
- When zesting and juicing the lemons, always zest first and then juice them. It is so much easier to zest the skin when the fruit is still full of juice and round.
- When adding lemon zest to the curd, you have two options. The first option is to blend it together with sugar to form a fine powder so that you get a really smooth curd without any obvious lemon skin bits in it. Unless you are making large quantities of lemon curd, the amount added into the curd is too little to be processed into a fine powder on its own in a food processor. This is why I add it to sugar. That way, there is enough volume to blend it in a food processor.
- The other option is to skip the blending process and add the zest directly to the curd. With this option, you will get to feel the lemon skin in your curd. If you like it this way, then add the zest without processing it into a fine powder.
- Always strain your lemon juice before measuring and adding to your curd. We want to avoid seeds and the pulp from getting it.
Double boiler method
- When cooking the curd, always do it on a double boiler. Never cook the curd over direct heat as the heat can burn the curd.
- Even on a double boiler, keep stirring and scraping the bottom of the bowl until mixture until it thickens. This is to avoid the eggs from getting lumpy in the curd.
- If you do not have a double boiler, you can make one. Pour some water (about 2 or 3 inch of water) into a small pot and place a stainless steel or metal bowl on top. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the curd in the bowl.
- The recipe above calls for the use of salted butter. If you prefer to use unsalted butter, you would need to add ⅛ teaspoon salt to your curd.
Consistency of the curd
- The curd need not be cooked until it is absolutely thick. Constantly check the consistency with the back of a spoon. If the curd covers the back of a spoon, it is ready and can be removed from heat. The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
Cooling and storing the lemon curd
- When cooling the curd, cover the surface with a plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap touches the surface of your curd. This will avoid your curd from forming a skin that can affect its smooth consistency.
- Keep the curd refrigerated.
Like this recipe? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Lemon Curd Cheesecake - The Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake
- Candied Lemon Slices - How to Make
- Candied Lemon Peel - How to Make
- Lemon Blueberry Cake Loaf with Lemon Glaze
- Moist Sour Cream Lemon Cake
- Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
- Lemonade Popsicles
- Lemonade Sorbet - How to Make
- Brown Sugar Lemonade
Here is the full printable version of my easy homemade lemon curd recipe.
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 3 eggs medium sized
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest zest of one lemon
- 90 ml lemon juice 1 and half lemons
- 85 g salted butter if using unsalted butter add ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Zest the lemons. Cut and squeeze the juice. Strain the juice and set it aside.
- In a food processor, blend the sugar and the lemon zest until fine. This is an optional step but it helps in making sure the lemon zest becomes really fine so that it does not appear obvious in the curd.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice into a heatproof bowl and double boil until the sugar is melted.
- While the sugar and lemon juice is double-boiled, beat the eggs lightly and add to the sugar-lemon juice mixture. Keep whisking to avoid the eggs from turning lumpy. Add the butter and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Use the back to of a spoon to test the lemon curd consistency. If the curd covers the back of the spoon, it is done and can be removed from heat.
- Strain the curd in a sieve to remove any lumps.
- Let the curd cool down. Cover the bowl with cling wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the curd completely (to avoid a layer of skin forming on the surface of the curd as it cools).
- Refrigerate until cold and keep it refrigerated until ready for use.
And that’s my very best homemade lemon curd recipe. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out.