Creamy Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd 2 sm_edited

Fresh, creamy, citrusy, Summery lemon curd!  Put some on your tongue and experience a delightfully sweet zing!  I first fell in love with lemon curd when I when lived in England.  I lived near Cambridge for six years and enjoyed lemon curd on a regular basis.  It’s practically a staple in Great Britain!  Lemon curd has accompanied traditional British tea since the 18th century, enjoyed as a spread for scones and toast.

Good lemon curd is hard to find.  Either the texture isn’t right or the flavor is off.  What I often find in many homemade versions is that it just tastes too “eggy.”  Here is a foolproof, kitchen-ready lemon curd recipe that is easy to follow with positively perfect results.  This lemon curd is fairly thick, which makes it ideal for spreading (without it dripping off whatever you’re eating) as well for filling, say, cupcakes.  Enjoy this lemon curd as a spread on bread, muffins, scones and cookies, or use it in baking to add flavor and moisture.

However you decide to use it, you won’t be able to keep your fingers out of the lemon curd jar!

Lemon curd is made with egg yolks, but don’t throw away those egg whites!  Use them to make some luscious Mint Chocolate Meringues!

St. Patrick's Day Mint Chocolate Meringues

Okay, let’s get lemon curding!

First, a couple of taste troubleshooting tips:

1)  Be careful to remove as much of the egg whites as possible when separating the eggs.  It is the egg white that has the sulphuric, “eggy” flavor.

2)  Use a glass mixing bowl and a stainless steel pot for preparing the lemon curd.  The high acidity content of the lemon can cause the metal to leach into the lemon curd resulting in a “metallic” flavor.  Do not store the lemon curd in anything containing metal.

Lemons.  Fresh, juicy, citrusy lemons.  Who doesn’t love lemons?  (Prefer limes?  Make this with limes!)

Lemon Curd prep 1

Zest 3 medium or two large lemons.

Lemon Curd prep 2

Juice the lemons.

Lemon Curd prep 3

Add the sugar and lemon zest to a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the zest is finely ground up in the sugar.

Lemon Curd prep 4Lemon Curd prep 5

Place the butter and lemon sugar in a bowl and cream it for several minutes until fluffy.  Use a glass mixing bowl, not metal.  Use a stainless steel pan to cook the lemon curd.  The high acidity content can otherwise leach some of the metal into the mixture resulting in a “metallic” taste.

Lemon Curd prep 6

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined.

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Add the fresh lemon juice and salt and beat until combined.

Lemon Curd prep 9

Place the mixture in a stainless steel pot over low heat and stir continuously until the mixture has thickened and has reached 170 F.  Use a candy thermometer to check.  This will take about 20 minutes.  Be patient and do not try to heat it too quickly or else the eggs will scramble.

Lemon Curd prep 10

Allow the lemon curd to cool and then refrigerate.  It will keep for a week in the fridge and can then be frozen for up to two months.

Lemon Curd prep 11

Creamy Lemon Curd
Prep time
Cook time
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A deliciously sweet and tangy, creamy lemon curd. Perfect as a spread or used in baking.
  • 3 lemons
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  1. Zest the lemons. Be careful to avoid the white pith as it is very bitter.
  2. Add the sugar and lemon zest to a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the zest is finely ground up with the sugar.
  3. In a medium glass mixing bowl, cream the butter and lemon sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add the lemon juice and salt and beat until combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into a medium stainless steel saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened and the temperature has reached 170 F, about 20 minutes. Check the temperature using a candy thermometer.
  5. Remove from the heat, cool, and refrigerate. It will keep in the fridge for a week and can then be frozen for up to 2 months.
  6. Makes about 2 cups.


15 Responses

  1. Tori

    wrote on

    looks wonderful!!! I’ll be making this for sure!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Tori, and I hope you do! You won’t be disappointed! :)

  2. Kimberly

    wrote on

    I can’t wait to try this Lemon Curd! Sounds really good!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Kimberly :) I look forward to hearing what you think once you’ve had the chance to try it!

  3. Jennifer

    wrote on

    It funny that you think it woul even last a week or longer. It was gone in one day here. Obviously the family loved it.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      One day! That’s great! It really is soooo delicious. Once you take a spoon to sample it, it’s really hard to stop! :) Thanks for your feedback, Jennifer!

  4. Mia

    wrote on

    I’ve tried FIVE recipes and this is the best. I did, however, use 3 whole eggs and 2 large yolks. I read online the whites aid in the taste of lemon curd so I added the two whole eggs. The texture of this recipe is superb!!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Mia, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! Adding whole versus just the yolk is simply a personal preference thing. I use egg yolks only in this recipe as many people complain about the sulfur flavor generated by the egg whites (plus, more yolks = creamier texture). But if you don’t mind the sulfur flavor then there is no reason not to use the whole egg. And using a combination of yolks and whole eggs like you did will still result in a nice, creamy texture. On a side note, I love to use this curd for baking as well and it freezes well for that purpose. That way I have it on hand when I need it and can just thaw it out and add it to whatever I’m baking. Thanks so much for your feedback and enjoy your lemon curd!


    wrote on

    There is such a difference in lemons, approximately how much juice should there be?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      I’ve never measured it before. Whether you use large or small lemons the curd will still turn out great and the consistency will not be too runny or too thick. I recommend using lemons on the larger size (at least 2 inches high, which is pretty average) so that you get plenty of lemon flavor. Enjoy!

  6. Anonymous

    wrote on

    Thanks for this receipe. I m going to try it!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Wonderful! We love this lemon curd!

  7. Christine Woodmansee

    wrote on

    This is by far the best lemon curd that I have ever made! I use it to fill my cupcakes. But, eating it by the spoonful is good too! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Christine, I am so happy to hear that, thank you! And I bet your cupcakes are amazing!

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