Homemade Lemon Curd. Smooth and tart this dessert spread is perfect for lemon lovers! Spread on top of your favorite scones, muffins or bread. Or use as a dessert filling. 

Tulip glass jar filled with bright yellow homemade lemon curd with a wooden spoon scooping it out.

What is lemon curd? 

Lemon curd is a smooth and creamy, lemon flavored dessert spread and topping. Almost like a creamy pastry filling with a burst of fresh lemon flavor, or a lemon jam. It’s perfect for all lemon lovers! This lemon curd recipe is:

  • Simple. Easy to make and minimal ingredients.
  • Tart. Made with fresh lemon juice and zest it’s bursting with a pop of citrus flavor. 
  • Sweet. Perfect for spreading onto your favorite desserts or using as a filling. 
  • Buttery smooth. Thanks to using gentle heat, this spread comes out smooth and is loaded with a buttery flavor. 

How to make Homemade Lemon Curd:

  1. Set up double boiler. If you don’t have one it’s super simple to make one on your own. 
  2. Cook eggs in sugar, zest and lemon juice. Make sure you are whisking the entire time so that the eggs don’t scramble, this mixture should be nice and smooth but thick. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter: stir while melting the butter into the warm mixture. 
  4. Chill: spoon the mixture into a storage container, seal and place in refrigerator to let chill. Lemon curd should be served cold. 
Glass bowl filled with sugar and lemon zest with eggs on the side and a blue whisk.

How to set up a double boiler.. and why! 

If you own a double boiler, then this is an easy step for you. If you don’t, you can easily make one with things you probably have on hand. Simply fill a saucepan with water and place a glass bowl or other heat safe bowl such as porcelain or ceramic on top. Avoid using aluminum since this can give a metal taste to the lemon curd. 

The bowl should fit snugly inside the pot. Ensure the water isn’t high enough to reach the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer, then place the bowl on top to start cooking. 

The purpose to doing this is to provide indirect heat, it cooks with an even and gentle heat. Using a double boiler helps keep the temperature at 212℉ (the temperature that water boils). Letting us cook the eggs to a safe point and thicken our mixture without scrambling the eggs and giving us a chunky sauce. It’s also a great method to use to melt chocolate or to heat things that are easy to overheat or burn. 

Double boiler made with a saucepan and a glass bowl filled with sugar and lemon zest.

Uses for Lemon Curd:

  • Topping: scones, pancakes, waffles, muffins. 
  • Lemon Meringue Pie: this is what is used to make that delicious lemon pie filling.
  • Cakes: mix together with cream or cheeses to create a fluffy lemon filling, like in this Lemon Cream Crepe Cake
  • Lemon Crumble Bars– use to make the lemon filling to these buttery, crumb bars. 

Storage: 

  • Leftovers: store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Will last up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezing: lemon curd can be frozen. Once it has cooled in the fridge, make sure that it is being stored in a freezer safe container. Then freeze for up to one year. To thaw remove from the freezer and thaw in a refrigerator overnight. 
Overhead view of a glass jar filled with lemon curd, showing the smooth, creamy texture.
Overhead view of a glass jar filled with lemon curd, showing the smooth, creamy texture.

Homemade Lemon Curd

This homemade Lemon Curd is simple to make, thick and creamy, and the perfect addition to anything you want to put it on!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter

Equipment

Instructions

  • Using a double boiler simmer water on stove top
  • Zest and juice 2 lemons
  • Mix the zest with the sugar and add to the pot over the simmering water
  • Whisk in eggs and lemon juice, constantly whisk the mixture while it cooks.
  • When mixture is thickened remove from heat
  • Pour mixture through a strainer and into a food processor, let it rest and cool slightly.
  • Add butter one piece at a time mixing in the food processor until smooth in between each slice.
  • Mix until all butter is added and curd is smooth, place into a container and refrigerate.

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 85mg, Sodium: 23mg, Potassium: 41mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 434IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
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Recipe first posted February 3, 2014. Updated 2020 with new images.