This lemon curd recipe is a creamy, luscious, sweet, and tangy way to elevate all your baking! Made with just a few ingredients, this easy homemade curd recipe is a must-try!
Even if you’ve never made lemon curd before, you most likely have eaten it. And you’ve probably wanted to eat it by the spoonful! It’s a creamy spread used as a topping or filling in everything from cakes, pies, cupcakes, muffins, and donuts, to waffles, pancakes, crepes, cream puffs, and cookies!
The possibilities are endless, which means it’s always a good idea to keep some on hand! And why not? Homemade lemon curd is so simple!
This is a recipe that every home cook should have. It comes together easily with a handful of simple ingredients and a few minutes of your time to blend and chill. Using fresh lemons makes all the difference in the world and once you taste it, you’ll understand why you’ll never buy storebought again!
Table of Contents
Lemon curd vs lemon custard
Both curd and custard are so similar that some people use them interchangeably. There is a slight difference in taste and texture in that curd tends to have a stronger fruiter taste. It would taste more lemon-y (the technical term).
A custard is a bit lighter. Both can be used as a topping and filling for baking but a custard is thickened with cornstarch whereas a curd relies on eggs, sugar and butter for its consistency.
How to make it
Add a couple of inches of water to a pot on low/medium heat. In a heat proof bowl, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, whole egg, yolks, and sugar and place the bowl over the pot of water.
Stir constantly with a whisk until thick.
Once the curd has thickened, remove the bowl from the heat and immediately stir in the cold butter until melted.
For an extra smooth finish, strain the curd into a clean jar through a sieve. Let it cool and if you don’t use it or eat it immediately, then store in the fridge, it will thicken even more as it chills.
Tips for making homemade lemon curd
- Check your desired consistency of the curd with the wooden spoon method. Dip the spoon in the curd and run your finger through it on the back. If it separates nicely in half, your curd should be done.
- Even if you remove it from the heat a little too soon, it will still continue to set in the fridge as it chills.
- Make sure to use a bain-marie or even a double boiler if you have one. The curd needs indirect or very low heat, not to burn and overcook.
- Always be whisking while it’s thickening up. Don’t stop!
How to Store it
Lemon curd can last in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight jar. It also freezes well and will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Once you’re ready to use it again, thaw it overnight in the fridge.
Caster sugar is basically finely ground granulated sugar. It’s super simple to make at home just by blending it until it becomes similar to fine sand. It is not the same as powder sugar, which comes with cornstarch, so don’t substitute that!
It is not! It’s a very similar idea and can typically be used in the same way. The bain-marie is a bowl that sits in the water underneath it, whereas, in a double boiler, the top portion is never actually touching the water underneath, but instead uses steam.
Technically no, but it does make for an extra velvety smooth texture. This may be important to you if you are preparing a dessert to serve a crowd for a special occasion. It’s meant to sift out the remnants of the zest, but if you’re not particular about it, by all means skip that step. The zest will be very soft and cooked down, you may not even notice.
So if you are a lover of all things lemon like us then I hope you give this Lemon Curd a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
More Lemon Recipes
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 1 zest lemon
- ¼ cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed) (55 grams)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon superfine/caster* sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (cold)
*You can make your own by blending in a blender or food processor granulated sugar until fine about 1-2 minutes. It should be like fine sand. Don't over blend.
- Place a pot with 1-2 inches of water (bain marie) on low/medium heat, in a bowl add the lemon juice and zest, egg, yolks and sugar, place the bowl over the pot of water and stir constantly with a whisk until thick*.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and immediately stir in the cold butter until melted. Pour the curd through a sieve while still hot into a clean jar, pouring it through a sieve will make it silky smooth. Let cool then refrigerate if not using immediately. Enjoy!