Creamy, buttery, sweet, spreadable lemon – that’s the best way to describe this homemade lemon curd. This is a simple recipe you can have ready in minutes too.
This lemon curd recipe not only takes just minutes to make but it’s way better than what you can buy in the shops too. No preservatives or artificial colourings or flavours – this is the real deal.
What is lemon curd
Lemon curd is a spread made from lemons, butter, sugar and eggs that originated in England. With an intense lemon flavour and it’s spreadable form it’s used for topping toast and pancakes and also as fillings for pies, tarts and cakes.
All you need is 4 ingredients – lemons, butter, sugar and eggs.
How to make lemon curd
The wonderful part aside from it’s intense flavour is how quick and easy this recipe is to make.
- Simply start by whisking together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest (photo 1) in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves (photo 2).
- Now add butter a little at a time and stirring (photo 3) until each dissolves before adding more.
- Cook for another 3-4 minutes until it thickens to the point of thickly coating the back of the spoon (photo 4) or if you tip your saucepan to the side, then tip it back again, you will be left with a thick coating on the side of the pan.
- Strain the lemon curd to remove the zest (photos 5&6).
Top tips for perfect lemon curd
- Keep the heat low: There is no need for a double-boiler – this can be made directly in a saucepan but I recommend using a heavy-based saucepan and keep the heat very low so you don’t scramble the eggs. Also, overheating curd can make it turn grainy on setting.
- Don’t stop stirring: It’s only 10 minutes (or less), I promise. You don’t need to stir vigorously, just keep it moving so that it’s heating evenly.
- Add the butter gradually: This allows the fat to incorporate easily and prevents any chance of the fat splitting.
- Strain it: It’s always helpful to strain curd after cooking. This is to remove the zest which is no longer required and any other lumps that may be in it.
Uses for Lemon curd
- Top some beautiful danish pastry
- As a filling in pies or tarts
- As a filling in cakes or cupcakes
- Bake into cakes
- Spread directly onto toast or crumpets
- Spread on scones or pancakes
- As a filling for crepes
- As a filling in cookies, macarons or profiteroles
- Stir it into yoghurt, cream cheese, cottage or ricotta cheese
- Use it to top or swirl through ice cream
How to store it
This easy lemon curd will keep for up to 3 weeks unopened, if stored in a sterilised jar. I love using these small weck jars.
Once opened use it up within 7-10 days.
More recipes you’ll love
- Lemon Curd Mousse
- Lime Curd
- Creamy Easy Pineapple Curd
- Homemade Passionfruit Curd
- Homemade Blackberry Curd
- Blood Orange Curd
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Easy Lemon Curd Recipe
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 200 g caster (superfine) sugar (1 cup / 7oz)
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (notes 1)
- 150 g unsalted butter, cubed and cold (5.3oz)
- Beat together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, zest and juice. Pour into a small saucepan and stir over low-medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the cold butter a couple of pieces at a time, stirring until each addition is melted and incorporated.
- Continue cooking the mixture for 4-5 minutes until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon or leaves a thick coating on the side of the pan when you tilt it.
- Pour into sterilised conserve jars and store in the fridge.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons)
- This recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of curd.
- Cool for half an hour at room temperature, then seal and place in the fridge
- This curd will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, unopened. Once opened use within a week. It will also freeze well.
- To sterilise the jars, boil them in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes then set aside to drain, dry and cool. The second way is to wash the jars well with soapy water, rinse and then place them in an oven at 120C / 250F for 10 minutes. Let them cool.
- You can swap the butter for a vegetable based spread if you would like to make this curd dairy free
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