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Deliciously tart Lemon Curd is an easy treat, perfect for summer! Enjoy it as a dessert on its own or use it in pies and cakes.
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon Curd is a thick preserve made from lemons, eggs, butter, and sugar – similar to a custard. It’s soooo yummy and can be used with lots of different desserts.
Pour homemade Lemon Curd over cakes, put it on top of Sugar Cookies, use it as a pie filling in Lemon Meringue Pie, and more! It has a thick consistency but its smooth texture makes it delicious with so many desserts.
Lemon Curd brings such a nice flavor to anything it’s paired with.
This Lemon Curd recipe is making me super excited for summer. I love the flavor of lemon during those hot summer months. It’s so light and refreshing. Bring on summer!!
How to Make Lemon Curd
Impress your guests with this EASY Lemon Curd recipe. It is filled with Lemon flavor!
LEMONS. Remove the zest of 3 lemons with a grater or zester. Add to a food processor, and with the steel blade, pulse with sugar until fine.
COMBINE. In a mixer, cream the butter and beat in the sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, then add lemon juice and salt. Combine.
COOK + CHILL. Add to a saucepan on low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and cool or refrigerate.
Double boiler. When cooking Lemon Curd, stay away from metal pots. The curd can easily take on a metallic taste. Use stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Or use a double boiler.
Make one using a heat-resistant ceramic or glass bowl that is larger that the saucepan:
- Fill a saucepan with a couple of inches of water.
- Place a ceramic or glass bowl over the pot so that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Bring the water to a boil.
- Cook the curd as directed in the recipe.
Fresh lemons. I think it is easier to juice the lemons and then cut the peel away to make the sugar lemon zest mixture. Each medium lemon can produce 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Use fresh lemons for the best flavor!
Don’t overdo it. Over-cooking and over-whisking can cause the curd to not set correctly.
Thicker curd. Use one more egg yolk.
Check for doneness. Touch the back of a spoon to the curd. It should coat the spoon without dripping off.
Strain. Pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any clumps that may have formed.
Pie filling. Lemon Curd can be used in pies, but it is different than pie filling. Pie filling is thickened with flour and cornstarch. Lemon curd uses egg yolks and pectin from the lemon to thicken.
Variations. Top it with blueberries or other fresh fruit, or use it to fill macarons. Try making grapefruit curd or curd with limes.
Lemon Curd uses. Some other uses for Lemon Curd include:
- Top on pancakes, waffles, toast, scones, muffins, biscuits, or English muffins.
- Mix in with yogurt to make a trifle, on ice cream, or in smoothies.
- Filling in tarts, crepes, cream puffs, donuts, cakes, or cupcakes.
STORE. This best Lemon Curd can be stored for quite some time. Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
FREEZE for up to 6 months. Remove from the freezer and thaw in the fridge before using.
The acidity of the lemon, plus heat, can cause a chemical reaction if it comes into contact with anything metal – that means the pot or utensils you use when making it. Try using ceramic, glass, wood, and silicone cookware and utensils instead.
The most common reason is because it hasn’t been cooked long enough for the egg yolks to thicken. It should take about 10 minutes for it to reach the right temperature to thicken. Keep in mind it will thicken a little more once it cools.
For more lemon desserts:
Lemon Curd Recipe
- 3 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 lb unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1/2 cup lemon juice 3-4 lemons
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- Remove the zest of 3 lemons with a grater or zester. Add to a food processor, and with the steel blade, pulse with sugar until fine.
- In a mixer, cream the butter and beat in the sugar/zest mixture.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, then add lemon juice and salt and mix to combine.
- Add to a saucepan on low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until thick.
- Remove from heat and cool or refrigerate.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.