This sweet and zesty Lemon Curd recipe is ultra creamy and decadent – perfect as a fruit spread over toast, waffles, pancakes, or flaky biscuits, or to be used as a filling for various lemon-inspired baked treats such as lemon meringue pie, breakfast crepes, and cheesecake. Heck, it’s so good that I’ve often found myself just digging in by the spoonful or adding a dollop to a bowl of ice cream!
Since this recipe freezes so well, it’s also worthwhile to make extra batches for later use. So ditch the processed commercial stuff and make your own from the comfort of your kitchen – there’s nothing quite like that fresh lemon flavor from a homemade jar of lemon curd!
Table of contents
What is Lemon Curd?
Curd is essentially a fruit spread that’s used as a topping or as part of a filling for sweet baked treats. Similar ingredients (if not the same) are used as the zesty filling for traditional lemon meringue.
Variations and Substitutions
- While lemon curd is more often than not enjoyed as a spread or topping, you could use it instead for making homemade meringue pie, for piping into lemon cupcakes, or as a layered ingredient for other zesty desserts such as a lemon dump cake.
- I have used regular lemons for this recipe but you could use Meyer lemons instead which have a naturally sweeter taste.
- The salt in the butter helps to balance flavors, and prevents the curd from being overly tart. If you only have unsalted butter, I recommend that you add a pinch of salt.
Lemon curd is much more creamy than lemon jam which is why it’s favored for piping into pastries or used as a spread on toast and biscuits. It includes whole eggs which are what gives it that creamy consistency whereas lemon jam does not.
Lemon curd hails from Britain as a traditional spread. The degree of sweetness really depends on personal preference.
This curd should be stored in an airtight container or glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
You also have the option of freezing this citrus spread for 3-6 months. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving chilled as a spread or using in a recipe.
As mentioned, this treat can be enjoyed as a spread over toast, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, scones, and croissants. You can layer lemon curd in desserts such as parfaits or in layered lemon cake.
Lemon curd is great for fillings in baked treats such as lemon pie, lemon meringue, lemon tartlets, or piped into pastries. Lastly, and possibly my favorite way to enjoy this, is by the spoonful! That’s right – if you haven’t tried it, you’re seriously missing out!
Tips For Making this Lemon Curd
- Luckily you won’t need to temper the eggs when making this recipe which makes the process that much easier. Simply heat the mixture slowly over medium-low heat and don’t increase the temperature otherwise you risk the egg mixture curdling.
- It’s normal for there to be some foam as the curd starts to thicken. This will start to disappear once the butter is added.
- If you anticipate needing more, simply double the quantities of ingredients for a larger batch of curd. You can always store some of it in the freezer for later use.
- It is possible to make this lemon curd by combining all of the ingredients right from the start. This approach may prolong the thickening of the curd. I also tend to find from past experience that my recipe is creamier when I’ve whisked the butter in after the initial ingredients have had time to first thicken.
- Freshly squeezed juice from a lemon is best for the taste. I don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice unless you really have to. Fresh lemon juice is always the best!
- You can use regular lemons or Meyer lemons for this recipe. Meyer lemons have a sweeter taste which will then produce a sweeter tasting lemon curd.
- I’ve used salted butter in this easy lemon curd but you could use unsalted butter instead.
- For a smoother consistency, strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer once removed from medium heat on the stove.
More Recipes For Lemon Lovers
- Lemon Rolls With Citrus Cream Cheese Icing
- Orange Lemon Gin Cocktail
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Raspberry Cookies
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest grated finely
- ½ cup salted butter cut into pieces
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, and lemon zest.
- Heat over medium low, whisking at all times.
- After cooking and whisking for 5-8 minutes, the mixture should begin to thicken. If it does not thicken, turn the heat up just a bit, but do not turn heat above medium.
- Once the mixture thickens, remove it from the heat and whisk in the pieces of butter until melted and combined.
- If you would like extra smooth lemon curd, you can pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve before transferring it to containers. Transfer the hot lemon curd to clean canning jars or a heat-proof bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd to prevent it from forming a skin while cooling.
- Cool down the curd to room temperature and then chill for at least one hour before using. Remove the plastic wrap after the curd has cooled.
- Regular lemons or Meyer lemons can be used in this recipe.
- This lemon curd freezes well. You can easily make double and store any extra in the freezer for later use.
- Don’t use bottled lemon juice. Freshly squeezed juice from a lemon is always best.