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Lemon Curd: the best recipe for homemade lemon curd

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist

Full of zesty, tangy flavor, and boasting an incredibly rich, creamy texture, nothing beats homemade lemon curd. This easy homemade lemon curd is a million times tastier than anything you'll buy in-store. It's so simple to make, you'll never go back to store-bought lemon curd again.

Lemon curd is made with sugar, lemons, butter, and egg yolks, which together give it its creamy texture and sweet and tangy taste. It's made by cooking the ingredients gently in a double boiler. Lemon curd is served as a topping with scones, pancakes, and other treats, or used in cakes and tarts as a rich, lemony filling.


What is Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd is a rich, lemony spread that's often used in desserts or served with sweet scones or muffins for afternoon tea. It's used the same way as jam but has a buttery, creamy texture and mouthwatering lemon flavor which is balanced out by a wonderful sweetness.

How to Make the Best Homemade Lemon Curd

You only need a handful of ingredients to make lemon curd at home – butter, sugar, salt, and of course, some lemons! Simmer some water in the bottom half of a double boiler. In the top part of the boiler, whisk the lemon, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and lemon zest until smooth. You'll want to keep whisking the mixture as it cooks to prevent the egg yolks from cooking. Whisk until it thickens, which will take about 10 minutes.

Remove the double boiler from the heat and whisk in the butter. Once all the ingredients have been combined, pour the lemon curd into a bowl and cover it with cling film. Make sure the cling film touches the top of the curd to prevent skin from forming. Let the curd cool completely before you use it.


How to Use Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is usually served as a topping with scones, muffins, pancakes, waffles, or used as a filling in desserts like tarts, bars and cakes. It can also be used as a filling for sandwich cookies.

Tips for Making Lemon Curd at Home

When covering the lemon curd to cool, make sure the cling film touches the top of the curd. This stops a skin from forming over the top.

If you prefer a thicker lemon curd, use 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks.

The double boiler method is the best way to make lemon curd. If you don't have a double boiler, you can make lemon curd in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water.

Lemon curd can also be made in a microwave. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, zest, and melted butter. Cook at 1-minute intervals, stirring after each, for a total of 3 to 5 minutes. Your lemon curd is finished when it coats the back of a spoon.

Vegans can enjoy lemon curd too! To make vegan lemon curd, use non-dairy milk instead of butter, and cornstarch instead of eggs.


How to Store Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon curd can be placed in an airtight container and enjoyed for up to 10 days. It can be frozen for 3 to 6 months.


large egg yolks
White sugar
2/3 cup
Lemon zest
1 tbsp
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup
1/8 tsp
unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 tbsp


Pour 2 inches of water into the bottom of your double boiler over high heat. When the water boils, reduce the heat to a low simmer.

In the top of your double boiler, whisk the egg yolks and sugar.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to combine.

Continue whisking as it cooks to stop your egg yolks from curdling, about 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

Take the boiler off the heat. Whisk in the butter.

Transfer the curd to a bowl and cover it and let it cool.

Finally, you can use the lemon curd for your sweet recipes.


Use room temperature ingredients to make your lemon curd.

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