Introduction: How to Make Simple Lemon Curd

Picture of How to Make Simple Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is tart, tangy, and a perfect addition to any dessert or sweet. What's not to like? While it takes exotic-ly unique, it only uses  five ingredients. I love spreading it on my favorite butter cookies or drawing a lattice pattern on a freshly baked cake. It is so simple to whip up and the results are definitely rewarding. This recipe is a perfect addition to some other recipes, such as Puffy Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes or Homemade Croissants. Lemon curd is a nice addition to any dessert...or just as tasty when licked off the spoon :)

Enjoy the recipe! I hope you try it out.

Simple, delicious, tangy, sweet. Lemon curd is a perfect addition to any dessert...or on its own.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients


- 3  eggs

- 3/4 cup sugar

- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice: 2 to to 3 lemons would probably suffice (and believe me, freshly squeezed lemon juice yields much better results than store bought lemon juice)

- 4 tablespoons (or half a stick) unsalted butter: make sure the butter is at room temperature and cut into cubes

- 1 tablespoon lemon zest: use a grater with the smallest holes and be sure not to get the white pith

Tip: Before juicing the lemons, zest them first. Grating the lemons are easiest when they are cold from the refrigerator. On the other hand, squeezing the lemons is the easiest when the lemons are a bit warmer. 

Step 2: Combining the Ingredients

Picture of Combining the Ingredients

In a medium sized metal bowl, whisk together the 3 eggs, the sugar, the lemon juice and zest until thoroughly combined. Begin setting up for the next step, by bringing water in a medium  sized saucepan to a simmer. Make sure the saucepan is big enough to hold the bowl. 

Step 3: Heating Up

Picture of Heating Up

On medium heat, place the bowl of mixture into the the simmering water. Do not pour the contents in :) Continuing whisking the mixture until it starts to thicken. It should resemble thicker salad dressing or hollandaise sauce. If you are technical, a candy thermometer should read at 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire cooking process should take around 10 t 15 minutes. 

Be patient! :)  

Step 4: Finish!

Picture of Finish!

Once the mixture has finished cooking, take the bowl off the heat.  Whisk in the butter until melted along with the lemon zest. Cover the lemon curd and refrigerate. It should last about a week and a half. 

I hope you try out this recipe. It is truly delicious and versatile recipe to make. Maybe lemon curd will appear next to your strawberry preserves soon :)


Sassi-Cindi (author)2017-11-23

Thanks for the recipe Jen!! I made lemon curd many years for my daughter's shower. The cookies I made that held the lemon curd tasted great but, I had never made lemon curd before!! What I remembered was a lot harder! Now I'm ready to try it again!!

YettaW (author)2016-02-27

Do you think this is thick enough for inside of eclairs? I making lemon meringue eclairs and im trying to find s thick enough curd for inside

satoko68 (author)2015-09-14

I regularly make lemon curd - LOVE the stuff - but this is the first time I've seen whole eggs used. I normally use just the yolks. Definitely going to try whipping some up with whole eggs tomorrow, which would prevent having to find something to use the whites in. I'm not too excited about eggwhite anything, including meringue. Would also give me more curd as a result :-)

My last batch I added split & scraped vanilla bean pods & let them simmer in the mixture for as long as I could, then chilled it with the pods still in the curd , which gave a really nice flavor. Almost like a very very tart lemon creamsicle. I'm not sure what the vanilla extract that I make would do to it as it's alcohol based, but plan on trying that in the future.

Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2014-03-13

I have been wanting to make lemon curd for forever and finally did for a pie I am making! I used your recipe and it is DELICIOUS!

jen7714 (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-08-25

This is awesome! Thanks for the picture!

Cortanege (author)2011-11-29

It looks amazing! I can't wait to try it! I was wandering if it's possible to can it so i don't have to keep it in the fridge but i'm afraid because of the egg and the butter. Do you know if such thing could be possible? Even with a pressure canner? Thank you!

jen7714 (author)Cortanege2011-11-29

Thank you so much! Hmmm that's a tough question. I think a pressure canner would work but I am not positive. Here's some more information.

I have canned lime curd (yeah I like to use limes, what of it?) in a hot water bath and everything was fine. Sugar is a preservative and the acidity of the citrus juice will usually put things out of the growth range for botulism.

Thanks for the info!

roulopa (author)Cortanege2011-12-09

I'll give it a try and let you know.
Lemon curd has to be my favourite spread!

jen7714 (author)roulopa2011-12-09

Thanks! I would love that.

marcellahella (author)2013-06-04

This look really good I want to make it today, but do you mix the lemon zest at first with all the other ingredients? (I think so, but I can't find it wrote). Thanks

jen7714 (author)marcellahella2013-08-04

Yes you do! Thank you for pointing that out!

JustOleLin (author)2013-05-16

Was searching for a good lemon curd recipe and came across yours.
It is gorgeous, very easy and already making my mouth water!! : )

jen7714 (author)JustOleLin2013-05-19

Thanks for such the nice comment!! :)

ryoko1011 (author)2012-08-03

Who says that the more complicated something is to make the tastier it don't need loads of perservatives and god knows what else to have a delicious product..thanx for sharing hun :)

jen7714 (author)ryoko10112012-08-17

Exactly! :) Natural is the way to go :) And thank you for the nice comment!

lisascout (author)2012-01-28

Hi, I can't figure out how much this makes. Is it a cup, or more? Thanks

jen7714 (author)lisascout2012-02-03

I have to say I didn't measure, but maybe a bit more than a cup.

garnishrecipes (author)2011-11-21

I love lemon curd tarts! I'm so excited to find a tart-shell free recipe! I always have these ingredients at home.

jen7714 (author)garnishrecipes2011-11-22

Me too! I happy to help :) I hope you try is really simple.

parafoil (author)2011-11-20

Would this work the same with limes? Lime Curd? Maybe a Keylime pie filling?

jen7714 (author)parafoil2011-11-20

Of course! Lemons were on sale at the local supermarket :) It would definitely work!

mikeandre (author)2011-11-20

I can't wait to try this. 5 stars if it tastes as good as it looks :) Thanks for sharing this.

jen7714 (author)mikeandre2011-11-20

Thank you for such the nice comment! Let me know how it works out! (I hope I get my five stars :)

mikeasaurus (author)2011-11-20

Mmm, I love lemon curd!

jen7714 (author)mikeasaurus2011-11-20

Haha me too :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2011-11-20

That sounds so delicious! And I love that it seems so simple to make :)

jen7714 (author)Penolopy Bulnick2011-11-20

It definitely was! And it was very simple and quick too! Definitely worth a try, even if I do say so myself. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm just your ordinary next door neighbor who just so happens to spend free time at the golf course, in her kitchen, traveling around ... More »
More by jen7714:How to Make BriocheHow to Make Almond Butter Monkey Bread How to Make Chinese Egg Tarts
Add instructable to: