Easy Lemon Curd

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This silky smooth Lemon Curd is so simple and easy to make with just five ingredients! It’s delicious as a filling or topping for any dessert but if you’re a true lemon lover like me you’ll be eating it by the spoonful!

Top view of easy lemon curd in a glass container

This lemon curd is out of this world delicious and comes together in just 15 minutes. It’s sweet with just enough of that tangy lemon punch that we all know and love. It’s so versatile but my favorite way to use it is in my Lemon Sweet Rolls!

Ingredient Breakdown

Granulated sugar – sweetens the curd.

Lemon zest – adds extra lemon flavor by rubbing zest and sugar together until it looks like wet sand. This releases lemon oil from the zest.

Egg yolks – as the yolks cook they thicken the curd and give it structure. This omits the need for any other thickeners such as flour or cornstarch!

Lemon juice – gives the curd its lemon flavor. Always use fresh lemon juice!

Unsalted butter – makes the curd rich and creamy.

What Is Tempering?

In order to make lemon curd (or any fruit curd), you need to temper the egg yolks. This is the process of slowly warming up the yolks before adding them to the pot of boiling liquid to prevent them from immediately scrambling (yuck!).

To temper the yolks you simply have to very slowly pour 3/4 of the boiling lemon juice into the egg yolks while constantly and vigorously whisking. After that you can safely add the yolk mixture to the pot and continue making your curd!

How To Make Lemon Curd

1. In a medium bowl rub together granulated sugar and lemon zest until it looks like wet sand. Add 1/2 of the lemon sugar to a small pot and set aside.

Before and after of lemon sugar for lemon curd

2. Whisk the egg yolks into the medium bowl with the sugar until well combined then set aside.

3. Combine the lemon juice with the sugar in the small pot then bring to a boil over medium low heat. Once boiling remove from heat and temper eggs by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling liquid into the yolks while constantly and vigorously whisking.

4. Return all the liquid back to the small pot and whisk constantly over low heat until thickened. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon and a line remains after running your finger through it. Remove from heat and mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated.

Lemon curd on a spatula and in a container with plastic on the surface

5. Strain curd into an airtight container then press a layer of plastic wrap to the top (to prevent a skin from forming). Cover with lid and refrigerate for up to a week.

Pro Tips For Lemon Curd

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate; baking is a science after all!
  • Do not use bottled lemon juice, it will not taste as good.
  • Do not stop whisking curd while on heat or it will burn/curdle.
  • Only use low heat to cook the curd once you add the egg yolks or it will burn/curdle.
  • Strain curd after it finishes cooking to make it super smooth and silky.
  • Press plastic wrap to the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.

What To Make With Leftover Egg Whites?

Try my Angel Food Cupcakes or S’mores Cupcakes!

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Easy Lemon Curd

Maria Azzarelli
This silky smooth lemon curd is so simple and easy to make with just five ingredients! It's delicious as a filling or topping for any dessert but if you're a true lemon lover like me you'll be eating it by the spoonful!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Calories 2072 kcal

Equipment

  • Fine mesh sieve

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest about 1 lemon
  • 8 egg yolks save the whites for another recipe!
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) lemon juice, strained 4-5 medium lemons
  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl rub lemon zest into sugar until it looks like wet sand. Add 1/2 of the lemon sugar to a small pot and set aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolks into the medium bowl with the sugar until well combined. Set aside.
  • To the small pot add the lemon juice and whisk to combine with the sugar then bring to a boil over medium low heat. Once boiling remove from heat and temper eggs by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling juice into the eggs while constantly and vigorously whisking.
  • Add the egg mixture to the pot and whisk constantly over low heat until thickened. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated.
  • Strain curd into an airtight container then press a layer of plastic wrap to the top (to prevent a skin from forming). Cover with lid and refrigerate.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: use unsalted butter, do not substitute salted butter. 
 
  • Store Lemon curd in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed to the surface  for up to a week in the fridge or up to a year in the freezer.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate for the entire lemon curd. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Calories: 2072kcalCarbohydrates: 213gProtein: 24gFat: 131gSaturated Fat: 72gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 41gTrans Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1798mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 316mgFiber: 1gSugar: 204gVitamin A: 4910IUVitamin C: 52mgCalcium: 230mgIron: 4mg
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