Small Batch Lemon Curd

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This Small Batch Lemon Curd is so easy to make with just five simple ingredients. It’s tangy, rich, creamy and so versatile!

Small Batch Lemon Curd in a glass jar

This easy Small Batch Lemon Curd is made with just five simple ingredients and tastes so much better than store-bought. It comes together in 15 minutes and has plenty of tangy lemon flavor thanks to fresh lemon juice and zest!

Looking for more small batch recipes? Try my Small Batch Focaccia, Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes or Small Batch Coffee Cake!

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 – as the egg cooks it thickens the curd and gives 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.

Ways To Eat This Small Batch Lemon Curd:

Overhead view of Small Batch Lemon Curd in a glass jar

How To Make Small Batch Lemon Curd

1. In a small 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.

2. Whisk the egg into the small 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 the egg by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling liquid into the egg mixture 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 then mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated.

5. Strain curd into an airtight container then press a layer of plastic wrap to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cover with lid then store Small Batch Lemon Curd in the fridge for up to a week.

Pro Tips For Small Batch 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 mixture otherwise it may 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is Tempering?

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

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

Can Lemon Curd Be Frozen?

Yes! This Small Batch Lemon Curd can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.

Small Batch Lemon Curd in a glass jar

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! 🙂

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5 from 2 votes

Small Batch Lemon Curd

This Small Batch Lemon Curd is so easy to make with just five simple ingredients. It's tangy, rich, creamy and so versatile!
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 470kcal
Author Maria Azzarelli

Equipment

  • Fine mesh sieve

Ingredients

  • 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) lemon juice
  • 28 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions

  • In a small 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.
  • Whisk the egg into the small bowl with the sugar until well combined then set aside.
  • 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 the egg by very slowly pouring 3/4 of the boiling liquid into the egg mixture while constantly and vigorously whisking.
  • 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 then mix in cubed butter until fully incorporated.
  • Strain curd into an airtight container then press a layer of plastic wrap to the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cover with lid then store Small Batch Lemon Curd in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
 
  • Store Small Batch Lemon Curd in the fridge for up to a week.
 
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate for the entire lemon curd. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 224mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 942IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

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