This easy Lemon Curd is the perfect combination of sweet and tart. It works well in a variety of dessert recipes and is even delicious enjoyed on its own with berries, some whipped cream, or spread on your morning muffin or toast!
It’s easy to make your own lemon curd! It tastes better than store-bought spread and is full of fresh lemon flavor and just the right amount of sweetness! I promise, if it’s your first time making it, you’ll wonder why you have never tried it before!
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What is Lemon Curd?
To be honest, growing up I thought lemon curd sounded gross. Curd is just an odd-sounding word, and I didn’t think anything called “curd” could actually taste good! Well, I’m happy to be completely wrong in this case, as lemon lovers will all tell you that lemon curd is amazing!
Lemon curd is a custard-like, delicious spread made from fresh lemon juice, sugar, butter, whole eggs (or egg yolks), and lemon zest. Use it in desserts like Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Bars, or my favorite way, as an ice cream topping!
What kind of lemons should I use?
While I think regular lemons make the best lemon curd, Meyer lemons will work too! They are harder to find at grocery stores, and they are also a bit sweeter. Feel free to use either regular fresh lemons or Meyer lemons in this recipe, but if you use Meyer lemons, consider cutting some of the sugar.
Do you need any special equipment to make Homemade Lemon Curd?
You really don’t need anything special, although some specialty equipment can help, like a juicer for the lemons or a fine mesh strainer for the lemon zest. You’ll also need a glass jar or other airtight container to store the curd.
To make this Lemon Curd, I used this citrus juicer, and this GIR spatula.
List of Ingredients
You only need a few simple ingredients for this delicious lemon curd:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely minced lemon zest (about 3 large fresh lemons)
How to make fresh Lemon Curd
This recipe takes only a few simple steps, and you’ll have that tangy spread cooling in no time!
First, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave.
Whisk the sugar and lemon zest together in a separate medium glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add the lemon juice and whisk again.
Slowly incorporate the butter while whisking and continue to mix until smooth.
Microwave this mixture at 50% power for 1 minute. Remove it from the microwave and give it a good stir. Then microwave for an additional minute at full power and stir again.
Repeat this process so that you’re microwaving for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring in between each minute. The mixture will be fully cooked when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Optional: If you want, push the curd through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any excess lemon zest.
The lemon curd will thicken into a spoonable consistency as it cools to room temperature. Pour it into a glass jar, mason jar, or another airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for up to 3 weeks!
This recipe makes about 2 cups of lemon curd.
- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not the bottled kind you buy at the store. That is very acidic and will change the flavor noticeably.
- Microwave as directed at 50% power first, or you may scramble your eggs! That’s not what we want in this recipe! If you are using the stovetop, keep the heat low for the same reason.
- If your curd is lumpy, it’s probably because the eggs scrambled a bit. You can use a strainer to remove any lumps or use an immersion blender to help smooth it out.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap over the lemon curd as it cools to help prevent skin from forming on top of the curd.
- Help the curd cool more quickly by placing it in the refrigerator.
Can I make Lemon Curd on the stovetop?
If you don’t have access to a microwave, or just don’t like using one, you can make this on a stovetop. You don’t even need a double boiler. Simply add the ingredients as directed to a small saucepan, set it to low heat, then whisk constantly for about 8-9 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Again, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, this recipe doubles nicely. For best results, use the appropriate-size bowl and know it will take a bit longer to cook and thicken.
Can you freeze Lemon Curd?
Lemon curd keeps well in the freezer! Once it has cooled completely, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving it.
More Great Recipes
If you like recipes full of lemon flavor, be sure to take a look at this No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake, Copycat Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade, or more lemon desserts like these:
- Lemon Dream Bars– With a lemon cookie crust, luscious lemon curd, cheesecake filling, and Cool Whip, you’ll enjoy the delicious citrus flavor in every bite of this no-bake dessert.
- Easy Lemon Cake– This is a perfect dessert for Easter, Mother’s Day, or all year round.
- Lemon Crepes– These thin, light pancakes with a zesty mascarpone-cottage cheese filling are topped with homemade lemon curd.
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecakes– individual cheesecakes with a lemon filling and topped with that incredible meringue.
- Lemon Cake Mix Cookies– soft, sweet, and brimming with zesty flavor!
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This recipe was shared with me from Mary at Barefeet in the Kitchen. Thanks, Mary! ❤️ Check out her site for lots of fabulous recipes!
- ½ cup butter
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup finely minced lemon zest (from 3 large lemons)
- Melt the butter in a small dish in the microwave.
- Whisk the sugar and zest together in a medium size glass bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolk, and mix. Add the lemon juice and zest, and whisk again. Slowly incorporate the butter while whisking, and whisk once more until smooth.
- Microwave at 50% POWER for 1 minute.
- Remove from the microwave and stir. Microwave an additional minute at full power and stir again. Repeat the process so that you're microwaving and additional 2-3 minutes and stirring after each minute. The mixture will be fully cooked when it it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. .
- If desired, curd can be pushed through a fine mesh strainer to remove excess lemon zest
- As it cools, the curd will thicken into a spoonable consistency. Pour into glass jars and cover with air-tight lids. Store in the refrigerator for about three weeks.
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This post was originally published 3/22/17. It has been updated both in format and with pictures on 4/17/23.
Comments & Reviews
Michele Rizzuto says
Love all your recipes, keep up the great work ?
Geraldine Gilbert says
Love lemon. Looking forward to more recipes. Please check step two, spelling. Sorry for your loss. I’m sure you have lots of lovely memories.
Thank you, Geraldine. I’ve checked the recipe and believe I’ve fixed the error. Thanks for letting me know.
Yes, we do have a lot of wonderful memories with Brady. We miss that old guy a whole heck of a lot.
Just made this recipe today and oh my goodness is it delicious! It takes a while and involves a lot of whisking, but it is so worth the effort! Thank you for another great recipe!