Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (2024)

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This easy lemon curd recipe takes 10 minutes to make and has only 4 ingredients, so whip up a batch of this sweet dessert filling today!

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (1)

What is Lemon Curd?

It is a type of fruit curd, using fruit juice, fruit zest, sugar and egg yolks as a thickener. These are cooked until the mix thickens into a smooth and tasty spread.

Curds typically use citrus such as lemons, limes, or oranges but you can also use berries or other fruit. You can use any type of lemon for this recipe but Meyers lemons are especially delicious.

Ingredients

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (2)

  • Lemons– you’ll use both the zest and lemon juice from 2 medium lemons. Bonus – you can use any citrus you want. Oranges, limes (like in this margarita macaron recipe), grapefruits, it all works beautifully. You’ll want about 1/4 cup juice and 2 tbsp zest.
  • Eggs – The egg yolks are what thickens the curd and the egg whites make it lighter and more spreadable. I’ve tested different ratios, but really like three egg yolks to two whole eggs. But, you can alter the egg yolk to whole egg ratio and it will still turn. More yolks makes a very sturdy curd, which is great for filling cookies and tarts. Whole eggs, make a more spreadable curd, great for brunch and topping muffins and scones.
  • Butter -you can use salted or unsalted. If you use unsalted, you can also add pinch of salt when you add the butter to help cut the sweetness.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (3)

How to make this recipe

  1. Mix or whisk the egg, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl until it is a pale yellow and transfer to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  2. Add the lemon juice and zest, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5-7 minutes until it starts to thicken. When it’s done it will bubble up and it leave nice thick coat on the back of the whisk or spoon you use to mix.
  3. Once it’s thickened, remove from heat and add the butter one tablespoon at a time. You want to make sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next.
  4. While it’s still warm, strain through a sieve. Then cover and let cool before refrigerating until ready to use. It will thicken as it cools.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (4)

Tips and tricks:

  • Zest the lemon them juice it! This seems very obviously, but it’s very easy to forget.
  • Try to only zest the yellow parts of the lemon. The white part can be bitter.
  • Make sure to continuously stir the lemon egg mixture as it cooks. The constant stirring helps ensure the egg whites don’t separate and cook.
  • Straining out the lemon zest is optional. I personally prefer a perfectly smooth curd, so I like to strain it, but you don’t mind the zest you can skip this step.
  • The recipe makes about 1 cup lemon curd and can be doubled or tripled as needed.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (5)

Storing and Freezing Lemon Curd

Lemon curd freezes beautifully. This recipe will last up to two weeks in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. When ready to use, let defrost in the fridge and come to room temperature right before using.

Using Leftover Egg Whites

Meringues! Use them in any meringue based dish such as French macarons, pavlovas, marshmallow frosting, and Swiss meringue buttercream. Even some marshmallow recipes call for egg whites.

You can also do baked goods like angel food cake and white cake and cupcakes. And of course, egg white omelets and my personal favorite – co*cktails that use egg whites.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (6)

How to use this spread

Topping: This recipe is a great topping for muffins, scones, croissants, yogurt and other brunch staples. It’s also makes a delicious dessert topping for cheesecake, panna cotta, and pavlova.

Filling: My favorite way to use this recipe is for desert fillings. Cakes, cupcakes, tarts, and macarons and other sandwich cookies. Delicious!

Tried this recipe? What is your favorite way to use it? Let me know in the comments!

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (7)

Easy Lemon Curd

This easy lemon curd recipe takes 10 minutes to make and has only 4 ingredients, so whip up a batch of this sweet dessert filling today!

5 from 19 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: condiment

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 8

Calories: 123kcal

Author: Sophia Assunta

Equipment

  • Saucepan

  • Whisk or Fork

  • Fine Mesh Strainer or Cheesecloth (optional)

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 whole egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Zest of two lemons about 1/4 cup
  • Juice of two lemons about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • pinch of salt optional, if using unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Mix or whisk egg yolk, egg, and sugar in heavy bottomed saucepan until light and pale.

  • Add lemon juice and zest

  • Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thick and bubbling, about 5-7 minutes

  • It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon

  • Remove from heat and stir in butter one tablespoon at a time

  • While still warm, strain through a mesh sieve

  • Let cool and then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. It will thicken as it cools.

Notes

  • Zest the lemon them juice it! This seems very obviously, but it's very easy to forget.
  • Try to only zest the yellow parts of the lemon. The white part can be bitter.
  • Make sure to continuously stir the lemon curd mix as it cooks. The constant stirring helps ensure the egg whites don’t separate and cook.
  • Straining out the lemon zest is optional. I personally prefer a perfectly smooth curd, so I like to strain it, but you don’t mind the zest you can skip this step.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of lemon curd and can be doubled or tripled as needed.
  • This recipe will last up to two weeks in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 23mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 288IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Tried this Recipe? Let me know!Tag @Sophia.Assunta or #Partylicious!

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (2024)
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