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This Lemon Curd is a simple, sweet, tart and creamy recipe. Made with five ingredients in about fifteen minutes, this is the easiest recipe out there! Delicious as is or added to cookies or swirled into cake. If you’re a lemon lover, you will love this recipe.
Lemon Curd Basics
If you don’t know what lemon curd is, it’s basically a sweet dessert spread made of citrus fruit. While lemon curd is by far the most popular, you can absolutely make this with orange, lime or even grapefruit (yum!)
Basic Ingredients: lemon curd is made with lots of fresh lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar, butter and eggs. Hard to go wrong with all of those together.
Making Lemon Curd: While I realize lemon curd sounds pretty fancy, it couldn’t be easier to make! Once all the ingredients are whisked together in the bottom of a cold pot, you heat it gently over medium-low heat until it thickens, right before it reaches boiling. Remove from heat, refrigerate and tada! You’ve just made lemon curd.
Taste: lemon curd is a great balance of tart, sweet and creamy. Thickened with eggs, it is a smooth and bright spread.
Fresh Lemons are Best
For the brightest, tartest lemon curd, opt for using fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Shave off the zest using a microplane before cutting lemons in half and juicing.
While you can buy lemon and lime juice at the grocery store in cute little yellow and green containers, it can sometimes taste more bitter than sour which isn’t what we are going for. Just buy the fresh lemons and go from there.
How to Use Lemon Curd
I know when I first heard of lemon curd, my first thought was “what am I supposed to do with it?” A lot of the time, people just don’t know how to use it. Here are a few ideas:
- Fill vanilla or lemon cakes
- Delicious topping for crepes or vanilla bundt cakes
- Spread onto pancakes for french toast
- Swirl it into a cream cheese danish (yum!)
- Fold it into whipped cream for a lemony addition
- Fill some shortbread cookies with it
How to Make Lemon Curd
If you have 10-15 minutes, you can make lemon curd! It’s a lot easier to make than you think. Here’s how to do it:
Whisk Ingredients In Pot
In a small saucepan, whisk lemon juice, lemon zest, granulated sugar and eggs together. Place pot over medium low heat and add in butter pieces.
Cook to Thicken
Whisk continuously for 7-10 minutes until lemon curd thickens but before it starts to boil. 170 degrees F is boiling, so you will want to pull it from the heat right before it gets there.
RECIPE NOTE: Be sure to use a whisk that reaches all the way into the corners of the pot you’re using to prevent the eggs from cooking/scorching in those corners, giving you lumps. I have found a flat whisk works great for this!
Remove from heat and pour into airtight containers or jars. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. As it cools, it will thicken into a spread.
If you have your lemon curd in airtight containers, it will last up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you won’t be using it within those four weeks, transfer to the freezer. Lemon curd will last up to a year frozen. To defrost, simply transfer to the fridge to defrost over the course of 24 hours. Use as desired.
Other Lemon Desserts You Will Love
If you love tart and sweet lemon recipes, look no further! I’ve got a bunch to choose from. These are my favorites, but be sure to browse my archives of lemon treats here.
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- Creme Brulee Lemon Pie (one of my favorite recipes!)
- Lemon Lush (Lemon Dessert Lasagna)
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! As a lemon lover, I’d highly recommend making this and keeping it in your fridge for when cravings hit. Be sure to save/bookmark/share/pin/print this recipe. It’s a great all purpose recipe! Have a great day, friends.
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup salted butter cut into pats
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 whisk
- In a small saucepan, whisk lemon juice, lemon zest, granulated sugar and eggs together.
- Place pot over medium low heat and add in butter pieces. Whisk continuously for 7-10 minutes until lemon curd thickens but before it starts to boil.
- Remove from heat and pour into jars. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.