Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is tart and creamy made with ONLY 4 ingredients, perfect for dessert or brunch and ready in under 30 minutes!

We know that throwing the perfect brunch means pulling out our best recipes like this lemon curd along with Easy French Toast Bake and Easy Cinnamon Rolls.

Quick Lemon Curd
LEMON CURD

Lemon Curd is a really sweet and creamy four ingredient dessert that’s simple to throw together on the stovetop, with a bright and fresh tartness that pairs amazingly with my easy whipped cream. This has so much more flavor than the store-bought version, I’m confident you’ll want homemade every time from now on.

You can top this with extra lemon zest, or serve with baked goods like muffins or scones. It also goes really will with pastries and sweet breads, or as a topping for cheesecake. Try my Lemon Curd Sticky Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze!

HOW MUCH JUICE IS IN ONE LEMON?

Lemon juice can vary depending on the size and variety of lemon that you use. I always buy a few extra lemons for this reason. A lemon will typically give you between 1-2 tablespoons of juice.

If you have really large lemons you’ll get 2-3, and smaller will get you about 1 tablespoon. You’ll also get 1-2 tablespoons of zest from a lemon. For this lemon curd recipe, I recommend always measuring the juice to make sure you’re not using too much or too little.

HOW LONG DOES LEMON CURD KEEP?

Lemon curd must be refrigerated in an airtight container or jar, and will keep for 1-2 weeks.

HOW LONG CAN LEMON CURD LAST AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?

I would not leave lemon curd at room temperature for more than a total time of 2 hours. It does have a lot of acid and sugar, but it also has eggs and butter which means it is potentially unsafe in the danger zone (room temperature) for an extended time. This is also best served cold, in my opinion.

Easy Lemon Curd

CAN HOMEMADE LEMON CURD BE FROZEN?

Lemon curd is PERFECT for freezing, because you can pull it out for the holidays or for summertime desserts calling for fresh lemon flavor. Seal it tightly in an airtight container, then freeze for up to 5-6 months.

MORE LEMON DESSERTS

WHAT TO DO WHEN LEMON CURD WON’T THICKEN

If it’s your first time making this, make sure you’ve heated it for long enough. It will take about 15 minutes over medium heat for the curd to thicken properly. If you’r curd doesn’t coat the back of a spoon after about 15-20 minutes, remove the curd from the heat.

After you’ve already made the curd and it’s too thin, you can salvage it by adding unflavored gelatin. Start with 1/4-½ teaspoon, using according to package directions. Whisk in while the curd is still warm, and allow to set in the refrigerator. If you make this lemon curd recipe with gelatin, it would work well as a pie filling in my homemade graham cracker crust.

Next time you make it, make sure you measure the ingredients exactly. You can also add an additional 1-2 egg yolks to help the curd thicken and add some creamy texture. If heating is the issue, try making your curd in a double boiler to make the heat distribute more evenly.

TIPS FOR MAKING LEMON CURD

  • Use this as a layer in my Parfait recipe!
  • If you’re getting lumps in your lemon curd, pass it through a fine mesh strainer to make it creamy and lump free. Do this while the curd is still hot.
  • When you’re picking out lemons, go for the heaviest ones you can find. Typically, these will be the juiciest.
  • Bottled lemon juice usually contains other ingredients, like preservatives, and won’t taste as good or come together as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • If you’re making this as a pie filling, whisk in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch while it’s still cold. It will thicken as it cooks.
  • Add a tablespoon of lemon zest right before cooling to add extra tart lemon flavor.

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Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is tart and creamy made with ONLY 4 ingredients, perfect for dessert or brunch and ready in under 30 minutes!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer add the butter and sugar creaming it together until lightened in color and fluffy (2-3 minutes) before adding in the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated then adding in the lemon juice and combining fully.
  • Move the mixture to a large saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until thick enough that the whisk going through the pan leaves a mark in the lemon curd (12-15 minutes), then cool completely before serving.

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 30mg | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Keyword: lemon curd

Lemon Curd Recipe

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I have had great success using this recipe in different ways. How about using curd to frost lemon cupcakes? Should I thicken with gelatin or leave recipe as is? Thank you

  2. Sabrina, I love this curd recipe. It is simple, not fussy and the texture is supreme – smooth and creamy. I cooked the curd over a double boiler for 15 minutes and did not need to add any thickener. The sugar/lemon ratio are excellent – not too sweet and a good amount of tartness. Thank you.

    1. I’ve not tested it with ghee but you could use a dairy-free butter or margarine, like Earth Balance. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

    1. I would not add lemon chunks until after it is made. It’s a fine balance to get it to curd form and the lemons would alter that during the cooking process.

  3. I made this lemon curd to go in the middle of my husbands birthday cake. Everyone loved it. It didnt want to get think so i added some flour while it was cooking and it thickened it right up.. Thanks 4 the recipe (:

  4. I’m going to make this to put in the middle of my husbands birthday cake in a couple days.. Wish me luck. Thanks 4 the recipe (:

  5. Hello. I am going to make your lovely looking curd and mix it with cream cheese and whipped cream for a jelly roll filling. Wish me luck and I will share results.

      1. Divine! The cake roll was very light and the curd was perfect because it spread nicely – not runny and everyone loved the tartness and that it was not too sweet

  6. How come mine isn’t the same color? It’s more like a milky light yellow and not the bright yellow I was expecting.

    1. Hmmmm, this really has me perplexed. I’ve made this so many times and have never had it be a milky color. There’s so few ingredients and I can’t wrap my mind around what would have caused the difference in color. So sorry.

  7. My first time making lemon curd. It’s an awesome recipe Using it today to make little lemon blueberry tarts for dessert tonight to share with friends. I’ll use this recipe a lot, thank you!