Lemon Curd is tart and creamy made with ONLY 4 ingredients, perfect for dessert or brunch and ready in under 30 minutes!
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.
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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
- Easy Lemon Bars (5 Ingredients)
- Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars
- Iced Lemon Almond Milk Bread
- Lemon Cornmeal Cake with Blackberries and Lemon Glaze
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.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 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.