Homemade lemon curd is quite a treat for citrus lovers. It’s tart and sweet, lusciously smooth and creamy. And you won’t believe how easy it is to make it!
I love lemons just as much as I love chocolate and caramel.
A few years ago, I went overboard and bought a case of 35lbs of lemons!!! True story…
And I don’t regret it one bit, because I learned to make a lemon curd. Ever since then my new life motto is “When life hands you lemons, make lemon curd!” Seriously, your life will instantly become sweeter, not bitter!
What is lemon curd anyway?
Technically, lemon curd is a custard-like citrus sauce, almost like a pudding, but better. It’s smooth and creamy, tart and sweet. Lemon curd is an ideal filling for many pastries, like creme puffs, cakes and such. If you’re a true lemon lover, you’ll appreciate that tangy rich lemon bite. And if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy it by a spoonful!
You can certainly purchase jarred version from a store, but be prepared to pay a hefty price! This homemade version is easy on your wallet, but tastes 100x better!
All you need to make a killer lemon curd is lemons, sugar, eggs and butter!
And did I mention how easy it is to make this lemon curd? Seriously, it comes together in less than 15 minutes!!!
What makes my lemon curd recipe different from other 1000 recipes?
There are many lemon curd recipes out there online, and you will notice, many of them require whole eggs as well as egg yolks, or all egg yolks. However, unless I have plans for egg whites, I don’t like to separate eggs just to use egg yolks. So I tried making lemon curd with whole eggs only. And luckily, it turned out just as delicious!
So there you have it, my lemon curd recipes calls for whole eggs!
And here’re step by step photos to make the easiest lemon curd.
TIP: When zesting lemon, make sure to only zest the yellow part of the skin without going into bitter white pith.
Whisking all the ingredients in a saucepan before turning on the heat prevents scrambling the egg whites.
Turn on the heat to low and whisk away until nice and thick!
TIP: Don’t be tempted to rush through this process and cook the mixture over medium-high heat. Or you may get lemon scrambled eggs. And don’t forget to whisk constantly. No need to whisk vigorously though, just keep stirring slowly while the mixture heats through.
In about 8-10 minutes, the mixture will thicken and bubble up.
Take off the heat and add butter.
TIP: Butter adds that irresistible creaminess to the curd. It also helps to thicken it. If you want your curd to be on thicker side, you may add 1-2 tablespoons of additional butter.
For lusciously smooth texture, run the mixture through a sieve.
And lastly cover the curd with plastic wrap, making sure it touches entire surface. This prevents forming an unappealing film over the curd.
Once the curd is chilled in the fridge, it’ll thicken even more.
How to use lemon curd?
There’re absolutely endless ways to use lemon curd. My favorite and classic way to serve lemon curd is with tea and scones. Pancakes and pound cake are equally amazing! For brunches, this lemon Chantilly parfaits would be a huge hit!
And last but certainly not least, you can use your lemon curd in this lemon raspberry cheesecake bars (my fave!).
Why my lemon curd tastes eggy?
I admit, the lemon curd never tastes eggy to me, but I’m not particularly sensitive to egg flavor. If you feel like this lemon curd tastes eggy, try using egg yolks only, instead of whole eggs.
Why my lemon curd tastes metallic?
Avoid using reactive metal saucepan and whisk. Stick with stainless steel. Also, taste the curd after refrigerating overnight, as it may help to improve the metallic taste.
A little sneak peek behind the scene:
Photographing lemon curd is a family affair. In the photo below, my husband is a hand-model, and my son is his supervisor.
Hope you enjoy this fabulous bright and zesty curd soon!
Homemade Lemon Curd
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from 3-4 lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest for a minute.
- Turn on the heat to low and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 170°F (75°C), 8-10 minutes. The mixture will be thick and it'll leave a trail if you run a finger on back of spoon dipped in curd.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter.
- Place a mesh sieve over a bowl and run the curd through it. It makes the curd silky smooth!
- Cover the curd with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the curd to avoid forming a film. Cool completely and then refrigerate.
- Store the curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published on May 8, 2015.