Versatile Lemon Curd
This tart, creamy lemon spread is easy to make and adds a puckery addition to tarts, cakes, and more. Lemon curd is the classic name for it, but just think of it as an almost impossibly yellow, lemony, pucker-y, spreadable addition to your repertoire.
We use this curd in our Lemon Tart in a Shortbread Crust recipe.
It is also lovely spread on muffins or scones. Adding lemon zest adds more flavor, but also adds a texture. If you want the cream to stay silky smooth, leave it out.
Lemon curd is all about the bright, clean, lemon flavor; please use freshly squeezed juice. Also, while you can make this in the top of a double boiler, I have found that with constant supervision – do not walk away from the stove top – you can make this more quickly and easily over low to medium direct heat.
Just use a pan with a heavy bottom and watch it carefully. If you have a saucier pan, with a rounded bottom, you will be able to whisk the lemon cream most easily without any scorching.
If you love tangy, creamy desserts, check out our ultra-smooth, decadent Lime Cheesecake Dip!
Additional Lemon Recipes
- Lemon Tart
- Lemony Carbonara
- Lemon Loaf
- Lemon Blueberry Sheet Pan Pancakes
- Chicken Thighs with Lemon & Oregano
- Citrus Mojo
- Preserved Lemons
- Swordfish Kebobs with Lemon Dill Marinade
- Lemon Granita
Lemon Curd can be used as a tart filling or as a spread for muffins or scones.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 3 cups (720 ml); serving size ¼ cup (60 ml)
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (298 g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks; 170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, optional
Place the eggs, yolk, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk together to break up the eggs. Add the butter and cook over medium-low heat, whisking frequently. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges, lower the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and reaches 180F/82°C. (The temperature is more important than the time it takes, and the cream itself should not boil.) The curd will thicken and form a soft shape when dropped from a spoon. It will also begin to look a bit translucent. If desired, stir in the zest after removing from the heat.
Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to release the heat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 1 week in an airtight container.
- The only trick to a Lemon Curd recipe is to keep the cooking gentle so as not to scramble the eggs. Simply follow our instructions and you will be rewarded with an intensely smooth, creamy, puckery lemon curd.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
Tell Us What You Think
3 comments for “Lemon Curd”
Tastes amazing, but I ended up with little butter granules in it that wouldn’t melt. That could be my fault though, I’m a very inexperienced baker.
Hmm, if the butter didn’t melt and become incorporated, you simply did not cut it into small enough pieces and/or didn’t heat the mixture enough. Probably the latter! You could actually put it back in the pot, heat it and try to get it there!
Kathryn, it just occurred to me that a much more likely scenario is that your eggs curdled and you are seeing bits of egg white. You have to temper the eggs (bring them up to temperature gently) so as not to overheat the egg white protein – which is probably your little white flecks.