How to make lemon curd? With my tried and tested lemon curd recipe it's quicker & easier than you think. All it takes is 4 ingredients and under half an hour of your time! After that you'll never go back to shop bought version ever again!
Homemade lemon curd is by far one of my favourite breakfast spreads. I love its tangy sweetness on my toast in the morning - it's pure heaven. The best thing about it is that it's super quick and easy to make. Once you've tried this homemade delight you will never go back to the shop bought version. Knowing exactly what's in it has got to be a good thing too! How to make lemon curd you ask? Well, read on!
Ingredients & equipment
Lemons (preferably unwaxed)
Look for nice and juicy ones. How to pick those out? I found that lemons which look really impressive with thick skin and not much "give" when you gently squeeze them are the ones with the least juice. Whereas the smaller ones, with thinner skin and slightly squashier tend to be more generous. Not strictly scientific but I think I'm onto something with this observation.
To get as much juice out of them as possible make sure to let your lemons come to room temperature and give them a little roll with the palm of your hand before squeezing. In case you forgot to take your lemons out of the fridge in time but want to get on with making lemon curd, you can pop them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds to warm them up. Once out of the microwave, let them stand for a minute or so, give them a roll and you are ready to squeeze.
Fine Caster Sugar (or Golden Caster)
I have a small balloon whisk which I like to use here as much easier to hold than your standard size large balloon whisk
Medium sized pan
You will need one here if you're using bain-marie method (bowl set over the pan of simmering water). Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
This recipe yields approx 350ml of lemon curd so you will need couple of small jars or one large one only. To sterilise your jars simply wash them (together with lids) in hot soapy water and dry stood up on a clean baking tray in the oven preheated to 150°C/300F for 10-15 min. The jars should be straight from the oven when you pour in your hot lemon curd.
Homemade lemon curd - useful tips!
Once all your ingredients are ready it's time to get serious. For lemon curd success you will need 100% focus or else you will end up with scrambled gloop and who wants that!
I usually make my lemon curd in a pan over the low heat and it works for me. I know I cannot leave the mixture unattended and stop whisking for a split second. However, if it's your first time making lemon curd or you simply want to be on a safe side, use bain-marie method (heatproof bowl set over the pan of simmering water) to make your curd.
When whisking your mixture you are looking for consistency of slightly thicker custard which should take 7-10 minutes to get to (longer if using bain-marie method). Once you're there, quickly pour your curd into hot, sterilised jars. Make sure you've got good oven gloves to handle the jars as even asbestos hands can get badly burnt here.
I like to make my lemon curd in smaller batches hence this recipe only yields 350mls but it is super easy to double if you require bigger quantity.
How to eat lemon curd?
Lemon curd is super versatile and you can use it not only as spread but also filling, in muffins, cakes, pancakes etc. My favourite ways of enjoying it are super simple:
- Try it on a slice of my toasted Yogurt Soda Bread or this no-knead Easy Wholemeal Bread
- Spread it over delicious, thin pancakes (I find it superior to lemon juice and sugar and it's my favourite pancake accompaniment ever)
- Use it as a topping for your porridge or yogurt
- Try it in place of cranberry compote in my Pancakes with Mascarpone dessert
- Or be tempted by my delicious Baked Lemon Cheesecake topped with (yes you guessed it) lemon curd
How long does lemon curd last?
Not long enough! Not in our house anyway.
In all seriousness, if refrigerated in well sealed, sterilised jars, it should last up to 3 months. Once opened, it should be eaten within 1-2 weeks.
How to make Lemon Curd - Step-By-Step Instructions
Place all ingredients in a pan over a low heat or alternatively in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan with simmering water (bain-marie method). Make sure the bowl doesn't touch the water.
Stir all ingredients together continuously until all combined and butter melted using balloon whisk.
From this point keep whisking the mixture gently for 7-10 minutes (slightly longer if using bain-marie method) until it starts to thicken. It should have consistency of slightly thicker custard and it will thicken even more once cooled.
Remove from the heat and pour into hot, sterilised jars and put on the lid whilst still hot.
How to Make Lemon Curd
- Sterilised jars
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons buy unwaxed lemons if possible
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 egg yolk
- 150 g caster or golden caster sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter cubed
- Place all ingredients in a pan over a low heat or alternatively in a heatproof bowl placed over a pan with simmering water (bain-marie method). Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Stir all ingredients together continuously until all combined and butter melted using balloon whisk.
- From this point keep whisking the mixture gently for 7-10 minutes (slightly longer if using bain-marie method) until it starts to thicken. It should have consistency of slightly thicker custard and it will thicken even more once cooled.
- Remove from the heat and pour into hot, sterilised jars and put on the lid whilst still hot.
- It will keep in a fridge for good few weeks.
- Nutritional information is per 1 tablespoon serving, is approximate and should be treated as a guideline only.
- To sterilise jars simply wash them in hot soapy water and dry stood up in a clean baking tray in the oven preheated to 150°C for 10-15 min. The jars should be straight from the oven when you pour in your hot lemon curd.
- Lemon curd should be kept in the fridge where it will last sealed in sterilised jars for up to 3 months. Once opened, use within 1-2 weeks.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on 20 January 2018 and republished in January 2020 with updated recipe card, more useful info, step by step photos and better layout to improve user experience.
Some more lemon delights you might enjoy
Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
Blueberry Buns with Lemon Glaze (Jagodzianki)
More Homemade Preserves
Easy Blackberry Jam (No Pectin)
Orange Marmalade (with step-by-step photos)
Easy Cranberry Compote (Sauce)
MAKE SURE YOU STAY UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE LATEST RECIPES FROM JO’S KITCHEN LARDER
If you found my little guide on How to Make Lemon Curd useful please leave me a comment/rating at the bottom of this post. I love reading them!
You can also come and say hello over on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest
Pin How to Make Lemon Curd For Later!
Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy and Everyday Healthy Recipes, Cook Once Eat Twice
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more. I only recommend products I own or really like and which caught my attention. Thanks in advance for supporting Jo’s Kitchen Larder!
Noelette Sahd says
I'm dying to make it for the first time at nearly 80.. Always tog it would be beyond my capabilities.. Going to try this weekend. Thank you for making it sound so easy.
You're most welcome! 🙂 I'm sure you'll have no problems making it as it really is super easy. Enjoy! 🙂
Victoria Kabakian says
Lemon curd is so versatile! Have you ever tried piping it into cream puffs instead of filling them with cream? Divine!
Oh wow Victoria, that is a delicious idea, thanks!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings says
I've never made lemon curd but this is the ultimate guide. I love how many details and tips you put in here so we can't screw it up. This would make a great gift for my mom bc she loves lemon curd!
Thanks Karen! 🙂 The process of making lemon curd really is pretty straightforward but I thought all the tips & tricks I've learnt are worth sharing. 🙂
I love how this curd looks - something that could easily make a day in the morning. Delicious, colorful and... healthy!
Thanks Danielle! 🙂 It's like sunshine on toast especially during winter months. 🙂
I love all things lemon and I love the idea of adding this to pancakes or cheesecake! Great idea!
Thank you! 🙂
Marie-Charlotte Chatelain says
Obsessed with lemon curd over here! Love that your recipe uses whole eggs as opposed to just yolks!
Thank you! 🙂 Same here! We tend to have a jar in the fridge at all times. 🙂
Angela / Only Crumbs Remain says
Mmmm! I love lemon curd Jo, and especially homemade lemon curd - there definitely is something special about it! I'm certainly going to have to try it on pancakes this year (I usually just sprinkle a little sugar & a squeeze of lemon so why on earth I've not thought of using lemon curd I don't know!)
Thanks Angela! 🙂 I was the same, it was like a lightbulb moment when I first had lemon curd on pancakes! Why haven't I thought about it before, doh! lol Since I've tried it, there is no way back 🙂 x
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie says
YUM! I love lemon curd...but do you know what? I've never had it on pancakes before...must try that as I really like lemon and sugar on pancakes...so this is like the next level!! 😀 Eb x
Thanks Eb! 🙂 I am lemon and sugar as well but recent years it's been all about lemon curd! I would say definitely try it as it's a complete game changer! 🙂 x
Ooh lemon curd is the best. Have you ever tried passionfruit curd? I bought a jar from a National Trust shop a while ago and it was the best thing I'd ever had!
Oh wow passion fruit curd sounds lovely too, will have to look out for it!
I absolutely love lemon curd but I don't make nearly often enough
I go through phases but got a jar on the go most of the time with occasional forced break lol
Honestly, I could eat lemon curd on toast forever! I try to cook all of these yummy meals, but none are ever as good as lemon curd on toast! #CookBlogShare
I hear you Donna 🙂 It's a mystery to me too. I go through lemon curd binge phases myself when no jar of lemon curd is safe. It comes to the point I have to take a break from making it and practice a bit of abstinence for a while. No abstinence at the moment though, not until after Shrove Tuesday lol. Happy times! 🙂
Corina Blum says
I imagine this lemon curd is fantastic on pancakes! It's great that it's so easy to make too. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice
Thanks Corina ? It really is, perfect accompaniment and oh so easy ? x
Avril Evitts says
Definitely going to try this, I love lemon curd. I'm making your One Pot Bean and Sausage pasta today with vegetarian sausages.
Definitely give it a go Avril as it's so easy and so delicious! I'm so chuffed you decided to make One Pot Beans and Sausage pasta. Let me know how it went! I hope you liked it. 🙂