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
- 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
More Homemade Preserves
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