Lemon curd is such an easy thing to make and delicious on just about everything! It’s sweet, tart and so much better when it’s homemade!
How to use lemon curd
Lemon curd is a tasty addition to many things. It’s great for dipping shortbread cookies in, adding to yogurt or pancakes, or baking with. I’ve used it in multiple cakes, including a Lemon Cake with Lemon Bavarian Cream and a Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake. It’s great as a filling in these Lemon Meringue Cupcakes. And it’s awesome on this Lemon Meringue Cheesecake and Mini Lemon Raspberry Cheesecakes. The possibilities are endless!
And if you’re going to have lemon curd, it should definitely be homemade! It always makes me sad when I hear of someone using store-bought lemon curd. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it just isn’t the same. It doesn’t have nearly the same flavor. If you’ve never made it before, you seriously have to try it. You will never buy it pre-made again.
How to make easy lemon curd
So now that you’re convinced of how you have to make this lemon curd, let’s talk about what goes into making it. It’s only 5 ingredients and two of them come from lemons, so it’s really like 4. Lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and some butter – that’s it!
Naturally the lemon juice and lemon zest give the lemon curd it’s tart, lemony flavor. The sugar adds the sweet element. The egg yolks thicken the mixture and are what really adds that extra pop of flavor, in my opinion. No whole eggs here, just the yolks. They really accentuate the lemon, making this the BEST lemon curd. The butter also adds a little flavor.
All the ingredients are cooked over a double boiler. You could also place a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water if you don’t have a double boiler (which is what I do). The reason for this method of cooking is so that you don’t cook the eggs too quickly and end up with scrambled eggs. That would not be good.
You want to heat the mixture until it’s nice and thickened. You can eyeball it and see that it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, or use a thermometer to see when it reaches 160 degrees. I personally like the thermometer. It helps to make sure that it’s hot enough for the eggs to be safe to eat, but not so hot that it ends up too thick.
The final lemon curd is pure heaven. While I tend to use it in desserts, it’s truly a task to not just eat it all with a spoon. And it’s so easy to make, you can whip it together whenever you feel like a nice lemony treat! Time to go grab a bunch of lemons!
This lemon curd is such an easy thing to make and delicious on just about everything! It’s sweet, tart and so much better when it’s homemade!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time
- Yield: 3/4 cup 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
- 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice (about 1–2 lemons)
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup (69g) sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp (42g) salted butter
1. Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Heat while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees, or coats the back of a spoon.
2. Pour the lemon curd into a heat proof bowl, cover with clear wrap pressed onto the the top of the curd to avoid a film developing, and refrigerate until cold.
3. Serve with your desired treat. Lemon curd is best when well covered and consumed within 1-2 weeks.
Keywords: Lemon curd