Homemade Lemon Curd

There’s nothing like a creamy, tart, and slightly sweet lemon curd.

That’s why I’ve always been a big fan of lemon based desserts like lemon meringue pie or lemon filled powdered donuts. Yum!

I recently made a lemon blackberry cake with lemon curd, and it paired beautifully with the fluffy cake and sweet berries.

This small batch lemon curd comes together easily with only a few ingredients like egg yolks, sugar, butter, and of course lemon!

The hardest part of making it is stirring it for a long time.

But it’s totally worth standing over the stove and mixing this curd, because it’s quite a magical experience to see it go from liquid to a smooth and creamy consistency.

And the addition of butter at the end gives it a rich flavor and beautiful shine.

The recipe makes a small batch of curd which is the perfect amount to fill a cake, top a pavlova, or serve with scones!

How to Make Lemon Curd

In a small saucepan or double broiler, whisk together 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 egg yolks for about 1 minute until it becomes light in color. Do this off the heat.

You can use 2 whole eggs instead of just the yolks, but the curd will be lighter in color. Or you can use 1 yolk + 1 whole egg. Whatever ratio you use, make sure to heat it on very low heat to prevent curdling. Heating over a double boiler also helps.

As for sugar, my family likes the curd on the tangy side, so I only use a little over 2 tablespoons of sugar or 28 grams. If you prefer a sweeter curd, add more. Or you can start with 2 tablespoons of sugar and if the curd is not sweet enough after cooking, add in some honey.

Next, zest an entire lemon and add the zest to the pan. Then juice the lemon and add 3-4 tablespoons juice into the egg and sugar mixture.

Place the saucepan over very low heat on the stove. Heat the mixture gently, stirring it constantly. It will take 7-10 minutes for it to thicken up so be patient!

Once it has thickened, take the curd off the heat and add butter and a pinch of salt. If using salted butter, omit the salt.

Keep the curd chilled in the fridge for 5-7 days, or freeze for several months. It can be thawed overnight in the fridge before using.

How to Use Lemon Curd

Obviously you can eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon, but the tart and tangy flavors are quite potent I prefer to pair it with something more mellow.

You can serve lemon curd with:

What My Kids Say:
11 yo: It’s creamy, tart, and sweet, and the best curd I ever had.
8.5yo: It’s tangy and sweet, and I like lemon.

Here are some other fruit sauces to try

Homemade Strawberry Sauce
This sweet and tart strawberry sauce makes the perfect compliment to your favorite breakfast or dessert.
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Joby's Test Kitchen small dish of homemade strawberry sauce from frozen strawberries.
Blueberry Sauce
A delicious berry sauce that pairs well with pancakes, waffles, yogurt, or even ice cream!
Check out this recipe
Small bowl of blueberry compote or blueberry sauce for pancakes.
Coconut Pancake Syrup
Take maple syrup to the next level with this tropical twist!
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Joby's Test Kitchen small bowl of coconut maple syrup next to oat flour waffles.

Joby's Test Kitchen homemade lemon curd in jar.

Homemade Lemon Curd

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Creamy, tart, and slightly sweet, this small batch lemon curd is perfect for cakes, pavlova, or scones!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 Cup

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium-large egg yolks
  • 2-3 tbsps (24-36g) sugar
  • 3 tbsps (45ml) lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1-2 tbsps (14-28g) unsalted butter
  • pinch salt *(see Notes below)

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan or double broiler, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks for about 1 minute.
  • Next, add all the lemon juice and zest.
  • Place over very low heat on the stove and gently cook, stirring constantly. It may take 7-10 minutes to thicken.
  • Take off heat and add butter and a pinch of salt.
  • Store in the fridge for 5-7 days, or freeze for a few months.
  • (This recipe makes about 2/3 cup of curd, but I'm unable to use fractions in the recipe description so I rounded to 1 cup)

Notes

Eggs: You can use 2 whole eggs instead of yolks, though the curd will be lighter in color. Or you can use 1 yolk + 1 whole egg. Whatever ratio you use, make sure to heat it on very low heat to prevent curdling. Heating over a double boiler also helps.
Sugar: If you prefer a sweeter curd, you may need to add more than 3 tablespoons of sugar. You can add more sweetness after cooking by adding in honey at the end. It will dissolve better than granulated sugar.  
Butter: If you prefer using salted butter, omit the extra “pinch of salt” at the end.
 
Keyword curd, egg yolks, lemon

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