June 14, 2024
Learn how to make perfect homemade lemon curd with this step-by-step guide. Discover tips and tricks for avoiding common mistakes and using lemon curd in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. Elevate your desserts with this versatile and tangy topping!


Lemon curd is an incredibly versatile topping that can be used to elevate a wide range of desserts and dishes. From layer cakes and cookies to pancakes and yogurt, this tangy, bright topping can be used in so many ways. Despite its deliciousness, some home cooks find the idea of making lemon curd from scratch to be daunting. But fear not! With the right recipe and some handy tips and tricks, it’s actually quite easy to whip up a batch of homemade lemon curd that will rival anything you can buy in a store.

How to Make Lemon Curd – A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re new to making lemon curd, it’s helpful to start with the basics. Lemon curd is a sweet, tangy topping made from lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and butter. It’s typically cooked on the stove and then chilled until it gets thick and spreadable. Though it requires a few steps, making homemade lemon curd is actually quite simple as long as you follow a few key tips.

The following recipe will guide you through the process of making lemon curd from scratch:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 to 5 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and zest, and whisk together until fully combined.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and whisk constantly for around 5-7 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken and can coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the cubed butter. Whisk everything together until the butter has fully melted and mixed in.
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any bits of cooked egg or lemon zest.
  6. Cover the lemon curd with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
  7. Once the curd is chilled and set, give it a good stir to loosen it up. It should be thick, rich and tangy.

And there you have it, a delicious, tangy homemade lemon curd that’s perfect for topping a wide range of desserts.

Before you dive in and start making your lemon curd, make sure you have everything you need. The recipe requires a medium-sized saucepan, a whisk, a fine-mesh sieve, and a bowl.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe for Beginners

While the recipe above is quite straightforward, some beginner cooks may find it intimidating. If that’s you, don’t worry! There’s a simpler version of the recipe that you can try while building your confidence.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 to 3 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and lemon zest until fully combined.
  2. Over medium heat, cook the mixture, whisking constantly, for around 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Once the mixture has started to thicken and can coat the back of a spoon, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  4. Add in the cubed butter, and whisk until it has fully melted and mixed through the curd.
  5. Transfer the lemon curd to a jar or bowl and cover it, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the curd in the refrigerator until set, for about two hours.

This simplified recipe is faster and easier to make, and the best part is that it still tastes just as good as the original recipe!

The Secret to Perfect Lemon Curd – Tips and Tricks

Now that you have the recipe, it’s time to talk about some of the tips and tricks that will help ensure your lemon curd turns out perfectly every time.

Get the consistency just right

The most important part of making lemon curd is getting the consistency right. It should be thick and spreadable but still loose enough that it can be spooned and poured. To achieve the perfect consistency, you need to cook the curd long enough that it thickens up but not too long that it turns into scrambled eggs. The easiest way to make sure the curd doesn’t overcook is to whisk it constantly while it’s cooking.

Use fresh ingredients

Lemon curd is all about the bright, tangy flavor of fresh lemons. To make sure your curd has the best possible flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest.

Avoid curdling

Curdling is the most common problem home cooks face when making lemon curd. To avoid curdling, make sure you’re whisking the mixture constantly and don’t let it get too hot. Additionally, be sure to strain the curd once it’s finished cooking to remove any bits of cooked egg or lemon zest that may have curdled.

Thicken it up

If your curd is too thin after you’ve chilled it, don’t panic! You can thicken it up by giving it a second round on the stove. Simply scrape the curd into a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to your desired consistency. Let it cool and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it!

Elevate Your Desserts with Homemade Lemon Curd

Now that you know how to make perfect lemon curd, it’s time to talk about how to use it in your desserts.

Lemon curd is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of desserts. For example, you can use it as a filling for cakes, tarts, or cupcakes. Simply spoon the curd into the center of the dessert and let it set for a beautifully tangy surprise.

Another great way to use lemon curd is to mix it with whipped cream and use it as a topping for fresh berries, shortbread, or scones. Or try adding a dollop of curd to your yogurt or oatmeal for a tangy breakfast treat.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try incorporating lemon curd into unexpected dishes. For example, you could use it as a glaze for grilled fish or roasted vegetables. The tangy flavor of the curd is a perfect complement to savory dishes and can add a bright note to an otherwise simple meal.

Lemon Curd: A Versatile Topping for Any Occasion

One of the best things about lemon curd is its versatility. As we’ve discussed, it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making it a fantastic condiment to have on hand in the kitchen.

Some simple ways to use lemon curd include spreading it on toast or biscuits, mixing it with cream cheese for a tangy dip, or using it as a topping for ice cream or pie.

Or try getting creative with your uses for lemon curd. For example, mix it with some sparkling water for a refreshing mocktail or use it as a base for a cocktail. The possibilities are endless!

Homemade Lemon Curd – A Delicious and Tangy Treat

Whether you’re using it as a topping or incorporating it into your cooking, homemade lemon curd is a delicious and tangy treat that’s sure to impress. Making it is easy and fun, and there are so many ways to use it in your desserts and dishes.

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