Lemon Curd

So, what is lemon curd, and what do you do with it?

Lemon curd is essentially a preserve or condiment make with lemon juice, eggs, sugar and butter.  It gets blended and softly warmed so that the eggs thicken the mixture.  Butter finishes it off and smoothes it out.

How to Use Lemon Curd

What you do with it is the fun part.  Use it on toast, scones, biscuits, English muffins, blend it into whipped cream to layer with cake and fruit in a trifle, top a cheesecake with a layer, fill a cake with it, stir it into yogurt, spoon it onto a slice of pound cake.  Anywhere you want a burst of sweet, creamy, lemony-ness, this curd is your gal.

What you do with it is the fun part.

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Lemon Curd

You can use any kind of lemon to make lemon curd—if you use Meyer lemons you’ll probably want to use less sugar, since Meyer lemons are sweeter than their more available counterparts.  You can also make lime curd—another bursty citrus bit of loveliness.

Tips on Making Lemon Curd

There are a few things to keep in mind, a few keys to lemon curd success.  Just keep whisking.  Don’t get distracted and wander far away from the stove.  Yes you can go to the fridge for a glass of water, but don’t be tempted to multitask and start chopping onions or something.

Four lemons and a bowl of lemon curd with a wooden spoon

Add the butter one piece at a time and whisk until it is incorporated before adding the next.  This will help it emulsify and stay thick and smooth.

Remember the necessary chilling time—it definitely needs that time to firm up—and do press the plastic wrap onto the surface which will prevent a skin from forming, unless my mother is visiting you, in which case remember that she like the skin on this and also chocolate pudding.  That does not sound so good.

Lemon Curd

Other Great Citrus Recipes to Try:

Lemon Curd

This creamy, brightly colored, perkily citrusy topping and dessert spread is just delicious. What you do with it is the fun part.
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free


  • 1 large egg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 6 pieces


  • In a large, heavy pot whisk together the egg, yolks, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Place the pot over medium heat and whisk very frequently until the mixture is warm. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens and turns buttery yellow, about 7 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to make sure the mixture does not simmer, but stays hot. When the mixture coats the back of a mixing spoon it is done. You can also use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, which should be between 170° and 175°F.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time, until each addition of butter is melted and incorporated. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top (this prevents a skin from forming) and allow to cool. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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