How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (2024)

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My easy Lemon Curd recipe is the perfect easy curd! Just a few ingredients and you can make it from scratch. It tastes so much better than from the store.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s always silky smooth and perfectly tart and sweet.

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How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (1)

BEST Lemon Curd Recipe Video

Why you need this recipe

I am in love with lemon curd and lemon all the things! I’ve been making this homemade curd for years and decided I finally needed to share it with you.

If you’ve never made homemade lemon curd, you should. It’s so much tastier than the kind from the jar. Plus, store-bought is sometimes hard to find and it’s expensive.

Lemon Curd is a simple recipe made with just a few ingredients and it goes great on toast, in fillings for desserts, or on a spoon. You can use this curd to make things like lemon tarts or fillings for lemon cupcakes or lemon pastry.

Table of Contents

  • BEST Lemon Curd Recipe Video
  • Why you need this recipe
  • Ingredients in easy lemon curd
  • How to make lemon curd
  • Commonly asked questions
  • How to use Lemon Curd
  • Easy Lemon Curd Recipe
How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (2)

Ingredients in easy lemon curd

All lemon curd recipes are basically similar, with similar ingredients. However, my lemon curd recipe has one big difference:

I use whole eggs.

Most recipes for lemon curd that you see will call for just egg yolks. I hate using yolks and not whites because I always forget to use the whites for something. They end up going to waste which kills me because eggs aren’t cheap. So I developed a lemon curd recipe with whole eggs to eliminate waste.

Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh lemon juice: it’s important to juice it yourself
  • Lemon zest: learn how to zest lemons
  • Granulated Sugar: for sweet
  • Whole Eggs
  • Unsalted Butter

That’s it! Sometimes I add a pinch of salt as well, especially since I use unsalted butter.

It’s like making a custard, but instead you’re making curd. I like to think of this as a cross between jam and lemon custard. It’s got a consistency that’s between the two and a flavor that’s unparalleled.

How to make lemon curd

Whisk: It’s really important that you whisk all the ingredients together first, before turning it onto the heat. You don’t want the eggs to scramble!

Cook: Then, like when you’re making pudding or a cream sauce, you cook and stir constantly until the mixture thickens. It’ll bubble and coat the back of a spoon and that’s how you know it’s done.

Strain: Now, because we are using whole eggs, we have to make sure that none of the egg whites cooked. This is why I always strain my curd using a fine mesh strainer. It takes out any lumps or chunks and gives a nice silky lemon curd.

Always strain your curd so it stays silky smooth!


At this point, the curd is a bit thin but don’t worry: it will thicken as it cools.

How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (3)

Commonly asked questions

My curd didn’t set, what happened?

Did you cook it long enough? It should boil and coat the back of a spoon and be very thick. Let it cool. Once it cools and chills it will thicken. Make sure to use fresh lemon juice so the pectin can work its magic.

How does curd thicken?

Curd thickens because of the eggs and the natural pectin in the fresh lemon juice. That’s why it’s important to use fresh lemon juice! It thickens more as it cools as well.

How do you store it?

Store this in a jar or other airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze lemon curd?

Yes you can! I like freezing it in plastic containers. Just thaw in the refrigerator.

How do you fix lemon curd that doesn’t thicken?

First, make sure it’s been cooked long enough. It should be thick and coat the back of the spoon (thicker than heavy whipping cream) so if it’s still runny, make sure to cook it longer. If you’ve let it cool and it’s still thin, warm it back up over low heat and add a bit of cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with cold water) and cook until it thickens.

What temperature do you cook lemon curd at?

Make sure it doesn’t bubble or it could break. Cook it at a low temperature!

How to use Lemon Curd

There are so many ways to use this recipe! Besides putting it on toast or eating it with a spoon, you can use it anywhere you’d use jam or pudding. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use this in:

  • Lemon Tarts
  • Lemon no bake dessert
  • No Bake Lemon Cheesecake
  • Lemon Cake Roll
  • Lemon Cupcakes
  • Lemon Mini Cheesecakes

How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (4)

Easy Lemon Curd

4.86 from 156 votes

This easy lemon curd recipe is perfect for breakfast or dessert! It’s easy and comes together in under 10 minutes.

Prep Time 3 minutes minutes

Cook Time 7 minutes minutes

Total Time 10 minutes minutes

Yield 16 servings

Serving Size 1 serving

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  • 3 large large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter diced


  • Place eggs, sugar, salt, juice, and zest in a medium saucepan. Do not put it over the heat yet. Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.

  • Place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Turn all the way to low and add the butter. Stir until smooth.

  • Remove from heat and pour into jar(s). Makes just shy of 2 cups.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 19mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Author Dorothy Kern

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Last Updated on April 30, 2023

How to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust (2024)


How do you stiffen lemon curd? ›

To make a thicker curd, you can also add another egg yolk to the recipe, or a teaspoon of cornflour mixed into a tablespoon of water and cook until thickened. How to thin lemon curd? You can make lemon curd thinner by adding more juice, or reducing the amount of egg.

Why didn't my lemon curd get thick? ›

Trouble shooting: Most Lemon Curds are runny because they don't get cooked long enough, to 170 degrees F, to thicken the egg yolks – so cook on! If your curd isn't thickened after 10 minutes, or up to 15 if using a double boiler, then increase the temperature of the stove slightly – and don't stop whisking!

What makes lemon curd grainy? ›

Grainy or gritty lemon curd comes from curdled (over-coagulated) eggs, as a result of overcooking. The easiest way to prevent curdling is to use a double boiler to slow the rate of cooking-- and to monitor the temperature with a thermometer.

What's the difference between lemon curd and custard? ›

It was also called lemon cheese. While curd resembles pudding or custard, the difference lies in the way it's thickened. Custards and puddings rely on cornstarch, milk and cream, while eggs are the primary thickener for curd, making it lighter and brighter.

Why won t my lemon curd set? ›

Why is my lemon curd not thickening? Make sure to cook the curd until thickened and bubbling. Stir it frequently with a rubber spatula or whisk to make sure it doesn't get lumpy. Once it's cooked, add cold butter and stir until it melts and becomes smooth.

Why is curd not setting? ›

*If you live in a cold climate, the curd may take more time to set. The best way to go about it is to leave it in the oven or cover it with old warm sweaters that you don't use anymore. In summers, curd sets faster. *The consistency of the curd depends on the quality of milk used, so no two curd will be the same.

What makes curd thicker? ›

Use Full Cream Milk

Rich, full cream milk is considered best for making curd because of its high fat content. It results in a thicker, creamier texture often preferred by many people. Additionally, the fat in full cream milk can help create more flavour with a smooth, velvety texture.

Does homemade lemon curd need to be refrigerated? ›

In a covered, airtight container for up to one week. It doesn't really freeze well. Lemon curd does contain eggs and dairy (butter), so I'd be ok leaving it out for the day if I plan on serving it, but anything overnight definitely would need to be refrigerated.

Why does my lemon curd taste eggy? ›

Although lemon curd uses egg yolks and/or egg whites, the final product shouldn't taste eggy. If it does, it may mean that you've overcooked your eggs. In saying that, traditional lemon curd does have a distinct after taste which doesn't sit well with some.

Can you over cook lemon curd? ›

Your lemon curd could get chunky and grainy if you let it overcook. One thing you should remember while making lemon curd is that you should never let it reach a point where it starts boiling. The ideal temperature for lemon curd is 170 degrees Fahrenheit, and it shouldn't cross that.

Why did my lemon curd turn green? ›

If your lemon curd turned green, it likely had a reaction to something metal. Avoid using a copper or aluminum pan as those will react with the lemon juice and cause the discoloration in the lemon curd, and could even cause a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Why does my homemade lemon curd taste metallic? ›

To prevent the curd from acquiring a metallic taste, make absolutely sure that all utensils coming into contact with it--bowls, whisk, saucepan, and strainer--are made of non-reactive stainless steel or glass. Since the tart pan has a removable bottom, it is more easily maneuvered when set on a cookie sheet.

What is Sicilian lemon curd? ›

Sicilian Lemon Curd Deliciously rich and smooth, tangy organic lemon curd. Naturally ripened in the Sicilian sunshine, organic lemons are mixed with organic British free-range eggs and just enough organic butter to create our Sicilian lemon curd.

What is a good substitute for lemon curd? ›

If you don't want to use lemon curd then we would suggest using an alternative flavour of fruit curd. We have seen passionfruit, rhubarb and tart orange (or Seville orange) curds being sold online in the UK. All of these flavours would go well with summer berries.

What is another name for lemon curd? ›

Lemon curd's texture is smooth and silky, similar to a very smooth, creamy custard, and thick enough to be spread on scones and other foods. In Britain, lemon curd is also known as "lemon cheese," and other fruit curds are known as "[name of fruit] cheese."

Can you set lemon curd in the freezer? ›

Shelf Life: Prepared lemon curd can be frozen for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed. To thaw, place container in a refrigerator at 40°F or lower for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks.

Does lemon curd freeze hard? ›

This homemade lemon curd will last in your fridge for 1-2 weeks, but you can also freeze it! You guys know how I love freezing everything. In the freezer, the lemon curd will last at least a few months and the beautiful part is that it only hardens about as much as ice cream, so you can scoop it out as needed.

How long does curd take to set? ›

While in a warm climate, the curd will take around 4 to 7 hours, while it will take a bit longer in winters. In a cool climate it can easily take around 8 to 10 hours. Make sure the temperature of the milk before setting the curd is warm enough during winters, otherwise the curd won't set properly.

Why does my lemon curd taste like metal? ›

To prevent the curd from acquiring a metallic taste, make absolutely sure that all utensils coming into contact with it--bowls, whisk, saucepan, and strainer--are made of non-reactive stainless steel or glass. Since the tart pan has a removable bottom, it is more easily maneuvered when set on a cookie sheet.

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