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Homemade Lemon Curd

glass jar of lemon curd with a gold spoon in it and a lemon half beside it.

Learn how to make lemon curd with just 4 simple ingredients and no double boiler needed. This easy, tangy homemade lemon curd recipe is perfect for filling cakes, cookies, tarts, and more! (gluten-free, nut-free)

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (only if using unsalted butter)
  • 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. Whisk eggs and egg yolks very well in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat lemon zest, juice, sugar and salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat. Slowly scoop a about 1/2 cup into the eggs while whisking.
  3. Pour egg mixture into the pan on the stove while whisking to prevent curdling. Turn heat back on to low and cook, whisking, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the cubed butter until it's completely mixed in.
  5. At this point you can strain the zest out and any egg solids that may be in the curd if you'd like, by pushing it through a fine mesh stainer, or just leave it as is.
  6. Cover lemon curd and chill until ready to use.

Notes

  • Make sure to use only the yellow part of the lemon when zesting. The white part is bitter. I like to use a microplane zester.
  • Whisk the eggs very well. You want them as smooth and string-free as possible for extra-smooth lemon curd.
  • Make sure you're always whisking. When you temper the eggs, and when you mix the eggs into the lemon mixture in the saucepan. Keeping the mixture moving the whole time will prevent chunks caused by curdling.
  • Keep the heat as low as possible when you mix the eggs into the lemon in the pan, and make sure you're getting the edges while mixing.
  • If you do end up with some chunks, don't worry. You can strain it out at the end. Or you can leave it and it will still taste delicious!
  • If you like your lemon curd sweeter, you can increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.
  • You can also use Meyer lemons if you'd like.
  • Store lemon curd in an airtight container up to 10 days in the refrigerator. Alternately, you can freeze it for 3-4 months, thawing it in the refrigerator when you're ready to use it.

Keywords: how to make lemon curd, easy lemon curd recipe, homemade lemon curd recipe