How to Make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (5 Ingredients)

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Easy Lemon Curd Recipe—With only five simple ingredients, you can make this creamy, sweet, and tangy lemon curd in 10 minutes in one pot on the stove! You’ll never buy the store-bought version again!

Use to make Italian Lemon Tiramisu.

lemon curd in a glass bowl on a lemon shaped plate with a blue spoon in it ready to spoon and serve. Spoon with lemon curd on it taking a scoop.
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Best Lemon Curd (so easy!)

A classic lemon curd that’s tart, sweet, and smooth with a fresh lemon flavor! This is a true lemon lover’s delight. You’ll love this simple recipe:

  • Easy One-Pot Method: This recipe is made in a single pot, simplifying the cooking process and reducing cleanup time.
  • Few Ingredients: With only a handful of basic ingredients—eggs, sugar, lemons, and butter—you can create a delicious and rich dessert.
  • Bursting with Flavor: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest give the curd a vibrant, tangy flavor that’s both refreshing and satisfying.
  • Velvety Texture: The perfect balance of eggs and butter creates a smooth, creamy consistency that melts in your mouth.
  • Versatile Use: Perfect as a creamy spread on toast, a filling for cakes and pastries, a topping for pancakes and waffles, or even stirred into yogurt.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: This can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, making it convenient for quick use.

You’ll also love Lemon Bars, Frozen Lemon Dessert, and Lemon Cake.

lemon curd in a glass bowl on a lemon shaped plate with a blue spoon in it ready to spoon and serve.

Simple Ingredients

Perfect for all lemon lovers! This easy lemon curd is one anyone can make with only a few key ingredients.

ingredients for lemon curd.
  • Whole Eggs: Provide the rich, creamy base for the curd, helping it thicken and set properly.
  • Sea Salt: Enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to the curd, balancing the tartness of the lemons.
  • Lemons (Zested): Adds intense lemon flavor and fragrance. You can regular lemons or even Meyer lemons for a twist.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Provides the bright, tangy flavor characteristic of lemon curd.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds smoothness and richness, giving the curd a velvety texture.

See the recipe card for quantities.

How to Make Lemon Curd

You won’t need a double boiler for this easy recipe! It all comes together in one pot and takes about 10 minutes to cook.

How to make easy lemon curd step by step: add all the ingredients to the pot and mix.

add all ingredients minus the butter to a pan (preferably nonmetallic).

How to make easy lemon curd step by step: cook the lemon curd until nice and thick.

You’ll know when it’s done when it sticks to the back of a spoon.

How to make easy lemon curd step by step: strain the lemon curd.

Cook until thick and then strain.

How to make easy lemon curd step by step: add butter to the lemon curd.

Add butter and stir until glossy.

Enjoy the simplicity and rich, tangy intense lemon flavour of this homemade lemon custard, perfect for elevating any dessert or breakfast dish! A taste of lemon heaven right in your own kitchen. Enjoy.

lemon curd in a glass bowl on a lemon shaped plate with a blue spoon in it ready to spoon and serve.

Variations

  • Lemon Lavender: Infuse the curd with dried lavender flowers for a subtle floral note. Strain the flowers out before storing them.
  • Lemon and Vanilla: Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the curd for a hint of vanilla that complements the lemon flavor.
  • Lemon and Ginger: Add freshly grated ginger or ground ginger to the curd for a spicy kick that pairs well with the tangy lemon.

Storage

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze it for up to three months.

lemon curd in a glass bowl on a lemon shaped plate with a blue spoon in it ready to spoon and serve.

My Pro Tip

Recipe Tips

  • Non-metal dishes and pots: When using lemons, the acidity of the lemon can react with the metal, sometimes giving the bright flavor a metallic aftertaste.
  • Use Fresh Lemons: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest provide the best flavor. Avoid bottled lemon juice for a more vibrant taste.
  • Whisk Constantly: To prevent the eggs from curdling, continuously whisk the mixture while cooking.
  • Cook Over Medium-Low Heat: Keep the heat moderate to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly, which can cause curdling.
  • Strain the Curd: For a smooth texture, strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg or zest.
How to make Lemon Tiramisu with lemon curd step by step: lemon tiramisu after resting overnight. Decorate with lemons on top and little purple daisy flowers.

FAQs

what is lemon curd?

Lemon curd is a creamy, tangy spread made from eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. It’s cooked until thick and smooth and used as a filling or topping for desserts, pastries, and breakfast items.

Is it necessary to strain lemon curd?

Straining lemon curd is optional but recommended if you want a smoother texture and to remove any bits of cooked egg.

What if my curd is too thick?

If your lemon curd is too thick, you can whisk in a small amount of lemon juice or water until it reaches the desired consistency.

Featured recipe: Lemon Tiramisu with Lemon Curd.

Plate of lemon tiramisu with a spoon taking a bite.

Looking for other recipes? Try these:

How to Use Lemon Curd

Use this light and lemony recipe as a spread for toast, a filling for pound cake and pastries, a topping for English muffins, pancakes or waffles, or even stirred into yogurt or ice cream. Here are some of our favorite recipes:

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lemon curd photo cover.

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe (5 Ingredients)

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5 from 1 review

Easy Lemon Curd Recipe—With only five simple ingredients, you can make this creamy, sweet, and tangy lemon curd in 10 minutes in one pot on the stove! You’ll never buy the store-bought version again!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

Lemon Curd (about 2 1/2 cups)

  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed, about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan (preferably nonmetallic), whisk together the eggs, sea salt, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice until well combined.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture boil.
  3. Once thickened, strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the zest.
  4. Add back to the hot saucepan (not on the heat), stir in the butter, and keep stirring until smooth, glossy, and combined.
  5. Pour the lemon curd into a glass bowl, cover it with plastic wrap (pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent skin from forming), and let it cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes

TIPS

Non-metal dishes and pots: When using lemons, the acidity of the lemon can react with the metal, sometimes giving the lemon curd a metallic aftertaste.

Use Fresh Lemons: Freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest provide the best flavor. Avoid bottled lemon juice for a more vibrant taste.

Whisk Constantly: To prevent the eggs from curdling, continuously whisk the mixture while cooking.

Cook Over Low Heat: Keep the heat moderate to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly, which can cause curdling.
Strain the Curd: For a smooth texture, strain the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg or zest.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: American

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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