Baking Basics: How to make Lemon Curd

Baking Basics Series: Lemon Curd ~ This is one of those useful recipe components that is easy to make and handy to have around. Lemon curd is used in or on many things likes cakes, cupcakes, tarts, pies and scones.

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

While you can certainly buy it, I prefer to make homemade, especially since lemon is one of my favorite flavors. I love the tartness of fresh squeezed lemons.

This recipe requires everything to be homemade. In other words, using lemon juice from a bottle won’t work. You want the freshness of  real lemon juice and most importantly, the skin is where the majority of a lemon’s flavor comes from. It’s the  zest of the skin that gives lemon curd its punched up flavor and bite. That said, when choosing lemons look for unblemished ones and lemons that are smooth, bright and shiny.

There are many ways and recipes to make lemon curd. I’ve made it with limes and like it a quite bit, but for the purpose of this baking basics post I’ve kept it traditional. For my lime variation click here.

Now, the question Eureka (common store type) or Meyer lemons for curd? I prefer the common store type. I’ve made curd with Meyer lemons before and found that it lacked that strong lemon bite found in Eureka lemons.  Of course that has everything to do with the fact that Meyer lemons are less acidic and fruitier in flavor. That’s not to say, I don’t love Meyer lemons. I do and I love using them in savory dishes. It’s more mellow in flavor, less acidic and imparts a more subtle flavor. And of course, Meyer lemons are definitely better in lemonade as they are sweeter and require less sugar.

But as I always say, your palate your preference, so use lemons that suit you.

A few notes:

  • You will have more zest than you need for this recipe, but freeze what you don’t use for future recipes.
  • There are two easy methods to knowing when your curd is ready (1) Use a thermometer and when it reads 170 degrees F the curd is ready (2) If you don’t have a thermometer a visual cue of readiness is when the curd lightly coats the back of a spoon and easily begins to come together again within 5-7 seconds after a line is drawn through the middle of it.
  • Lemon curd can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks, any longer and the flavor starts to dull.
  • Lastly, stay tuned-I have several lemon recipes coming up that will be utilizing  this curd.

Basic Lemon Curd


  • 1 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 10 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces


Whisk egg yolks and transfer to a saucepan; set aside. Place lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to simmer or until sugar completely dissolves. Add butter and continue to heat until butter dissolves. Gradually pour  hot mixture into saucepan with egg yolks, while continuously whisking until everything is combined. Return combined mixture to stovetop and heat until it is just barely thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.


  1. says

    Lemon curd is one of my favorites. Have you ever tried orange curd? Love that too. I’ve read about strawberry curd but have not gone there. Can you detect the ever so tiny zest on your tongue when you make it?


  2. says

    I haven’t made lemon curd in so long! I think it’s because of all the egg whites that I really can’t seem to use.


    • Aimee Counsell replied: — January 3rd, 2014 @ 4:01 am

      U cld make macaroons with the left over egg whites


  3. says

    I really do love lemon curd, but have hardly ever made it. It’s been years, in fact. I think I need to. Some bright citrus flavor would definitely get rid of the winter blahs.


  4. Annikie Mabona says

    Thanks so much for this recipe, its so difficult to buy ready made lemon curd in pretoria, south Africa. who knows? once I’m perfect at it, I might even turn it into a business. :-)


  5. Kirk Pollnow says

    The first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked them in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste.The paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made any time fire was created. The Ancient Egyptians baked bread using yeast, which they had previously been using to brew beer.”;..”

    Head to our very own blog site too


  6. Linda L. says

    The link for the lime curd variation leads to your Mini Lemon Meringue Pie. I did a search on your site and couldn’t find lime curd.



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