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Simply The Best Lemon Curd Recipe Ever

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Last Modified: March 26, 2020
Published: March 26, 2020

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lemon cured

It's Squeezy to Make Your Own Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is silky smooth, tart and tangy yet sweet and buttery rich. It spreads like butter and lends elegance and sophistication to anything it sits upon, but at first mention, it does sound kind of weird. Curd? Isn't that what Miss Muffet ate?

In fact, I always thought lemon curd sounds sort of hoity-toity, something you should eat with a fancy spoon with pinky extended. Have you priced a jar? Jeepers! It has earned it's hoity-toity reputation!

Amazingly Simple To Make With Just 5 Ingredients

This is a super easy lemon curd recipe! No stress, no worries. It's not hard or expensive to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and no special equipment.

In GB's Kitchen we just don't do fussy. Some blogs go deep into the molecular structure of egg yolks like a science project. Like all precise temperatures and measurements but I'm here to tell you we can do it nice and easy! (Like Tina Turner!) Ready?

You will want fresh lemons. They do not need to be big, fancy five star lemons. Here's a great place to use bagged or "imperfect" lemons. DO THIS PART FIRST. Use the fine side of a grater to "zest" the lemon peel and remove just the yellow part. You don't want to use the white part underneath, it's bitter.

Set the lemon zest aside to put in the lemon curd. (If you're lazy, lost the grater, in a hurry or all three, you can buy lemon zest in the spice aisle. No harm, no foul. )

lemon zest in lemon curd recipe

Hint: Next, as you get ready to assemble everything for this lemon curd recipes, plop those lemons into a bowl of hot water or nuke them for a half minute or so. Once they're warm, roll them around on the counter, pressing firmly. When you do this, they will yield considerably more juice.

lemon juice

This Recipe Uses Just The Yolks of The Eggs

I chose a yolks-only lemon curd recipe because I just made Coconut Macaroons. Those leftover egg yolks were destined to make something delicious and I was determined to find a good use for them.

There's so much information about lemon curd I forgot who said what! However, it turns out it's not a bad idea to use yolks only. Whites and yolks do not always play nice with each other.

Want to use whole eggs? There are dozens of cooks that will tell you how. Want easy? Stick with me!

lemon curd recipe in progress

Easy One-Step Stovetop Method For Lemon Curd

Start by thoroughly whisking the egg yolks and sugar together. You don't need a double boiler if a) you have a nice heavy pot and b) if you have some degree of patience. If you have neither, a simple stainless steel bowl that fits on a pot of boiling water will work (but it will take almost as long.)

Put the egg/sugar mixture on the stove on a low/low medium setting and begin stirring. When it gets a little warm, add the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and a pinch of salt.

Now stand there and keep stirring. Don't quit stirring. The mixture will start out opaque but as it continues to heat slowly it will become more translucent. You will know it's close when the mixture will coat the back of the spoon.

Do not let it come to a boil. A few plopping bubbles are ok but now stop.

Next, remove the mixture from the heat and stir butter in a few pats at a time until completely melted.

I poured the mixture right into a jar and put the lid on it. If you want to put it in a bowl, cover it with plastic film. Press it directly on the surface to avoid the skin that will form.

ready to lick the spoon after making lemon cured

The Reward For Patience Is You Get To Lick The Spoon

Seriously, licking the spoon and the pan of lemon curd while it's still warm ranks right up there with snuggling. OK, maybe quite not that awesome but close.

So now that you have this lovely concoction, what do you do with it? It makes a splendid cake filling or the filling in a jelly roll or the center of a thumbprint cookie. It is traditionally served on biscuits or scones and sometimes accompanied by clotted cream if you want something super fancy.

It's also wonderful warmed up a bit and spooned over ice cream or poundcake. In fact one of the simplest ways I enjoy it is simply sneaking a spoonful from the fridge.

Simply The Best Lemon Curd Recipe Ever

Incredible smooth and silky spread that's tart but sweet and buttery for desserts and more

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3-4 fresh lemons (zested and juiced)
  • 1/2 cup butter (cut into pats)
  • pinch salt
  1. Use the fine side of a grater to remove zest from lemons. Use only the yellow part. Set zest aside to put in the lemon curd. Put lemons in a bowl of hot water or microwave whole lemon until warm then roll on counter to soften. Extract juice with juicer or by squeezing lemon half between your hands. Remove seeds. Measure 1/3 cup.

    Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well blended then put on low-medium low stove top or double boiler. When egg/sugar mixture begins to warm, add lemon juice, lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

    Cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to look translucent and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil. Once bubbles begin to form as it approaches boiling, remove from heat and stir butter in a few pats at a time until completely melted.

    Pour into wide mouth pint jar and put lid on immediately. If mixture is poured in a bowl, put plastic film directly on surface so skin will not form.

    Refrigerate, covered, up to 2 weeks.

There is a real GB's kitchen and these days it feels a little lonely as Papa and I rattle around missing our grandkids who are right here in the same town!

I find great joy in feeding people and even more joy in looking for the best in everyone I meet and encouraging each person to become their best self every day. I've been doing this as long as I can remember and it gets me through the most difficult times. I would love to hear from you and find out the things that help you weather life's storms!

If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you! 

If you haven’t already, check out my Facebook page where I’ll be posting easy, delicious and family-friendly recipes every week!

Love, GB (Betty Streff)

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14 comments on “Simply The Best Lemon Curd Recipe Ever”

    1. Oh my goodness if that wasn't so sad it would be funny!! If something can go wrong leave it up to me! The recipe is there now!!

  1. So, the lemon zest is for use in other recipes as I don’t see it mentioned in the instructions?
    I zest lemons, limes and oranges before using them and save the zest in the freezer for use later. Lemon zest in blueberry pancakes, orange zest in cranberry scones and bread or in banana bread, etc., so it makes sense to me but maybe not to others who read this recipe.

    1. I like you Jan!! You are a resourceful gal and I'm stealing your idea! And, you caught me! I guess what makes sense to someone like us who's been cooking forever that the zest goes in the curd!! duh!! I'm fixing that gaffe immediately and thank you for setting me straight!! When this quarantine is all over, please have me over for breakfast, okay?? 🙂 Thanks again!

  2. Hi
    Thank you for the recipe. I have made lemon curd many times when I have had egg yolks left over from other recipes but never seem to know what to use it for. Suggestions please?

  3. […] Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe […]

  4. […] This is a super easy lemon curd recipe! No stress, no worries. It’s not hard or expensive to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and no special equipment. RECIPE HERE —-> SIMPLY THE BEST LEMON CURD RECIPE EVER […]

  5. […] are also make a perfect dessert when you fill the with mousse, pudding, lemon curd, or whipped cream! Make mini cream puffs for irresistible little bite-size sandwiches or […]

  6. My recipe is slightly different, it doesn't make quite as much curd but calls for 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks. I make air-fryer donuts with canned biscuit dough. Bake at 330 degrees for 8 minutes then turning and baking for 6 minutes. After rolling and coating the baked biscuits in 1 stick of melted butter, I then roll them in a mixture of 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 TBS ground cinnamon (fully combined). Then fill them with the lemon curd after it has cooled. (using a wooden kabob skewer, I gently poke a hole halfway into the "donut" and carefully swirl the skewer inside, making a small pocket. Using a pastry "frosting" bag, I attach one of the longer tips. I then roll the bag down to almost inside out and fill it with the lemon curd, rolling the bag up as you fill it. Place the tip into the donut hole and slightly squeeze the curd into the donut. DO NOT OVER-FILL.

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