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

4.85 from 167 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 to make Easy Lemon Curd Recipe - Crazy for Crust? ›

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 my lemon curd not thick enough? ›

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.

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 happens if you add lemon to curd? ›

Adding lemon juice to curd/yogurt does not make it less healthy. In fact, it can actually improve the health benefits of yogurt. Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help to protect cells from damage. It can also help to boost the immune system and improve digestion.

Why does my lemon curd have foam on top? ›

Between the heat and whisking, lemon curd gets foamy while it's cooking. As the curd begins to thicken, the foam will start to settle down, and then the addition of the butter at the end of cooking eliminates the foam. So don't panic when you see foam, just keep whisking and cooking.

How do you fix lemon curd that didn't set? ›

If your cooled curd is not thick enough, you can reheat it to thicken. Put it over a low heat, stirring constantly. Ensure it coats the back of a spoon before taking it off the heat.

Why is my curd not setting? ›

Usually the temperature of milk determines how well your curd will set. Too cold or too hot temperature can make the curd setting process tougher. Firstly boil your milk properly and switch off the flame. Once the boiled milk cools down to 20 per cent, then the milk is ready to be set.

How do you fix gritty curd? ›

If you make your lemon curd over too high a heat or don't stir it regularly as it cooks, you may find that it goes a little lumpy with flecks of cooked egg white in it. The easiest way to fix this is to give it a quick blitz in a blender (or using a stick blender) until it is smooth.

Can you fix grainy curd? ›

How to fix grainy curd: Add one egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the juice (in this recipe, lemon juice) to a saucepan and whisk them together fully. Turn the heat on the lowest possible setting. Add one tablespoon of your cold curd back to the pan.

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.

How long is lemon curd safe to eat? ›

If you make your own lemon curd from scratch, use it within one week. If you're not familiar with lemon curd, it's a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, butter, whole eggs and egg yolks. The mixture is cooked together until it thickens and the eggs are tempered and heated to a safe temperature without them totally cooking.

What to do if lemon curd is too sour? ›

If you measured correctly according to the instructions and still feel it is too sour, you can add about ¼ cup more sugar next time you make it.

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.

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.

How long is homemade lemon curd good for in the fridge? ›

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 do you make lemon curd thicker? ›

Add a cornstarch slurry: First, ensure your curd is cooked to 170 degrees F and if it still hasn't thickened, whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.

Why is my curd not thick? ›

The temperature is too low. If the temp is below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, the cultures will not ferment properly and the milk will stay runny. The temperature is too high. If the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the yogurt will ferment too fast and will also render the yogurt runny.

How do you add curd to thicken it? ›

Simply add a small amount of yogurt, like a spoonful, at a time. Stir your yogurt into the curry and keep adding a little more at a time until it reaches your desired thickness. This is great for Indian-style curries as a cream substitute.

What makes curd thicker? ›

There are different methods for making curd, like whisking, foaming, and scrubbing, but the first thing you need to do is mix the milk and curd culture together. This is important because it helps the milk and curd starter combine fully, which leads to a thicker and richer curd.

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