Lemon Curd

Some time in the last few years, I’ve become that person who wants to make homemade versions of things. Like marshmallows and apple butter. And now, lemon curd.

I don’t know how I have become this person. It’s certainly not due to an abundance of time on my hands. Perhaps I am just intrigued at the notion of making them. In any case, I’m often surprised at the simplicity of making these things.

Last year, I wrote down a list of things I normally buy but would like to make myself. Lemon curd was pretty high on that list. January always makes me want to stock up on lemons and make a whole host of lemony things, so this seemed like the perfect time to give it a try.

Homemade Lemon Curd is simple to make and so versatile. Use it for everything from a dessert filling to a simple topping for muffins, toast, and more. - Bake or Break

I can now tell you that lemon curd is so very simple to make in your own kitchen. I very closely followed a recipe I found at Southern Living and it worked perfectly. If you’ve got zesting, juicing, and whisking patience, you’re all set. Your reward is a perfectly tart and sweet lemon curd.

The beauty of lemon curd is its versatility. You can use it for all kinds of things. Dollop a little on some shortbread or a scone or a muffin. Use it to fill thumbprint cookies or even small tarts. If you’re a fan of all things lemon, I’m sure you’ll find all sorts of ways to put your homemade lemon curd to good use.

Lemon Curd

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 cups lemon curd

Lemon Curd


  • 6 lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs


Zest lemons for a total of 2 tablespoons of zest.

Juice lemons for a total of 1 cup of juice.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add lemon juice, mixing just until blended. Stir in lemon zest. The mixture will look curdled.

Place mixture in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low to medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly onto the surface of the lemon curd. Chill at least 4 hours.

Store refrigerated up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.


Recipe slightly adapted from Southern Living and MyRecipes.


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  1. JEP January 26, 2014 Reply

    This recipe makes me smile on this winter, snowy Midwest day:)

  2. Lisa January 26, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I was so happy to see your post—right after I baked some English scones! :) Lemon curd is the perfect accompaniment! I included a link to this recipe in my blog, and I look forward to trying it! :)

  3. Carol January 26, 2014 Reply

    I too am commenting from the Midwest. This is a must try recipe. Since I was a little girl, I enjoyed watching my grandmother making this and a plain cheesecake. When all was cooled, she piled the lemon curd on top of the cheese cake then decorated with a few slices of lemons. Slice and pass the whipped cream. Delish. We never got the recipe and now I can make it myself. I’m from the south where we all love our lemon anything.

  4. Shawnee January 26, 2014 Reply

    Would this work for lemon meringue pie filling?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry January 26, 2014 Reply

      Confession: I’ve never made lemon meringue pie! You can definitely use lemon curd as a pie filling for a pre-baked pie shell. Because lemon meringue pie is cooked with the filling, I would guess that you would need to prepare it differently.

  5. Amy January 26, 2014 Reply

    We LOVE lemon curd! I have a jar in my pantry at all times, and there is one sitting in there now :). I really want to make my own soon…we put it over toast, yogurt, scones, even ice cream :). Anything goes with sweet, tangy lemon curd. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ingrid January 26, 2014 Reply

    Hello Jennifer,
    There is an even easier way to cook lemon (or any other) curd:
    Mix all ingredients in a microwavable bowl and microwave on MEDIUM for about 10 minutes, checking after every 2 minutes, or until curd has thickened. Easy-peasy!

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry January 26, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Ingrid! I debated trying this out in the microwave, but I decided to go the stovetop route this time. I’ll have to try the microwave method next time.

  7. movita beaucoup January 26, 2014 Reply

    I adore lemon curd! Especially when slathered between the layers of a cake…

    Aaaaaaaand now I want cake.

  8. Linda January 26, 2014 Reply

    I’ve been seeing this one or a similar one where it eliminates the problem of cooking the egg whites when tossing the eggs straight into the pot instead of the mixing. I haven’t tried it but did manage to buy the lemons (both Meyer and regular) to try it. Thanks for nudging me a bit more before those lemons are too far gone. I adore homemade lemon curd. I will buy for a quick recipe where the lemon curd is IN something but when it is the star–homemade is definitely the best. Nothing bought tastes as good!

  9. Joanne January 27, 2014 Reply

    Homemade lemon curd is totally worth the bit of extra time it takes to make it!

  10. Being the lemon lover that I am, lemon curd is one of my favorite things. I usually make it around Christmas time, but you’re making me want to make another batch (as my stash is already gone)!

  11. Joyce April 30, 2014 Reply

    Hey – regarding comment that lemon meringue pie is cooked with the filling. It isn’t, actually. The meringue is piled on top of the pie and just in oven long enough to brown the meringue. The pie filling is not baked as part of the process – unless there’s another way of doing it that I don’t know about.

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