Perfect Lemon Curd (Sweet, Tart + Creamy)

fresh lemon curd recipe in a weck jar
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Lemon Curd is a sweet-tart-creamy-lemony summer dessert dream. You can use it on pancakes, or crepes, even nestle it between shortbread cookies. I absolutely love Meyer lemon fruit curd in my Berry Pavlova.

If lemon dessert recipes are your jam, look no further! This easy fruit curd recipe is fail-proof. No double boiler needed.

a spoonful of lemon curd on a wooden spoon

If you are a lemon desserts person, like I am, you’re going to love this easy lemon curd recipe. Just add it to your arsenal of lemon flavor dessert recipes.

I have a Meyer lemon tree in my back yard and my neighbor has one too! I always have a plethora of fresh lemons.

Meyer lemons ripen in the fall, here in California, and by summer the lemons are starting to get really ripe and need to be used up before they go bad. Lemon curd is the perfect thing to make when life gives you too many lemons!

What you’ll love about this recipe

  • One saucepan. This lemon curd recipe is ultra-easy because it’s made in one saucepan. Everything is added all together and it is perfect every time.

What you’ll need

You just need 4 ingredients to make this homemade lemon curd recipe and you probably already have them all in the fridge right now.

ingredients needed for lemon curd
  • Lemons. Fresh lemon juice + lemon zest.
  • Sugar. I like to use superfine sugar for this recipe.
  • Egg yolks.
  • Butter. Unsalted

What do do with leftover egg whites?

I usually use my extra egg whites to make an Egg White Frittata, or Meringue Cookies. One of my favorite summer desserts to make with extra egg whites is Pavlova.

Fruit curd with fresh fruit on top of a classic Pavlova is a sweet summer dessert combination.

pavlova cake with lemon curd and fresh whipped cream presented on a marble cake stand

How To Make Fruit Curd

  1. Add the egg yolk, sugar, and the lemon juice to medium sized saucepan.
  2. Heat on medium high while whisking, gently.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil while continuing to whisk.
  4. You will be whisking for about 10-20 minutes, until the curd mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Add the butter to the lemon curd one chunk at a time. Whisk slowly while the butter melts.
  6. Remove from the heat and add in the lemon zest. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
  7. Store in an air tight container, up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
lemon curd recipe made with meyer lemons in a weck jar

FAQs and Expert Tips

  • Whisk constantly: The key to making perfect lemon curd is stirring constantly. This keeps the fruit curd from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning and allows the mixture to heat evenly and thoroughly as it thickens. 
  • Back of the spoon test: To check for doneness, remove the pan from the heat (actually move it off the burner), then use the back of a spoon to dip in. If the curd coats the back of the spoon, then it is done. I try to get mine somewhere between the consistency of thicker than maple syrup but thinner than honey. It will continue to thicken after it cools, so don’t worry if it seems a little thin.
  • How to thicken lemon curd: If your fruit curd is still not thick enough, return the pan to the burner and continue to whisk and heat. Usually, about 10 minutes of heating and whisking is sufficient to get the right amount of thickness in your lemon curd.

Recipe Variations

Fruit curd, and mainly citrus curd, can be made with almost any acidic fruit. The recipe can be used to make Lime Curd, Grapefruit Curd, Orange Curd, and even Passion Fruit Curd, or Pineapple curd.

How to store lemon curd

Store leftover lemon curd in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 weeks.

What To Serve With Lemon Curd

Traditionally, lemon curd is paired with scones or crumpets and then served with tea. It’s part jam and part citrus cream and you’re going to love it.

Don’t miss the pineapple curd in my pineapple sweet roll recipe. Use this lemon curd in Crepes or in a Fresh Berry Pavlova with fresh whipped cream. 

Pineapple Sweet Rolls
Hawaiian sweet bread dough swirled with caramelized pineapple and pineapple curd. Topped with a tangy-sweet pineapple cream cheese icing. 
SEE THE RECIPE PIN FOR LATER
Pineapple Rolls with cream cheese frosting on a plate.
Fresh Berry Pavlova
Pavlova is fluffy meringue, baked to have a crispy outside and a fluffy chewy marshmallow inside. Top it with fresh whipped cream and seasonal fruit.
SEE THE RECIPE PIN FOR LATER
pavlova cake with lemon curd and fresh whipped cream presented on a marble cake stand
Homemade Crepes Recipe
You can make perfect this French crepes recipe at home. Whether you like savory crepes or sweet sweet crepes, this easy crepe batter recipe will work in either situation.
SEE THE RECIPE PIN FOR LATER
3 french crepes with lemon curd and powdered sugar

More Dessert Recipes That You’ll Love

If you’re looking for more summer dessert recipes, my blueberry hand pies are a dream come true. Or try my light as air Sugar Cookies, these seriously melt in your mouth.

Blondies always make a perfect summer recipe to take to a cookout. I also have a few delicious fruit popsicles that are sure to cool you off.

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Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment and a 5 ★ review. Your feedback helps other readers and helps me continue to offer recipes at no cost. Happy Cooking!!

lemon curd pictured with fresh lemons, mint and garden flowers
fresh lemon curd recipe in a weck jar

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd is a sweet-tart-creamy-lemony summer dessert dream. You can use it on pancakes, or crepes, even nestle it between shortbread cookies. I absolutely love this in my Fresh Berry Pavlova.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert, Sauce
Cuisine American
Servings 24 2 Tbsp servings
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 5 Egg yolks
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar, superfine
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, about 4 lemons
  • ½ cup Unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp Lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Add the egg yolk, sugar, and the lemon juice to medium sized saucepan.
  • Heat on medium high while whisking, gently.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil while continuing to whisk.
  • You will be whisking for about 10-20 minutes, until the curd mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Add the butter in one chunk at a time. Whisk slowly while the butter melts.
  • Remove from the heat and add in the lemon zest. The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Store in an air tight container, up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Video

Laura’s Tips + Notes

Pro-tips:
  • Whisk constantly: The key to making perfect lemon curd is stirring constantly. This keeps the fruit curd from sticking to bottom of the pan and burning and allows the mixture to heat evenly and thoroughly as it thickens. 
  • Back of the spoon test: To check for doneness, remove the pan from the heat (actually move it off the burner) then use the back of a spoon to dip in. If the curd coats the back of the spoon then it is done. I try to get mine somewhere in between the consistency of thicker than maple syrup but thinner than honey. It will continue to thicken after it cools so don’t worry if it seems a little thin.
  • If it’s not thick enough return the pan to the burner and continue to whisk and heat. Usually, about 10 minutes of heating and whisking is sufficient to get the right amount of thickness in your lemon curd.
Serve with: 
Pancakes, Scones, French Crepes, Pavlova.  Also, use as a filling for cupcakes or slather between layers of white cake. This lemon curd makes amazing lemon bars, and lemon tarts. 
Recipe Variations
Fruit curd, and mainly citrus curd, can be made with almost any acidic fruit.
The recipe can be used to make Lime Curd, Grapefruit Curd, Orange Curd, and even Passion Fruit Curd, or Pineapple curd. Pineapple curd will need to be thickened with a cornstarch slurry. 

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Nutrition

Serving: 2tbspCalories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 2mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword curd, fruit desserts, lemon
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