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How To Make Lemon Curd {4 Ingredients}

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Quick, easy lemon curd recipe with only 4 ingredients. It’s sweet with a subtle tartness and can be used as fillings, toppings, spreads.

This is a simple recipe you can make with ingredients you already have at home. The sweet and sour combination makes for a great summer treat used in many different baked goods or even a refreshing ice cream. If you enjoy lemon as much as I do, you will want to check out this Lemon Glaze and Lemon Frosting to add to your favorite recipes.

Easy Lemon Curd in Glass Jar on Rustic Gray Background

How to make easy lemon curd recipe from scratch?

  1. Zest and juice– All the lemons.
  2. Add in– Lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, sugar, and egg yolks in a nonstick saucepan.
  3. Whisk together– This mixture over heat until it thickens.
  4. Mix in- Lemon extract and food coloring.
  5. Pour in- A jar and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Classic homemade lemon curd uses

  • Use it as a topping– On pancakes, waffles, toast, scones, ice cream, and crepes.
  • Lemon cupcakes– Just fill the center of each cupcake with curd and top if it off with buttercream frosting.
  • Lemon cheesecake- Prepare your favorite cheesecakes (baked or no bake) and when it sets up, pour lemon curd topping on top. You can also swirl it into your cheesecake batter and then bake it for an incredibly zesty dessert.
  • Lemon cookies– Bake a batch of soft sugar cookies and sandwich curd between 2 cookies.
  • Lemon muffins– Either fill the center of each muffin with curd OR thin the constency of the curd with some water and use that as a drizzle. You can even use it as a spread on top of muffins.
  • Lemon cake– Bake lemon cake and once it cools down, slice it in half and fill it with curd and cover in buttercream icing.
  • Lemon tart– Bake a pie crust and when it cools down, fill it with curd and top it off with meringue topping or whipped topping. You can also use it in this Lemon Meringue Pie.
  • Breads- Use it as a filling, swirl within the dough, or use it as a topping. Try it out with this citrus bread.

Lemon spread ingredients

  1. Lemons- Use fresh lemons, not bottled lemon juice.
  2. Eggs– You will only be using the egg yolks.
  3. Butter- Use unsalted butter to avoid a salty curd.
  4. Sugar– Add that sweet flavor with granulated white sugar.

What is the difference between lemon custard and creamy lemon curd and lemon pie filling?

The main difference is that curd uses egg yolks as a thickener and pie filling typically uses cornstarch as a thickener. Also, the flavor of curd is more intense and “zesty” compared to pie filling.

Variations

Use the same recipe for other citrus fruits– To make orange curd, tangerine curd, grapefruit curd, blueberry curd, blueberry lemon curd, and more delicious concoctions!

Use other sweeteners- You can use coconut sugar, sugar-free sweeteners, or other options to meet your needs. Keep in mind that agave, honey, or syrup will thin out the mixture.

Substitute the egg yolks- You can use a few tablespoons of corn starch to thicken up the curd, if needed, but I prefer the taste and texture of the egg yolks.

Cook in microwave- Instead of using a saucepan to cook over the stove, you can place ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Be careful not to overcook. I prefer over the stove top myself.

Add a little bit of lemon extract and yellow food coloring– Because this will enhance the appearance and flavor.

Tips and techniques

Use nonstick saucepan- Because it helps to prevent curd from sticking or burning.

Use fresh lemons– Because store bought lemon juice in bottles doesn’t work well at all. It’s not as fresh and there’s no zest in it.

Curd thickens upon cool down- So don’t worry about trying to thicken it more while it is still cool.

Use this recipe to prepare canned lemon curd– If you know how to do this, it is a great options because then the curd can be enjoyed for a longer time.

Use unsalted butter- Because otherwise your curd will be very salty.

Classic Creamy Homemade Citrus Curd With Lemon in Glass Jar

Storage

Fridge- It can be kept in a sealed container or sealed jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Freezer- Place in sealed freezer bags or a sealed freezer container for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove container from the freezer and place it in the fridge for 24 hours or until it softens and defrosts completely.

More lemon desserts

Easy Lemon Spread in Glass Jar
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Lemon Curd Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Learn how to make quick, easy lemon curd recipe with only 4 ingredients. It's sweet with a subtle tartness and can be used as fillings, toppings, spreads.
Yield: 2 Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 Lemons, Large
  • 5 Egg yolks
  • ½ cup Butter, Unsalted
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp Lemon extract, Optional
  • Yellow food coloring, Optional

Instructions 

  • Zest and juice all the lemons.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, sugar and egg yolks in a nonstick saucepan.
  • Cook at medium heat, while constantly whisking until the mixture thickens. This takes about 10 minutes.
  • Add lemon extract and a couple of drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour it in a jar and let it cool down.
  • Once the curd has fully cooled down, store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Notes

 
  • Read my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Nutrition

Calories: 1001kcal, Carbohydrates: 121g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 58g, Saturated Fat: 33g, Cholesterol: 610mg, Sodium: 432mg, Potassium: 347mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 105g, Vitamin A: 2115IU, Vitamin C: 114.5mg, Calcium: 128mg, Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 1001
Author: Abeer Rizvi
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31 comments on “How To Make Lemon Curd {4 Ingredients}”

  1. Approximately how much lemon juice should 4large lemons give?     Lemons vary in that amount!     Is it a good idea to heat or roll the lemons to give more juice?        Thank you!

  2. I am going to fill cupcakes with this.  Do they need to go in the fridge or will they be ok at room temperature?

  3. Love this recipe. I remember the first time I made lemon curd. I was rushing (only had three hours to bake cupcakes, get them filled, and then frost them) the stress of the time limit apparently got to me and I added the egg whites and not the yolks! I couldn’t figure out why it just wasnt coming together lol. So after cooking and cooling, and it being a lumpy mess, I tossed it in my blender and it ended up being okay I only found out where I went wrong when i found your recipe! It turned out great this time, no egg trouble. I used small-medium lemons and just rolled them around quite a bit and it worked great5 stars

    • So happy you liked this curd! Any time I make a mistake baking or cooking in the kitchen, I realize there are probably others who have encountered the same problem. So, I include all the potential problems and solutions in my posts now.

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