Traditional Lemon Curd

Freshly-made traditional lemon curd goes well on toast or as a filling for lemon meringue pie.

lemon curd is best with fresh lemons
Lemon curd is best with fresh lemons

Traditional lemon curd is an English recipe that is actually very easy to make. It only requires four ingredients: lemons, sugar, eggs and butter. All ingredients for this recipe are kitchen staples that you probably already have at home.

For the best flavor, I recommend using fresh lemons, but if you’re in a pinch you can use bottled lemon juice. I used approximately 10 small homegrown Meyer lemons for this recipe. If you have a lemon tree at home, this is the perfect recipe to make.

While ‘curd’ doesn’t sound very appetizing, it’s a tart but sweet and tangy. You can spread it over toast with cream cheese or butter. It also can be used as a topping for ice cream or cakes. My favorite way to use curd is as a filling for Angel Food Cake or Lemon Meringue Pie. The uses for lemon curd are endless. If you enjoy a tart lemon flavor, I would most definitely give this recipe a try.

Ingredients for Lemon Curd

The ingredients for lemon curd are actually quite straightforward. You are basically making a very lemon-y custard.

Lemons, butter, sugar and eggs are the only ingredients that it takes to make fresh lemon curd.
Lemons, butter, sugar and eggs are the only ingredients that it takes to make fresh lemon curd.
  • Lemon juice: a necessity for lemon curd. Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor or use bottled juice in a pinch.
  • Sugar: To sweeten the curd, use sugar. If you want to reduce the amount of carbs in your curd, you can use a fake sweetener such as Splenda or Swerve.
  • Eggs: Egg yolks are what gives this curd a custard consistency.
  • Butter: To thicken and richen to curd.
  • Lemon zest: Use if desired for garnish.

How to Make Traditional Lemon Curd

  1. Prep your ingredients- cube your butter; juice & zest your lemons.
  2. Add lemon juice and sugar to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Temper in the egg yolks. Take off the heat and add in the butter. It will melt with the residual heat.
  3. Turn the heat back up to medium and continue to whisk as curd thickens. Once you begin to see bubbles come to the surface of the curd, it’s finished cooking.
  4. Let the curd cool before storing. It will continue to thicken.

What Should You Do with your Freshly Made Curd?

Now that you’ve made your lemon curd, what are you going to do with it?

Well, you have lots of options.

Spread it a piece of toasted Challah bread or on a freshly-baked biscuit.

Traditional Lemon Curd [Recipe]

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Sarah Course: Breakfast, Desserts, Easy Recipes, Freezer Friendly
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

135

kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

  • 1.5 cup sugar

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • lemon zest, for garnish if desired

Directions

  • Prep your ingredients. Cube your butter; juice & zest your lemons. Measure your other ingredients and set aside.
  • Mix. Add lemon juice, sugar and water to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat and allow to thicken for about 6 minutes. Temper in the egg yolks slowly. Temper by adding spoonfuls of the sugar mixture into the yolks and whisking and then adding the yolk mixture to the sugar mixture. Take off heat and add in butter and stir slowly.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium and continue to whisk as the curd thickens. Once you begin to see bubbles come to the surface of the curd, it’s finished cooking.
  • Let set. Let the curd cool before storing. It will continue to thicken.

The curd will keep in the fridge for up to one week or the freezer for up to four months.

Lemon curd maa great holiday gift
Lemon curd makes a great holiday gift

Did you make this traditional lemon curd? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below.

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