homemade lemon curd

homemade lemon curdimage via bbc

The above photo of lemon curd, sweetly packaged in jars, inspired me to share with you my favorite lemon curd recipe. Homemade lemon curd is such a versatile gift - it can be used for baking - as filling in pastries and tarts, or topped onto cookies; it can be spread on toast or wafers, and eaten plain. Using just a few ingredients, you can have homemade lemon curd in about half an hour!


4 lemons
1.5 cups sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter
4 eggs
pinch of salt


Begin by zesting your lemons with a vegetable peeler rather than a grater. In a food processor, combine the zest and sugar, and process for three minutes. The mixture is ready when it's as smooth as baby food.

Cut your lemons in half and squeeze them for a half cup of lemon juice. This was three lemon halves for me.

Transfer the lemon zest / sugar mix into a bowl, and cream in the butter. Use an electric mixer to combine well. Add the lemon juice, eggs, and salt. Mix well

In a saucepan, cook your lemon mixture on medium-low heat, stirring often. Heat the curd to 175 degrees F, which is the temperature needed for thickening. Once the mixture is sufficiently thick and the temperature has reached 175 degrees F, remove from heat and let cool.

Store the lemon curd in an air-tight container. Because it contains eggs and butter, make a note of when it was made if you are using it for gift giving. For long-term storage, you will want to use traditional canning methods. Your lemon curd is now ready for baking, gift-giving, or eating as-is!

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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  • If you don’t use traditional canning methods, how long is the curd useable? And must it be kept refrigerated?

    I’d love to try this recipe! I’d really love to make my own lime curd, as well.

  • Hi Amy! We always eat ours within a few days, so I haven’t had direct experience with the lemon curd going bad without canning. It has kept in our fridge for over a week in just a Tupperware container.

    If you don’t can the lemon curd, it should probably be refrigerated just to be on the safe side, since eggs are involved – but if you will be giving it as a gift, it should be fine wrapped up for a few hours – I’ve done this and haven’t had any problems :). Again, if you go the gifting route, just add a little label that says the date the curd was made, and that it should be used within a week or two.

    I hope that helps! And lime curd sounds like a great idea – I will have to try that some time!