How to make a delicious homemade lemon curd recipe with a smooth and creamy texture and a perfectly tart taste and lemon flavor. This recipe is easy to make and perfect for filling and flavoring all your desserts and homemade baked goods.
Homemade lemon curd
Fruit curd are fruit-based cream filling similar to fruit jam and can be made with various fruits, the most popular of which are orange curd, raspberry curd and this delicious lemon curd recipe.
This lemon filling has a custard-like texture and is widely used in pastry making in the world to fill desserts and cakes such as the famous lemon meringue pie or lemon curd tart.
This delicious cream that delights all lemon lovers is very easy to make at home and with only 3 ingredients, whole eggs or egg yolks only, granulated sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.
All ingredients are cooked in a saucepan or double boiler until a creamy lemon curd is obtained, which once cooled can be used as a spread on scones, bread or small shortbread cookies.
And when you add butter or cornstarch to help thicken the lemon curd texture, it makes a perfect cake filling like in my lemon meringue cake recipe or in these lemon curd cupcakes.
>> See all filling recipes on the blog
Ingredients and substitutions
Here are the main ingredients to make a homemade lemon curd recipe and possible substitutions, scroll down to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Eggs: You can use whole egg or the same amount of egg yolk for a more vibrant yellow lemon curd and more flavorful.
- Sugar: Use white granulated sugar rather than flavored sugar which may alter the taste of the lemon.
- Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice if possible, with untreated organic lemons. You can also use bottled lemon juice or substitute limes.
- Lemon zest: Preferably an untreated yellow lemon.
- Butter: Preferably unsalted butter that you can replace with salted butter if you wish.
- Cornstarch: Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of cornstarch to quickly thicken the texture of the lemon curd.
>> You can easily replace fresh lemon juice with other fruits and citrus like orange juice to make orange curd, pomelo, raspberry coulis and more.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page
How to make Easy Lemon Curd
1 - Mix ingredients
- Place the whole eggs or yolks, granulated sugar, fresh lemons juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.
- Mix a bit with a whisk before placing the mixture on a small saucepan containing a small amount of water to make a double boiler.
Tip: it is recommended to cook the ingredients in a double boiler, but it is also possible to cook directly in the saucepan, just be careful with the temperature to avoid overcooking the eggs and burn the cream.
2 - Cook
While heating the mixture in a double boiler over medium heat, whisk eggs mixture continuously with a pastry whisk until it thickens.
The lemon curd is ready when its texture is creamy and thick, this step can take about twenty minutes.
Tip: Whisk constantly during cooking to avoid cooking the eggs and getting scrambled eggs.
3 - Add butter
Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually add the softened butter pieces into the cooked eggs mixture while whisking to incorporate them.
The lemon curd is ready when all the butter is melted and the cream is smooth.
Tip: Strain the lemon cream through a fine sieve to remove the residue and the lemon zest to obtain a very smooth cream.
What to do with lemon cream filling
This lemon curd recipe has a delicious lemon flavor and a perfectly balanced taste between the sweetness of the sugar and the tartness of the lemon. Making lemon curd at home it's much better than the one you will find in commercial pastries, which are often too acidic.
You can use lemon curd in all your pastry recipes, cakes, and cookies, to fill your pies and tarts, to flavor a white chocolate ganache, a mascarpone frosting, a buttercream and more.
Here are some lemon curd recipes ideas :
- As cake filling, cupcakes fillings, macarons, layer cake, choux pastry, in ice cream.
- As a spread for bread, scones, pancakes, waffles, crepes, brioches, croissants.
- To fill a pie crust, tarts, lemon pie, as an insert in a dessert, glasses.
- To flavor buttercream, whipped cream, ganache and more
- To make Lemon bars
- To flavor a cheesecake with or without baking
- As a topping for lemon pound cake, pavlova, English muffins,
Storage and freezing instructions
Lemon curd can only be stored in the refrigerator in a glass mason jars with a tight-fitting lid for about 2 to 3 weeks.
How to freeze lemon curd? You can also store it even longer in the freezer, up to 3-6 months. Place it in small containers so you can defrost small amounts of lemon curd if needed.
Let it thaw in the fridge about 1 day in advance, before using it in your desserts.
- Salted caramel sauce
- Hazelnut and almond praline paste
- Pastry cream
- Almond cream filling
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Homemade unsweetened applesauce
- Homemade chocolate spread
More lemon recipes
- No-bake Key lime pie
- Lemon meringue tarts
- Lemon cream pie
- Lemon pound cake with sugar icing
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
- Lemon Muffins
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Sugar Icing
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How to make lemon curd
- Total Time: 40 minutes
Recipe for homemade lemon curd recipe, a sweet and slightly tart filling (quantity to fill a 10 inch / 25 cm lemon tart)
- 3 Eggs - whole
- 150 g (¾ cup) Sugar - granulated
- 85 ml (⅓ cup) Lemon juice - about 2-3
- 1 lemon zest
- 100 g (½ cup) butter - unsalted and softened
- In a medium bowl, place the eggs with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and whisk together.
- Place the bowl on a saucepan containing a little water over medium heat.
- Cook the mixture in a double boiler for about 15-20 minutes while constantly stirring with the whisk until the cream thickens.
- Remove from the heat and gradually add the chopped butter while whisking to melt it and until you have a smooth mixture.
- Strain the lemon curd through a fine sieve to remove any residue and the lemon zest to obtain a smooth cream.
- Then place the lemon curd in a large glass jar with a lid or cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator until it is completely cooled.
- Use the lemon curd to fill your tarts and desserts.
Storage: In a jar with a lid in the refrigerator only for about 2-3 weeks in the freezer.
Option: You can add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the preparation for a firmer texture.
Or replace the whole eggs with the same amount of egg yolks for an even richer cream.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: filling, cream
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: lemon curd, lemon curd filling, how to make lemon curd, homemade lemon curd, easy lemon curd
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