Make the easiest homemade Lemon Curd with 4 simple ingredients. It’s the perfect sweet, tart, and creamy filling. Used in so many ways such as for cakes, tarts, scones, and more!
Lemon curds is one of the easiest things to make. It’s a thick spread made from lemons, sugar, eggs, and butter. A smooth, yet creamy in texture with a bright, sweet, and zingy flavor. Perfect for using in desserts or just as a simple spread for breakfast. Once you see how easy the homemade version is, you will never want to pick up a jar at the store.
You can use it to make the most incredible lemon meringue pie, lemon bars, or mixed into a buttercream to top or fill cakes and cupcakes. Let’s learn why lemons are good for you.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and have helped reduce heart disease, anemia, and digestive issues. Having freshly squeezed lemon juice by hand will have no preservatives, less time to oxidize, and brighter in flavor. Lemons are known to help with apples and even avocado from oxidizing or turn brown. Even before juicing the lemon, you can zest the skin and freeze them for up to 3 months. It is great for baked goods to give added brightness.
Difference Between Regular Lemons and Meyer Lemons
A Meyer Lemon was named for Frank N. Meyer, an agricultural explorer who identified the plant and brought it back to America in the early 20th century. It is a hybrid between a lemon and mandarin orange that originated from China. Unlike regular lemons, Meyer lemons are slightly smaller, smooth, and deep yellow peel. When it is matured, its peel can be almost orange. The flesh is also sweeter than regular lemons. You can treat Meyer Lemons like regular lemons when you are cooking or baking.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Lemons: always use quality fresh lemons. We suggest using regular lemons or Meyer lemons. Before you juice the lemon, zest the skin for the extra sing and citrus flavor.
- Egg Yolks: is what you will need to thicken the curd. In our recipe, we used 3 eggs and 4 egg yolks. With the remaining egg white you can freeze for later use for making a Swiss meringue or scrambled egg whites.
- Butter or Ghee: butter or ghee will also help thicken the curd and give it that delicious creamy and decadent flavor. Be sure to use unsalted butter and keep it cold until ready to add it into the curd.
Sugar: It is recommended to use granulated sugar or cane sugar as brown sugar can change the flavor and color of the curd.
Tips On Making This Recipe
- The most important tip for lemon curd is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stay away from bottled lemon juice as it can be too acidic and can ruin the flavor.
- Use low heat and don’t stop whisking the mixture or the egg can scramble and become lumpy.
- You will know the curd is ready when it is noticeably thickened and starts to coat your spatula.
- The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Do not use it until it is completely cooled for filling cakes and such.
- Be sure to refrigerate it after not in use. It will be good for up to a week or 2-3 months in the freezer.
How To Make Lemon Curd
Servings: 2 Cups, 16 oz. | Course: Sauce, Dessert | Cuisine: American
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
- ¾ Cup Lemon Juice (about 4 lemons)
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- 3 Eggs + 4 Egg Yolks
- ¼ Cup Butter or Ghee (cubed)
Prep: 5 minutes | Cook: 10 minutes
Time needed: 15 minutes.
- Take your whole lemons and zest the peel.
Tip: Store the extra unused lemon zest in an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months until use.
- Separate your eggs and yolk according to the recipe. (You can store your egg whites in a container and save them for a meringue or scrambled egg whites for breakfast.) Whisk the eggs and egg yolks well in a bowl. Set it aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat your lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt over medium heat until everything dissolves. Remove it from the heat.
- Take about ½ cup of your mixed eggs into the saucepan while whisking. This will help temper the eggs. Add the remaining mixture into the pan while whisking to prevent curdling. Turn back on the heat on low and continue to whisk it until it thickens within 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in your cubed butter. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Then take a mesh strainer and strain any zest or egg solids that may have been left from the curd. Once it has been strained, transfer it into a jar. Cover it and chill it until ready to use.