This easy homemade lemon curd makes a great topping for muffins, scones, croissants, and yogurt or it can be used as a delicious filling for cakes and other desserts. While perfect for springtime this recipe is delicious all year round and is freezer friendly!
Lemon curd is so simple and classic. For me, lemon curd brings to mind English tea and something you’d eat with scones at a formal brunch. But really, it is a delicious and very versatile dessert filling and spread. It’s a staple of any kitchen and freezes beautifully. Plus, you can make a batch in less than 10 minutes!
What is lemon curd?
Lemon curd is a type of fruit curd, using fruit juice, fruit zest, sugar and egg yolks as a thickener. These are cooked until the mix thickens into a smooth and tasty spread. Curds typically use citrus such as lemons, limes, or oranges but you can also use berries or other fruit. You can use any type of lemon for this recipe but Meyer lemons are especially delicious.
What are the uses for lemon curd?
The uses for lemon curd are practically endless. Lemon Curd is perfect for filling cakes, macarons, cookies, and tarts. Or on top of toast, scones, muffins, or croissant. Even dripped over cheesecake, ice cream, or yogurt, yum! You can add it to buttercream for a lemon flavored frosting.
How do I make lemon curd?
This is a very simple recipe to use all those leftover egg yolks from making macarons or Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. First, you mix or whisk the egg, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl until it is a pale yellow.
Then, transfer to a heavy bottomed saucepan, add the lemon juice and cook until thick, stirring constantly. When it’s done it will bubble up and it leave nice thick coat on the back whisk or spoon you use to mix. Once it’s thickened, remove from heat and add the butter one tablespoon at a time. You want to make sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next.
Then, while it’s still warm you’ll strain it through a sieve. Then cover and let cool before refrigerating until ready to use.
Can I freeze lemon curd?
Yes! Lemon curd freezes beautifully. This recipe will last up to a week in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer. When ready to use, let defrost in the fridge and come to room temperature right before using.
Tips for Making Lemon Curd
- Lemon curd is very easy to make and only takes about 10 minutes. This is a basic recipe which I often use for leftover egg yolks from other recipes, and it makes about ½ cup of lemon curd. This is enough to fill a batch of macarons or as an accompaniment to brunch, but if you need more you can easily double or triple the recipe.
- Lemon Curd is a very customizable recipe. You can alter the ingredients and it will still turn out. If you want it more or less sweet, you can add more or less sugar. This is a very thick and spreadable curd, but if you want it lighter and fluffier, use two whole eggs and two egg yolks. Creamier, add more butter. You can even try adding a little cream at the very end for more of a pourable curd. Play around and see what you like!
- Lemon curd keeps very well. You want to keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Easy Lemon Curd
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- ½ cup sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- Mix or whisk egg yolk, egg, and sugar in heavy bottomed saucepan until light and pale.
- Add lemon juice and zest
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until thick and bubbling, about 5-7 minutes
- It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon
- Remove from heat and stir in butter one tablespoon at a time
- While still warm, strain through a mesh sieve
- Let cool and then cover and refrigerate until ready to use
- This lasts up to a week in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer