My Recipe Box

Classic Lemon Curd


Yields about 2 cups.

Seeing a jar of lovely yellow lemon curd in the refrigerator will brighten anyone's day. Serve over Thick Scottish Shortbread, or use as a spread for toast or English muffins, or a filling for cakes and tartlets.

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

Lemon Curd for Scottish Shortbread Recipe

In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don't let the mixture boil.

Lemon Curd for Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.


For lime curd, substitute fresh lime juice and zest for lemon.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per Tbs., Calories (kcal): 50, Fat Calories (kcal): 25, Fat (g): 3, Saturated Fat (g): 1.5, Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1, Cholesterol (mg): 30, Sodium (mg): 5, Carbohydrates (g): 7, Fiber (g): 0, Protein (g): 1

Photo: Rita Maas

This was very easy to make and has a nice bright lemon flavor. I wish the egg taste was a little less pronounced, but that's personal preference--everyone else loves it. (anyone know if this could be made with maybe a third egg and not the two extra yolks?) Also, it only took 5 minutes to get thick and to 170 (actually closer to 180 bc I wasn't thinking about checking the temp so early). I'm using it on the FC Lemon Cheesecake Squares.

Definitely five stars or more. have never made lemon curd before but someone gave me several lemons so I decided to try this. Followed the instructions as written. The instructions were well written and spot on. Came out perfect and delicious. Not sure what to do with it but it sure is good. I could just sit and eat it with a spoon, and maybe some strawberries.

Best lemon curd recipe ever, as soon as the mixture is heated the curdled effect disappears. Good flavour, not too sweet. Try it with bergamot lemons, amazing!

I have made two double batches using this recipe today. It is so much easier than using the double boiler method. It turned out silky smooth with no sieving needed. Excellent recipe. Thank you for sharing this. It is definitely going to be a regular!

Easy and spectacular! I needed a lemon curd recipe for a tart that I was making and I needed to make it a quick and cool it so I could mix it with mascarpone cheese and whip cream. I was very pleased with how quick I could make this lemon curd and it turned out perfect!

I have two lemon trees and am always looking for new ways to use, I love lemon curd, but all the recipes always seem so complicated and time consuming. I tried this one and all I can say is that it is the best ever. Easy, fast and the results are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this.

Amazing! I have always made curds with the double boiler method. I decided to give this a try with my standard recipe that I love. It turned out smooth and delicious. I will make this my go to method from now on. Thanks for making my life just a little easier!

Perfect! I doubled the recipe and initially messed up a bit by forgetting to double the butter. I had already mixed everything else together by the time I realized so I simply melted the balance of the butter in the pot before I added the rest. I then swirled it all together and it still came out absolutely perfect! Delicious!

First try with lemon was wonderful! Couldn't keep people away with a stick. Then I got curious and tried grapefruit because we were out of limes and oranges. It didn't thicken up for a longer time and higher temp. I went to 185F. It seems too buttery and is definitely a little odd. Anyone know why? I'm sticking with the lemon.

Okay, W O W ! Never made it before, followed the easy pictorial recipe, came out amazing! Thank you

I have made this several times. I love it. I have found that it freezes quite well.

Awesome recipe & easy to make. I used this as filling for a three layer yellow butter cake. My niece told me it was the best cake she has ever had!

Just made this with Meyer Lemons...oh so goooood. I made it exactly as directed and it was perfect, smooth and silky. I busted out the digital thermometer, 170 F is spot on. Be patient, it takes time, but you'll be richly rewarded!

WOW! I just got done making this, and I could not agree more with the other reviews - this lemon curd is absolutely delicious! I can't stop eating it! (yes warm, super good, like fresh pudding!) I can't wait to taste it after it's chilled =) So easy to make, never an issue with curdling, and silky smooth results! This is my new go-to recipe!

First time making lemon curd and it came out perfect! Just want to eat it by the spooful! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

Simply put: There is no other citrus curd but this. Ever. Period. My story: I have always been intimidated by citrus curds. The straining (the waste), the lumps, the under-your-breath cursing no matter how carefully you cook it. Years went by and then my hubby walked up to me in a grocery store with a jar of lemon curd ($10 for 10 oz!) and his "I want this" smile. I told him that I'd make some instead. I knew I had to learn fast. Fortunately, I remembered seeing this and thinking I should try it some time. Sure enough, my very first try came out perfectly. I was proud, my hubby was absolutely thrilled. Now we almost always have a small container or two in the freezer for "emergencies." (Hint: Use a thin layer to hide a tiny crack or two on cheesecake.) I've taken to using approximately 3/4 cup of lemon juice and still get perfect results. As the article and others mention: Don't fret about the early curdled look and stir, stir, stir. Set a timer, but use your senses too.

I just discovered an easier way. Put everything but the butter in a Vitamix, blend on high for a few minutes, the heat from the high speed warms up the mixture and thickens it in minutes, then add the butter at the end, blend for 30 seconds and its done.

Outstanding recipe. Super easy compared to others I have made in past. I used Meyer lemons. Don't let the curdled mixture freak you out. Just stir. And stir. And stir and stir some more. Only change I made was one tablespoon of finely grated lemon rind. I whisked it in at the very end. It made two beautiful jam sized jars.

If your searching for a wonderful lemon curd recipe, search no more. This is it. You will not find an easier or more delicious recipe than this. Not too sweet, silky smooth...Perfect!

love the recipe, we used it as a gift for wedding guests, 5 x recipe made 28 x 110ml jars. other preserves were also made so if anyone else wants to know quantities this might help. I did add 1 large tablespoon of cornflour to assist with the binding of the sauce as we needed to refigerate the Lemon Curd for a week before it was used. I ran out of lemons so used 1 x 2/3 cup of orange juice to make up the liquid. It tastes amazing! thank you for the recipe.

Has anyone tried substituting Truvia for sugar? Thanks, JuliaB55

I have used this recipe several times, with excellent outcome every time!!!! I just switched it up and used key lime juice for Key Lime Curd!! It is sooo good!!! Used it as a filling for Coconut Cake Pops with Coconut Cream frosting!!! The raves just came flowing in!! Wonder how it would be with Orange juice?

Have used lemon curd for years, spreading on filet of sole, then using roasted crushed macadamia nuts as a coating. Then a light saute in an olive oil and butter mixture. This is a new to me method of making the curd, and I loved it! Thank You!

Brilliant! I used It on an English afternoon tea everyone loved it. So easy to make!

Perfect as described and delicious ;-D. A first for me to make lemon curd and for the host of an upcoming fundraiser. This recipe made for a beautiful silkly curd. Thank you!

So good! Not chemical-tasting or bitter at all, like some of the lemon curd recipes I've tried before. Love it!


The best!! I have tried them all and this is it!!

I have never attempted making lemon curd before this recipe, had never even had it. But I love anything lemon, and this recipe looked divine!! I have once tried store bought lemon curd and threw the whole jar away, it simply could not compare to this recipe! I give this recipe to anyone I know that likes lemon as much as I do! It is beyond worth the effort! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Matter of fact, I've given the recipe to 3 people today!

Just made this and I know it's not going to last, delicious.

Easiest and nicest lemon curd recipe ever. Though I use a bowl over a pan of simmering water and just leave it to thicken with the odd stir now and again. I've also made this with icing sugar instead of caster, just as good.

I found a recipe that called for store purchased lemon curd, why buy when you can make it yourself. I must have read 6 different recipes and this recipe sounded fool proof and it was, I absolutely LOVED this recipe, it was so easy and quick with excite flavor. Thank you Fine Cooking

I found a recipe that called for store purchased lemon curd, why buy when you can make it yourself. I must have read 6 different recipes and this recipe sounded fool proof and it was, I absolutely LOVED this recipe, it was so easy and quick with excite flavor. Thank you Fine Cooking

I found a recipe that called for store purchased lemon curd, why buy when you can make it yourself. I must have read 6 different recipes and this recipe sounded fool proof and it was, I absolutely LOVED this recipe, it was so easy and quick with excite flavor. Thank you Fine Cooking

I tried this a couple weeks ago after tasting my first home made lemon tart at a little bakery in Leslie, Arkansas. I could not get that yumminess off my mind and so I scoured the internet looking for something similar. I am SO glad I tried this recipe first! It came out beautifully (I made little tarts in muffin pans)and the taste of the lemon curd was almost spot on with the one at that bakery (possibly even better!) I'm just thrilled that I can make these for my family and friends or when I have that craving! Thank you thank you! Today I'll be trying it on a gluten free shortbread recipe. No matter how the shortbread turns out, as long as that lemon curd is on will be loved!

the lemon curd was superb.. it was so easy to make and truly fool proof... thanks for the recipe... tania - india

I had never made Lemon Curd before and having watched a friend make it, I was worried that it just wouldn't work out. However, having fed in 'Fool Proof Lemon Curd Recipe' into Google and this one came up and it sounded just so easy. And it was. And it is wonderful. And I will be handing out little jars of it this weekend to our neighbour and our friend who is over from England visiting us in Portugal. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I've now registered to 'fine cooking' and boy am I looking forward to doing more 'experimenting'.

Perfect and absolutely effortless. This is an ENORMOUS improvement on every other recipe I've ever tried. It comes out exactly right and I can just tell it's going to work every time. Don't omit the zest, seriously. You need to grate it very fine, but if you do, it really improves the flavor and it doesn't affect the texture at all. For me, the recipe took seven limes. YMMV, but that's an approximation if you're wondering how many to buy. -------- LATER addition: I just tried a batch with honey instead of sugar. It works fine and it's quite delicious; the honey flavor is very noticeable but it hits a couple of seconds after the citrus, so it doesn't detract from the fruitiness. I added one more whole egg, increased the honey from one cup to 1-1/4, and doubled the zest, which basically meant that I just used all the zest from all of the limes. Really delicious variation.

I have made lemon curd several times over the years and this is by far the best ever!! I am giving lemon curd in assorted vintage glassware to my girlfriends for the Holiday's. Very pretty, festive and wonderful flavor! Thank you for this recipe.

I had always been hesitant to try to make lemon curd because it always seemed so difficult, but this was amazingly easy and delicious. I've made it twice now, and have to say that I personally prefer it without the zest, but then, I don't like mine quite as tart. I'm looking forward to making some lime curd soon!

Awesome recipe... if there were 10 stars, I would've given all of them!!

This was my first attempt at making Lemon Curd, and I'm delighted with the results. Easy, beautiful, silky, and D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

Wow...... I made the lime version. I love limes and served it still warm with spelt-ricotta crepes (Good to the Grain, Kim Boyce). Sooooooo good! My Hungarian aunt used to do a similar version but orange flavour. I've finally found a matching recipe. Loved it! And yes I used a double boiler as usual for any custardy things going up to 175F and no problems.

I used this recipe to enter into our annual jams and Preserves competition of which there were 8 entrants(family and friends). Very proud to report that I took out winning honours - 1st prize which mainly consist of bragging rights for a year and the right to choose next years challenge. Very easy to make, set perfectly and the colour was rich and bright. Very tasty and was a hit with everyone.

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I tried another recipe and it didn't work well for me. But yours was my second try and it worked so good. I will be making the again. Can't wait to spead it on all my goodies.

I used ordinary (non-Meyer) lemons. What a heavenly delicate smell!!! And lovely, light and refreshing delight on toast!!! This recipe was so easy and made me feel like a far better cook than I am. The hardest part is juicing the lemons, which is a lot of work to do by hand. I recommend at least doubling the recipe. I was able to fill about 4 custard cups with a double recipe. One of my favorite recipes.

I'd give it more stars if I could! It turned out perfectly! So silky and lemony. I'll never use any other recipe for lemon/lime curd again ;)

This is a great recipe. Comes out perfectly! I don't add the zest simply bc I don't like the mouth feel as a cake filling. The zest wasn't a big issue when using the curd on lemon poppy seed muffins due to the texture of the muffin. Its simply fabulous cold, straight out of the frig, on a fresh baked hot lemon poppyseed though!

I've made lemon curd over the years, but I came across this recipe and though I'd give it a try. It was the best... and easiest curd recipe ever. My brother has a Meyer lemon tree which provided all the lemons for the curd. I tripled the recipe and had to cook longer than recommended, but the results were great. My husband is anxious to have some on his morning toast.

ABSOLUTELY fantastic! Yes it does involve a good 15min of continuous stirring but the delicious and silky end result is SO worth it!

The silkiest lemon curd I have ever had. We used to make lemon curd all the time when I was a kid. It was a time consuming process and very finicky. This was SO easy and the best I have ever tasted. I had to give some to my Mom and she couldn't believe it either!

I was looking for a way to use up all the naked lemons I had after removing all the zest for a batch of lemoncello,and this is it. It is a great recipe and easy too; whipped up in no time at all. Thanks to all the other reviewers, and there helpful tips. It does not take 15 min to thicken, more like 5, mine made three 1/2 pint jars. Next time I'll make it with Meyer lemons and double the recipe because I'm sure it will go fast.

I have tried many Lemon Curd recipes and some have promised no egg curdling but it always happens. I tried this recipe over the weekend and it is GREAT. No straining and no waste. Thank you for the recipe.Five stars.

Great recipe!! This was the first time I have ever made lemon curd and it was so easy!!

Fabulous recipe! I have filled cookies with this, and tart shells, and have served it with scones...always tasty.

Amazing, I now have the time and energy to put lemon curd on my cafe menu! Thanks a million, you're a diamond!

Eating the delcious lemon curd made from the recipe you have posted on this site has truly been one of the happiest culinary expierences of my life. Although I was skeptical as to my ability to make this recipe after the blazing reviews I saw on this site I was forced to try it. After hesitantly sampling my lemony creation I to added yet another five star review to your page. This will be great for the Thanksgiving dessert I promised to make. Thank you, oh god of lemon curd.

This was my first attempt making lemon curd, and it came out flawless. I did a bit of internet research first, and this recipe had the best reviews, for a good reason! I have posted your recipe on my recipe blog (crediting you and linking the recipe, of course) I hope you don't mind!

DELICIOUS!!! I have made a couple of different lemon curds and this is by far the best and thickest (so it's great for filling for a birthday cake I just made as it stays in place!). Just one note - it did not take anywhere NEAR 15 minutes for the curd to get to 170 degrees..for me it was about 5 minutes - I'm not complaining, just a note. This will become MY lemon curd from now on!

This is a fantastic recipe -- it's easy and tastes delicious.

Thank you so very much for this recipe!! I live in Holland, am 35 years old an d I have never had this. You can't buy it anywhere but now I made this it will never taste this good from a shop!!Oh, my god it's great, there are no words. Oh my god!! I can never keep this for 2 months, I think I'll have this for dinner tonight. It's soooooooo good. At one point I thought I was getting scrambled eggs but it turned out great and it tastes, oh my god!! And so easy! A definite keeper. Everyone should have this recipe, it's the best.

I am a culinary school grad and one of the things I love most is lemon curd. However I didn't love making it, with the straining, etc. This was so easy that my 6 year old daughter helped with most of the steps and loved the finished product. We will be making lemon napoleons using won tons, raspberries, and mixing the curd with Greek yogurt. Thanks for this recipe!

So, I have not made this yet, but I'm planning on it. I was wondering, if I don't have a thick-bottomed pot, can I just use a double boiler? I'm assuming it would work the same...? Thanks! Brie

thank you for this recipe! i am making my daughter a lemon layer cake for her first birthday and i was quite tense about making lemon curd. no need to be with this recipe! it's fool proof and looks just lovely, NO LUMPS! my husband cleaned up the bowl after i was done. can't wait to show it off at the party! thanks again!

This lemon curd is the best I've ever made! It's easy to make, and is luscious and creamy and great tasting! It's a recipe I recommend often to my friends!

This recipe is amazing! I searched through several recipes on the web and decided upon this one. I am so glad I did. There are no lumps, just as promised, I also used a thermometer, and it is perfect. I am fortunate to have a Meyer's lemon tree in my back yard, and had frozen several ziplocks of the juice from last season. I totally reccomend that you double this recipe when cooking, as you are going to want to eat it straight from a bowl, it is delicious.

I've never made lemon curd before. This was easy, quick, and delectable! Per Klivans' suggestion, I have saved the extra in the freezer - I'm looking forward to swiping spoonfuls all summer!

This is the best and easy lemon curd. I never made lemon curd and was planning to buy it for an intergenerational tea at our senior center. I did a google search and came up with this recipe, I remembered that I had the Fine Cooking issue that contained the recipe. The tea was a hugh success and will be an annual event. It will always include this lemon curd. I only hope that I will at sometime get a keeper recipe when I get my hair cut.

I made this recipe using Splenda instead of sugar, it came out delicious! A friend of mine who is diabetic was so thrilled!

I was sceptical that a) a novice lemon curd apprentice, like myself, could pull this off, and b)that it would be as good, in the end, as what I have had previously... But I was wrong on both cynical accounts! First of all, this recip is DIVINELY simple, tastes like it should and just as is it described- rich, creamy, full tasting, tart enough without being super sour, sweet enough without lacking taste. I used fresh squeezed lemons and fresh zest, and I added extra zest to my mixture-- that's just because it looks pretty in the jars. I doubled the batch, and it ended up making two pints for storing and one 3/4 full on for tasting and the fridge. I am an avid canner, and I wanted to try to adapt this recipe, which is essentially like a custard, to canning. So after I had mixed the ingredients as shown, and heated them on the stove to smoothe, I then put them in cleaned Ball jars with fresh lids an water-bathed them. As I suspected, the act of putting into a water bath and being surrounded by water precluded the need for constant stirring, and after 25 minutes simmering gently, my lemon curd came out GORGEOUS!! Thank you so much for this recipie- I am making it again tomorrow and continuing until I'm through lemon season, and I'm hoarding it all for myself- folks will have to come beg for it at my door, as lemon pie filing and lemon tarts are my favorites! We had it for dinner over German Pancakes, though, and it was also divine. I bet the half jar lasts only until tomorrow afternoon!

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