Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Classic Lemon Curd

Rita Maas

Yield: 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

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample 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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (74 reviews)

  • Nottinghamgirl | 07/15/2018

    I love this recipe and I've just made (for the first time!) two jars of lemon heaven! It really is foolproof and there is no danger of ending up with lemony scrambled eggs as the sugar and butter are mixed thoroughly first.

    It tastes wonderful - tangy but definitely not too sweet. In fact it's inspired me and I'm now planning to bake a lemon curd swiss roll and a batch of lemon curd muffins tomorrow despite the 90 degree heat we are currently experiencing in England.

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • BethThomlinson | 04/18/2018

    I love this recipe. It has become one of my signature dishes. For those who find it too eggy, just eliminate one of the egg yolks. Don't substitute a whole egg; removing one yolk works better.

    For a double batch, after much experimenting, I settled on this:
    1 3/4 cup sugar
    10 oz butter (1 1/4 stick)
    4 whole eggs plus 3 yolks
    1 1/3 to 1 1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 1/2 t. lemon zest

    This has the tanginess that I like, without getting too sweet or too eggy.

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks


We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

See my options