Go Back
+ servings
angled view of lemon curd in a mason jar next to fresh lemons and a jar of sugar on a speckled blue background
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Lemon Curd

Learn how to make tangy and creamy homemade lemon curd from scratch in just 20 minutes using simple ingredients with this easy-to-follow recipe!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: English
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 38kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch sifted
  • tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 2 large egg yolks beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon peel

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, add sugar, sifted cornstarch, and salt.
  • Slowly add lemon juice and cold water to the sugar mixture, stirring until smooth. If you notice any lumps of cornstarch, use a rubber spatula to press the lumps against the bottom or side of the saucepan to remove them.
  • Add the beaten egg yolks and butter to the saucepan and stir until the yolks are thoroughly blended with the lemon juice mixture. (The butter will remain, but it will melt into the mixture in the following step.)
  • Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula, gradually add boiling water to the saucepan. Continue to stir until all of the boiling water has been added and the mixture is cohesive and smooth.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and continue to stir the mixture gently until it comes to a gentle boil. The mixture will thicken as it heats.
  • When the mixture reaches a gentle boil, reduce the heat to medium-low/low and allow it to simmer slowly for one minute while you continue to stir it gently. At this point the curd should have the consistency of pudding, and it will thicken a bit more as it cools.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in grated lemon peel.
  • Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl (so that it does not continue to cook from the residual heat of the hot pan) and let it cool completely. I like to stir it a few times as it cools to avoid a skin forming on top of the curd, or you can place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the top of the curd as it cools to avoid a skin forming.

Notes

  • Storage: Store homemade lemon curd in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • It's easiest to zest the whole lemon, before slicing it in half and squeezing out the juice. Be sure to zest just the very outer layer of peel. The white pith underneath the peel is bitter, so you want to be careful not to include it with the zest.
  • Be sure to sift the cornstarch to avoid lumps in your curd.
  • If your curd has not yet reached the consistency of pudding when you're ready to take it off the heat, simmer it for another few seconds to a minute longer, continuing to stir as it cooks and being careful not to burn the curd.
  • I don't bother to strain my lemon curd because I don't mind a few little bits of lemon zest (which add lots of flavor and almost imperceptible texture). If you prefer ultra smooth curd, you can strain your lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tbsp. | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg