It’s a great thing to make something so beyond delicious as the homemade lemon curd with four of the most basic ingredients in your kitchen.

Join Apronese to see how to make lemon curd in this article!

What is Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd is a cooked mixture of eggs, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and butter. It’s a versatile lemony spread or citrusy topping.

Unlike jams and jellies, the added butter and egg not only gives lemon curd a rich flavor but a custard-like texture.

It can be used as a spread for things like scones or toast. The butter makes it a rich but tart dessert topping on pancakes, waffles or ice cream.

Lemon curd is also great as a filling for layered cake, crepes or a lemon tart, naturally.

What is Lemon Curd Used For?

You can use lemon curd anywhere you use jam or preserves, so on toast, biscuits, scones, etc.

It’s also a great topper for yogurt (try Lemon Berry Yogurt Breakfast Bowls), oats, parfaits, cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, pancakes, waffles, crepes, and more.

What is lemon curd used for

Fresh Lemon Juice vs Bottled Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juices is always better than bottled. However, bottled lemon juice won’t make your lemon curd any less delicious.

So unless you have some lemons in your freezer that you’re trying to use up, save yourself some trouble and pour your lemon juice instead of squeezing it.

If you are using fresh lemons, go ahead and zest your lemon before juicing it. Adding lemon zest to the lemon curd will make a marked difference in the flavor.

How Long Does Homemade Lemon Curd Last?

This homemade lemon curd will last in your fridge for 1-2 weeks, but you can also freeze it.

The lemon curd will last at least a few months in the freezer, and the great part is that it only hardens about as much as ice cream, so you can scoop it out as needed.

How to Make Homemade Lemon Curd

This luscious homemade lemon curd only takes four simple ingredients, about 10 minutes, and tastes like velvet sunshine in a jar.

Author: Beth

Prep Time: 5 mins / Cook Time: 5 mins / Total Time: 10 mins

Servings: 8 2 tbsp each


  • 1/4 cup sugar ($0.08)
  • 1 large egg ($0.25)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice ($0.16)
  • 4 tbsp butter ($0.54)


  • Add the sugar, egg, and lemon juice to a small sauce pot. Before placing the pot over the heat, whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  • Place the pot over medium heat and cook while whisking continuously. The mixture will become very frothy as you whisk. When the liquid becomes hot enough to cook the egg, the mixture will begin to thicken and no more liquid will separate from the foam. It will take about 5 minutes of whisking over medium heat for the mixture to thicken, but will vary depending on your cookware. The mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon (see photos below).
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Add one tablespoon of butter at a time, whisking until it has fully melted into the sauce before adding the next. As the butter is melted into the sauce, it will become less frothy and more silky in texture, and look more glossy rather than foamy.
  • Once all of the butter has been whisked in, transfer the lemon curd to an air-tight container and refrigerate until completely cooled. The curd will thicken further upon cooling.

Do not use aluminum cookware, as this can be reactive with the lemon juice.


Serving: 2 Tbsp ・ Calories: 69.04 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 2.76 g ・ Protein: 0.81 g ・ Fat: 6.15 g ・ Sodium: 53.21 mg ・ Fiber: 0.03 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.


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How to Make Lemon Curd – Step-by-Step Photos

Slice Butter into 1 Tbsp pieces
Step 1: It can be helpful, but is not critical, to take your butter out of the refrigerator and slice into 1 tablespoon pieces before you begin.

Letting it warm up slightly can make it easier to melt into the sauce later.
Lemon juice being poured into a sauce pot with sugar and an egg.
Step 2: Add 1/4 cup sugar, one large egg, and 1/3 cup lemon juice to a small sauce pot.
Whisked sugar, egg, and lemon juice in the sauce pot, no heat.
Step 3: Before placing the pot over heat, whisk the sugar, egg, and lemon juice together until smooth.
Half cooked sugar egg and lemon juice in the pot, very frothy from continuous whisking.
Step 4: Place the pot over medium heat and begin to whisk continuously, about five minutes until the mixture thickens.

It will get very frothy as you cook and whisk and will seem like nothing is happening, but once it reaches the magic temperature, it will almost suddenly thicken.

The photo above is when the mixture was at the half-way point. Very frothy on top, but there was still a layer of liquid under the froth.
Thickened sugar egg and lemon mixture, coating the back of a spoon.
Step 5: When the mixture gets hot enough, the egg will begin to thicken the sauce and the entire mixture will become thick and frothy, with no layer of liquid on the bottom. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

When you drag your finger through the mixture on the spoon, the sauce should stay put and not run back to fill in the line.
Thickened sugar egg and lemon mixture close up from the side, running off a spoon.
Here is another view of what it looks like once thickened. It’s still very frothy in texture. There is no liquid on the bottom of the pot. It’s all thick froth. When it reaches this point, remove the pot from the heat.
One tablespoon of butter added to the pot, about to be whisked in.
Step 6: Whisk one tablespoon of butter into the sauce, making sure it is fully melted (from the residual heat of the sauce) before adding the next tablespoon.

As you whisk in the butter, the sauce will become less frothy and silkier. It will also look a little more glossy and translucent, and less white/opaque.
Finished lemon curd dripping off the whisk into the sauce pot.
Step 7: Here is what it looks like once all of the butter has melted in. More glossy and translucent, less frothy.

While the lemon curd is fairly thick at this point, it thickens further once refrigerated.
Finished lemon curd on a spoon in the sauce pot.
The flavor also mellows a bit as it refrigerates. It’s quite sour at this point but it gets creamier as it refrigerates.
Refrigerated lemon curd on a small butter knife set across the mouth of a jar, lemon slices on the side.
Step 8: You can refrigerate the lemon curd for 1-2 weeks, or freeze it for a few months.

You can scoop frozen lemon curd out as needed, and it will thaw quickly at room temperature.

And that’s how to make lemon curd. It’s simple to make, isn’t it? How about you? How do you make your homemade lemon curd? Leave a comment below to let me know and don’t forget to come back to Apronese to get more tasty recipes.