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Easy Tangy Lemon Curd

This recipe for easy tangy lemon curd, made with fresh lemons, is not too sweet, extra lemony and has a creamy texture. It can be used in pies or tarts, as a spread, or in any other recipe that calls for lemon curd. It will quickly become a favourite.

lemon curd in a dish with a spoon of curd on the table.  Fresh lemons scattered around.
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I absolutely love lemon. I love the fresh, tangy flavour and that it pairs well with both sweet and savoury dishes.

This lemon curd recipe is easy, tangy, and creamy. It is great in pies and tarts, as a spread on fresh Whole Wheat Scones, as a filling for some deliciously sweet Sugar Cookie Cups, or in any other recipe that calls for prepared lemon curd, such as a delicious No Bake Lemon Cheesecake.

We love it on top of Blueberry Lemon Pancakes and it is also perfectly acceptable to eat it straight out of the jar, which I have done on numerous occasions.

I’ve created this recipe to be extra lemony, so it is nice and tart, which is just the way I like it. If you like your lemon curd a bit sweeter you can either reduce the lemon juice by a few tablespoons or eliminate the zest.

This recipe makes approximately two and a half cups of curd for 10 servings (¼ cup each), but it is easy to scale it up if you need more.

Poured into small jars and decorated, this lemon curd makes wonderful gifts for friends and neighbours.

Dish of tangy lemon curd and 2 jars full of lemon curd.

Looking for some recipes to use with this lemon curd? Try this skinny lemon pie smoothie, this lemon cheesecake ice cream or these mini lemon pies.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

There are only four ingredients required to make your own homemade lemon curd. You will need:

  • Butter
  • Fresh lemons (approximately 5 large lemons)
  • Eggs (3 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks)
  • Sugar

Step by Step Instructions

This lemon curd comes together quickly with just a few simple steps:

  • Start by zesting and juicing the fresh lemons.
  • In a medium-size non-reactive pot, add the butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Heat on medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and egg yolks.
  • Next, add the hot lemon mixture to the eggs in a steady stream while continuously whisking, then add the mixture back to the pot.
  • Heat the curd on medium heat while continuing to whisk until it begins to thicken. Do not allow the lemon curd to boil.
  • You will know it is ready when the lemon curd coats the back of a spoon. If you are using a thermometer you are looking for a temperature between 160°F and 170°F.
Photo showing steps to making lemon curd.

Be sure to add the hot lemon mixture to the eggs in a slow steady stream, while whisking, to avoid creating scrambled eggs!

Pour the lemon curd into heat-safe jars or containers and allow it to cool, then transfer to the refrigerator. If you are using jars it is a good idea to preheat them with some hot water to reduce the chance of cracking.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the curd to fully set before using, but overnight is even better.

3 small jars of lemon curd and a sliced lemon.

Cook Time

The cook time for this lemon curd is only about 15 minutes.

You just need to heat the lemon juice, sugar and butter together until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Then, after you’ve added the eggs, you will heat just until the mixture is thick.

Dish of lemon curd on a wood plate with a small wooden spoon with lemon curd.

Top Tips & FAQS

  • Don’t let the lemon curd boil – Boiling the lime curd will result in a grainy texture and can create an eggy flavour to the finished curd.
  • Let the curd cool fully before enjoying – Letting the curd sufficient time to cool will allow the curd to thicken properly before using. Overnight in the refrigerator is even better.
  • Use a non-reactive pot or bowl for preparing citrus curd – You want to be sure you are using a non-reactive pot, such as aluminum for preparing your curd or use the double boiler method with a ceramic or glass bowl over your pot. Using aluminium, cast iron or copper can give citrus curd a metallic taste.
Can I use bottled lemon juice for curd instead of fresh?

Yes, if you can’t find fresh lemons, or would just rather use bottled you can. You may want to start with half a cup of bottled lemon juice and increase as needed as sometimes it will have a slightly stronger, more acidic flavour.

How long will lemon curd keep?

This lemon curd will keep for approximately 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Do I need to refrigerate lemon curd?

Yes. Due to the eggs and fresh lemon juice, you must store this in the refrigerator.

Is lemon curd dairy-free?

I use butter when making my lemon curd, so it would not be dairy-free. However, you can replace the butter with margarine if you need to keep yours free of dairy.

Glass mason jar with lemon curd, a wooden spoon in the jar.

More Delicious Recipes with Citrus

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Printable Recipe

Easy Tangy Lemon Curd

This recipe for easy tangy lemon curd, made with fresh lemons, is not too sweet, extra lemony and has a creamy texture. It can be used in pies or tarts, as a spread, or any other recipe that calls for lemon curd.
4.78 from 9 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Desserts, Sauces and Spreads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 196kcal
Author: Deanna



  • ½ Cup Butter salted
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon zest
  • ¾ Cup Lemon juice approximatly 5 lemons
  • 1 Cup Granulated sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 Large Egg yolks


  • Zest one of the lemons to equal approximatly 1 tablespoon of zest, then juice enough lemons to equal ¾ cup of juice. (approximatly 5 large lemons)
  • Add the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice to a medium pot. Heat on medium heat until buttr is melted and sugar is dissolved.
  • In a medium size bowl, whisk the 3 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks. Then pour the lemon mixture into the eggs in a steady stream while whisking.
  • When all of the lemon mixture has been added to the eggs, return to the pot and heat on medium heat. Heat while stirring until the lemon curd has thickened. It will be ready when it feels thick and coats the back of a spoon. If you are using a thermometer, you are looking for a temperature between 160°F and 170°F.
  • Remove from heat and pour into heat safe jars or containers. If using jars, it is recommended to preheat them with some hot water to avoid cracking.
  • Allow the curd to cool, then place the lids on the containers and move the curd to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using to allow the curd to fully set. Overnight is even better to ensure a fully set curd.


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Easy Tangy Lemon Curd
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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4.78 from 9 votes (7 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 5th of July 2023

Ding, ding, ding! I do believe I have found a winner! Here in So Cal I’m surrounded by lemons and looking for a curd recipe that won’t go runny on me or take forever. I love to bake, but rarely eat sweets. I’m retired, but my wife continues to work and support me in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed. I’m going to have such fun making things with this lemon curd. Thank you. I stand on the shoulder of a giant.

Dace Smith

Friday 18th of March 2022

Can lemon curd be frozen?


Monday 21st of March 2022

Yes, I have frozen leftovers and it was perfectly fine. You want to make sure it is completely cool before freezing and store it in an air tight container.


Saturday 18th of December 2021

Hi, can artificial sweeteners be substituted for the sugar, either partially or fully? If so do you have a suggestion? Thanks so much for the lovely recipe!


Sunday 19th of December 2021

I'm sorry, I've never tried making this with artificial sweetener as it's not something I use. I think you could replace up to half the sugar and it would work as I have reduced the sugar a bit before when making this to use for someone who is diabetic, but you do need some sugar to help thicken it. With the reduced sugar, it doesn't thicken as much but it's still good. If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes!


Saturday 23rd of January 2021

Thank you the recipe was easy I yielded two and a three-quarter jars full of this wonderful curd and I'm going to use it today with a lemon cheesecake it tastes awesome thank you