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Easy Tangy Lemon Curd

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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. 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 scones, or any other recipe that calls for prepared lemon curd.

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 (1/4 cup each), but it is easy 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

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

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 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
  • You will know it is ready when the lemon curd coats the back of a spoon
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 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.

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.

FAQS

Can I use bottled lemon juice 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.

If you liked this recipe you might also like:

Old fashioned lemon squares

Lemon coconut tarts

Bakery style cranberry lemon scones

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Tried this recipe? Please leave a comment or rating to let me know!

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.
5 from 3 votes
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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

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter salted
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
  • 3/4 Cup Lemon juice approximatly 5 lemons
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks

Instructions

  • Zest one of the lemons to equal approximatly 1 tablespoon of zest, then juice enough lemons to equal 3/4 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 mixutre has been added the eggs, return to the pot and heat on meduim 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 417IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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