This 15-minute lemon curd is the perfect spread for biscuits, scones, merengues, pies, and other sweet treats. While you can easily buy store-bought lemon curd, the homemade stuff is more way more flavorful (and has less sugar).
Lemons are something I always have stocked in the kitchen because I use them in practically everything -- some zest over vegetables, a squeeze over pasta, and to freshen up so many desserts. It's no surprise then that lemon curd is one of my favorite things to make. Lemon curd always reminds me of having high tea at the Willard Intercontinental's Peacock Alley. They have some seriously amazing lemon curd served with their to-die-for scones. My girlfriends and I make sure we do tea at least once a year...and definitely opt for the champagne, boozy tea, of course.
Nearly one year ago (right after Connor broke his arm!) I posted an adapted version of Ina Garten's recipe. It's great and all -- trust me -- but I wanted something even lazier. Did I really need to get the processor dirty to mix sugar and lemon zest, then my mixing bowl and paddle attachment to add the butter and eggs, and THEN use a pot to heat the whole mixture?
Well, I'm here to report to you the answer is no. This one is easy, y'all, and it tastes just as great. You'll just need to get one pot over the stove dirty and use a total of 6 ingredients. Total mom win.
Some notes about making lemon curd:
- If you're bothered by little tiny bits of lemon zest, you will want to run the curd through cheesecloth or a strainer after it's off the heat. It has never bothered me...but just know that you will have a couple of little clumps where your zest has stuck together. If I were making this for a friend and presenting it to them in a nice little jar, I'd definitely strain it. For your standard lemon curd used at home? Doesn't bother me in the least.
- You want to make sure you do not boil the mixture. It should be hot enough to heat the eggs at a low simmer but not hot enough to be boiling. If you have a thermometer, it'll start to thicken at 170 degrees Fahrenheit. If it starts to get too hot, take the the mixture off the burner and lower your heat immediately. This is the number one mistake -- getting the lemon curd too hot.
- You can tell it's the right thickness if a spoon coats the back of a spoon. Don't worry if it doesn't seem thick enough -- it'll thicken more as it cools, too.
How long does lemon curd last?
You'll want to use your lemon curd within one week. Be sure you store it tightly in a tightly-sealed jar (I use an old jelly jar). You can also freeze then thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
What can I do with my lemon curd?
- use as a filling for cake. This lemon elderberry cake is a great one.
- spread on biscuits
- fill little lemon tart merengues
- in a blueberry parfait
- on top of waffles or pancakes
- lemon meringue pie
- as a filling inside cupcakes
15 Minute Homemade Lemon Curd
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cups sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice from about 2 lemons
- ¼ cup unsalted butter cut in smaller pieces
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, whisk eggs, salt, sugar and lemon juice together until well combined. Add butter and lemon zest while mixture heats up.
- Continue whisking constantly until lemon curd thickens (about 10 minutes). You can always check by seeing if curd sticks to the back of a spoon. Do not let the curd boil.
- Take off heat and transfer to a bowl to cool for at least 30 minutes. Then refrigerate in a tightly sealed jar until chilled.
Hope you enjoy!