How to make Lemon Curd in 6 simple steps!

by Robyn on July 5, 2010

Lemon curd in a jar and in a cake

Lemon Curd

That’s right, 6 steps! And not the steps you usually see when looking at a recipe for Lemon Curd. You see, I’ve spent many an hour bemoaning the teeny tiny lumps in my lemon curd made at the bakery. The lumps are a hazard of making lemon curd the old fashioned way. The eggs will cook prior to combining with the butter and juice, then you have the lumps.

Lumps are something very familiar in a cake bakery. You get them in frosting unless you are very careful. We devised a way of making frosting to avoid lumps. It is great frosting. One day I got to thinking maybe our technique for frosting would work with lemon curd. I gave it a try and wowzers! it worked great. I’m going to share it with all of you because the world needs more lemon curd!1. Begin with your ingredients, ready to go. You’ll need 5 ingredients: Unsalted Butter – 6 tablespoons, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2/3 cup of lemon juice and the zest off those lemons.

Unsalted butter ready to mixin mixing bowl

Unsalted Butter

2. Now here comes the unconventional part: In your mixing bowl add the butter (it does not have to be softened), if it is hard just beat it a bit until it is softer, then add the sugar.

Granulated sugar in bowl with butter

Butter and sugar

Beat these together until it is light and fluffy.

Eggs and sugar beaten together un til light and fluffy

Beaten butter and sugar

3. Now add your eggs and mix in well.

Adding in eggs and yolks, beat together

Eggs and egg yolks go in next

4. Next add your lemon juice and zest. Depending on the warmth of your kitchen you’ll either get a mixture that is mixed into a nice “sauce” or a slurry with a few pieces of butter that resembles curds.

Lemon juice and zest added and mixed together with eggs, butter and sugar.

Juice and zest in.

5. All that needs to happen now is to pour this mixture into a small saucepan.

Lemon curd in a saucepan ready for heating

Lemon curd ready to cook

Lemon curd heated and almost to the correct temperature (170 F)

Lemon Curd almost there

Turn heat on stove to medium and stir until the curd gets to 170 degrees F or 76.6 C. You don’t want this mixture to boil! It will curdle if it does.

Lemon curd at proper temperature so that it coats the back of a spoon or spatula


Once it reaches temperature, you can test it to make sure it coats the back of your spatula or spoon.

Top lemon curd with saran (to avoid a skin) to chill

Ready to chill

6. Now cover it with a bit of saran wrap and set it in the fridge to cool. It will thicken a bit more while chilling. Use in  your favorite dessert!

You can also substitute  limes, oranges, blood oranges, tangerines or grapefruit in this recipe to suit your dessert pleasure. Curds can be frozen for up to 4 months for later use. The recipe can also be tripled without adjust needing to be made. You can refrigerate it for up to a 2 weeks to use with your favorite recipe. I put mine in old canning jars or Bon Maman jelly jars that I save.

My favorite way to use lemon curd? In this cake: (recipe to be posted tomorrow!)

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Robyn August 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I’m glad you tried it! I knew it would be great. I love this method because you don’t have to worry about the lumps and the eggs cooking because the mixture was too hot. Simple and consistent recipes are the best. Your friends will be delighted!

Dorothy at August 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

This method worked GREAT! Most other recipes call for either cooking over a double boiler, or cooking the curd and whisking in the butter at the end, after you pull it off the heat. This worked just fine. I just made 3 batches of it and now I am off to find people to give it to! Thank you!

Robyn July 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

Dorothy, you’ll have to let me know how much you love this method! Glad you’re giving it a try!

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious July 13, 2010 at 6:37 am

Am trying this today with Meyer lemons!

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