Lemon Curd

This lemon curd features a bright and sweet lemony flavor with just a hint of pucker. It’s the perfect consistency and texture, and it’s a versatile recipe you can use in many desserts! Read below for the recipe.

lemon curd in a bowl

What is Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd is a custard filling that consists of eggs, yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Lemon curd cooks over a double boiler to ensure that the eggs don’t curdle and to ensure that the mixture doesn’t burn or over cook.

Controlling the heat is so much easier with a double boiler.

Curd Vs. Sabayon

The main difference between curd and sabayon is the method.

Both use a double boiler, but the sabayon method differs in that you whisk just the eggs and sugar to a foamy consistency until the mixture thickens, and then add the lemon juice in 3 additions so that the curd thickens properly.

For a traditional curd, all of the ingredients go into the double boiler and are whisked continually until the curd thickens. The result is a bright yellow curd that tastes amazing. Curds also tend to be sweeter, although that really just depends on the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

flat lay of lemon curd, lemons, and eggs

3 Tips for Making Perfect Lemon Curd

First, combine all of the ingredients in a room-temperature metal or glass bowl, and then place the bowl over the pot of water before turning on the heat. Do NOT put the room temperature bowl over already simmering water! The eggs are far more likely to scramble if they go inhe heat quickly instead of gradually warming up!

Second, whisk continually so that the fresh lemon curd doesn’t burn or scramble. It won’t taste very “fresh” if it burns. As a side note, you don’t need to whisk vigorously the whole time. Use a good, steady figure eight or clockwise stirring motion that won’t make your arm fall off after a couple of minutes.

Third and lastly, add the room-temperature butter off the heat at the very end. If you use cold butter, it is going to take a lot longer to melt. The coldness of the butter will cool the curd down too fast, making it almost impossible to incorporate the last few pieces of butter because they won’t be able to melt in cold curd.

swirled lemon curd with lemon zest

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Lemon Curd

lemon curd in a bowl with a spoon lifting up out of the bowl

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: custard


Units Scale
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, strained and pulp removed
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch (Optional and only recommended for a stiffer curd as in lemon meringue pie)


To Make Lemon Curd

  1. Combine the egg yolks, whole eggs, fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, granulated sugar and optional cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Next, fill a medium pot with 1-2 inches of water, and place the bowl over the water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water.
  3. Turn the stove onto medium high heat to get the water to a simmer quickly, and then turn the heat down so it stays at a simmer. While the water is coming to a simmer, begin stirring the lemon mixture so that it does not scramble or cook unevenly.
  4. Whisk the lemon curd until it is pale and thickens. This takes about 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the pats of butter one at a time until they are melted and combined with the curd. The mixture should be thick after whisking for several minutes. In general, you will need to whisk the curd for 3-5 minutes after removing from the heat to get the right consistency.
  6. Place a piece of plastic directly on top of the curd so that the plastic is touching it. Cover the bowl with another layer of plastic wrap to make sure it’s sealed well, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The lemon curd can be made up to 5 days ahead.


This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

a spoon with lemon curd lifting out of a bowl


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