Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd
For me, lemon curd is a must have pantry staple. It is a bright, colorful concoction that is extremely versatile. Lemon curd can be used as a filling for cakes or tarts, spread on freshly baked scones or toast, and even beaten into a basic buttercream to provide an extra punch of flavor. Of course, you can buy store bought lemon curd, but homemade lemon curd is deceptively easy to make, only requires four basic ingredients (lemon, eggs, butter, and sugar), and can be tucked in the freezer for use at a moment's notice. Once you make your own lemon curd, you will not only see how easily it comes together but also how incredibly amazing it tastes. Reaching for the store bought jarred version will become a thing of the past!

Lemon curd only has four ingredients, but each is a critical component to creating its signature smooth, creamy texture and unique zingy flavor. The star of this curd is fresh lemons. Do not be tempted into using bottled lemon juice - this will result in a dull curd that is far too acidic in flavor. Adding grated lemon zest contributes to a fresh, bright flavor and adds additional sharp citrus notes. The granulated sugar provides the sweet balance needed to offset the acid of the lemon. I would not recommend using either brown or demerara sugar as these options will change the flavor, color, and texture of the curd. The egg yolks provide a rich foundation that when cooked over a low heat thicken the curd. The butter acts as an additional thickener; it also provides the curd's signature creamy, silky texture and shiny finish. Individually, each of these ingredients are basic items that don't appear to be anything special. But combined together with a constant stir over a low heat, these humble ingredients magically transform into a decadent, smooth spread that is simply irresistible!

While heating, be sure to constantly whisk the ingredients. This allows for an even cook, ensures a smooth finish, and prevents the eggs from scrambling. Don't be tempted to crank up the heat to speed up the thickening process. Be patient, or your efforts will produce very unappetizing scrambled eggs instead of a creamy curd. Feel free to use a double boiler, versus placing the saucepan directly onto the heat, to prevent the egg mixture from cooking too quickly. Although not necessary, I do recommend straining the warm lemon curd to remove any small lumps and guarantee a smooth, silky finish.

The lemon curd will naturally thicken while it cools (especially after it sits in the refrigerator). Be sure to allow it to cool completely before adding it to your baked goods (or it will be too runny). If after cooling the lemon curd is still not thick enough (basically it is pouring like a sauce), thicken it by adding a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons of water). Be sure to reheat the curd over low heat while you are whisking in the cornstarch slurry. Remove from the heat and recover with plastic wrap. Once completely cooled your lemon curd should be the correct thickness.

This recipe does call for 6 egg yolks. Don't throw away the egg whites - they can be used to make a classic meringue (how about baking a lemon meringue pie where both the lemon curd and meringue are key ingredients), a soft pillowy angel food cake (which can be layered with the lemon curd and fresh whipped cream to create a stunning trifle), or a Swiss meringue buttercream (that can be swirled on top of vanilla cupcakes filled with the lemon curd). The uses of the lemon curd, as well as the leftover egg whites, are only limited by your imagination!

If its easy execution, undeniable taste, or versatility is not enough to entice you to try making homemade lemon curd, perhaps its longevity will convince you to leave the jarred version in the store. Homemade lemon curd can be stored in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for up to three months. Keep a batch on hand at all times to add a zingy, unique punch of flavor and color to your baked treats!
Servings: 10 oz.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (strain to remove seeds)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed


  1. Strain egg yolks into a saucepan. Lightly beat with a whisk.
  2. Add sugar to egg yolks and whisk until pale yellow. Stir in the lemon zest. Gradually add in the lemon juice, whisking constantly.
  3. Place the saucepan over low heat. Whisk constantly until the egg mixture thickens and just begins to bubble - about 10 minutes. (The egg mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon).
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add one cube of cold butter at a time, whisking after each addition.
  5. While still warm, strain the lemon curd directly into a bowl. (This step is optional but it will create a silky, smooth curd and remove any bits of lemon zest or egg).
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the lemon curd. Bring to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  7. Enjoy!


Crumble Crate is the culmination of years of experimenting with cooking and baking in my home kitchen. Since I was a small child, I found a simple pleasure in creating fresh delicious treats and sharing them with my family and friends. As life became more complicated, the basic task of baking in my kitchen became an even more critical and comforting sanctuary.

I want to share this joy of baking with you so that you too can experience the bliss you feel when you create and share fresh baked goodies with your loved ones. My goal is for us to explore baking together and take the stress out of the process so that you can decompress and learn to find refuge in your kitchen. I can’t wait to begin this baking journey with each of you!