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Lemon Curd - A Family Feast

Lemon curd is a classic recipe that is surprisingly easy to make at home!  Lemon curd actually dates back to late 19th century England, where homemade lemon curd was typically served with bread or scones during afternoon tea as an alternative to jam.  Lemon curd, with its wonderfully intense flavor, is now also often used as a filling for cakes, pastries, or tarts, and it plays a starring role in pies such as lemon meringue!

Our recipe, adapted from one by Ina Garten, is different (and easier) than some of the other lemon curd recipes I’ve seen, because it uses whole eggs rather than just egg yolks.  While some lemon curds are quite thick, this version has a smooth and creamy texture that is just perfect for a variety of uses!

Lemon Curd - A Family Feast

Lemon curd tastes just minutes to make (although you do have to keep a watchful eye on it while it cooks and thickens on the stove top)!  In fact – go ahead and make a batch of this lemon curd today, as well as some of that homemade ricotta cheese we showed you yesterday – because tomorrow, we’re going to use both ingredients in an amazing recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pancakes that you don’t want to miss!

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Lemon Curd - A Family Feast

Lemon Curd

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups


  • 3 lemons
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • ½ cup lemon juice (34 lemons – you can use the same ones from above, after you follow step #1 below)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the whole lemons. (Try to avoid peeling any of the bitter white pith as you remove the zest.)
  2. Fit a food processor with a metal blade. Place the zest in the bowl of the processor along with the sugar. Pulse until the zest is very finely chopped and fully incorporated into the sugar.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and lemon mixture and beat to mix well.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix again.
  5. Secure a candy thermometer to the side of a medium saucepan. Pour the lemon mixture into the saucepan and over low heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened (around 170 degrees – the mixture will be just below a simmer).
  6. Remove the curd from the heat and pour into a bowl. Cover the bowl with a large piece of plastic wrap, pushing the plastic down to touch the top of the curd. (This will prevent a skin from forming on the curd as it cools.)
  7. Refrigerate overnight to thicken further.

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  • Janie wrote:

    Could you can this? in 1/2 pints jars?

    • Martha wrote:

      I haven’t tried canning this myself Janie – so I don’t know for sure how it would turn out. Since it’s a high acidity food, my guess is you would need to use a pressure canning method. The Ball Canning website is a great resource: Hope that helps!

  • Jocelyn@Brucrewlife wrote:

    This lemon curd looks so dreamy!! 🙂 And your lemon ricotta pancakes look equally as good! Yum!! Pinned!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jocelyn!

  • Julie @ This Gal Cooks wrote:

    You know what I totally love about this recipe, besides the fact that it’s a delicious lemon treat? The eggs don’t have to be separated! I groan every time I read a recipe that requires the eggs to be separated. And I’m not really sure why as it’s not too difficult of a task.

    Great recipe, Martha! And it was so great to meet you at BH Food! 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Julie – it was great to meet you too! And – I totally agree about separating eggs…really not difficult to do at all, but if a recipe doesn’t require it, even better! Thanks for visiting today!

  • Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor wrote:

    Ina has some great recipes and I always love lemon curd! It was so great meeting you at BlogHer Food. I hope I get to see you again soon!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Ashley! Great to see you and hope to meet you again soon too!

  • Rouette McMasters wrote:

    I want you to know that I just love your website. I came across it this past winter. Fresh Lemon curd sounds so delicious and will make it this afternoon. I have cooked and baked all my life and thoroughly enjoy it. My Mom was Italian so I had a great teacher. Just wanted to let you know how much I like your site. Any ideas as to what I can bring to a pig roast this week- end??

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Rouette! A pig roast sounds fantastic! Jack and I both think that coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans would be great options (we have recipes for all three on our site). Thank you so much for writing to us and we are so glad you are enjoying the recipes!!

  • Leigh Anne Wilkes @YourHomebasedMom wrote:

    I adore lemon curd and could eat it with or on everything! This recipe looks great. Was so fun to meet you in person and spend time with you at Blogher Food!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Leigh Anne! I’m so glad we had a chance to meet and spend time together this past weekend! Hope to see you again very soon!

  • Sherri@The Well Floured Kitchen wrote:

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the blogher conference, it’s definitely in my plans for 2015! This lemon curd looks amazing. Lemon is such a refreshing springtime flavor. It’s finally warm enough in my area to start enjoying some lemon desserts, although I could probably just eat this curd on a spoon 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks so much Sherri! I hope to make it back in 2015 and look forward to meeting you! (And yes…I will admit, I’ve eaten this lemon curd by the spoonful all by itself…so good!) Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Medeja wrote:

    This lemon curd looks just perfect!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Medeja! It is so easy and has the perfect consistency!

      • Susan wrote:

        How long does Lemon Curd keep? Can it be frozen (say in ice cube trays???)

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi again Susan – I would not recommend freezing the lemon curd. It can be safely stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

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