Lemon Curd Recipe

This lemon curd recipe, adapted from Sherry Yard's awesome book The Secrets of Baking, has been in our family for years. It's great with yogurt, spread on toast, spooned into a tart shell (or lots of mini tart shells), or divided into 4 5-ounce jars to give as gifts.


Lemon curd will keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for three months. If giving as a holiday gift, it's great to let people know about the freezer potential so they can enjoy when the overindulgent season is a distant memory.

Lemon Curd Recipe

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of lemon curd, which is a nice amount for filling a tart shell or 4 5-oz. gift jars. You'll need a large, heatproof glass bowl and a pot in which the bowl can rest without touching the bottom.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 40


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest (finely grated on a rasp)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. Fill the pot with about one inch of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, combine the sugar and lemon zest and pulse or mash until the sugar is yellow and the delicious smell of lemon sugar almost knocks you out, about a minute in the food processor or a few minutes in the mortar.
  3. Combine the lemon sugar, eggs and egg yolks in the heatproof bowl. Whisk together for one minute to distribute the sugar. Place the bowl over the pot with simmering water and whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the lemon juice and lime juice and cook, whisking constantly for 8 to 10 minutes, until the curd reads 160° F on an instant read thermometer and has the consistency of sour cream. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  5. Whisk in the pieces of cold butter one by one until they are completely incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
  6. If you are gifting the curd, divide it among four small jelly jars while it is still warm. Then chill in the refrigerator. The curd lasts in the refrigerator for up to a week and also freezes beautifully. Especially since people can get so overfed around the holidays, it's nice to include a label on the jar that lets recipients know they can freeze it for up to three months.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 42 Total Fat:: 2.4g Carbohydrates:: 3.8g Fiber:: 0g Protein:: 1.4g