How to Make a Simple No Fail Citrus Curd

This super simple to make 5 ingredient Lemon Curd is a thick, creamy and velvety and has a deliciously tart yet sweet citrus flavor. It can be made with lemons, or any citrus you prefer! You won’t ever have to buy lemon curd again - just make this simple no fail homemade version and add it to just about anything!

What is lemon curd?

Lemon curd in a lemony sweet custard like or smooth jam like spread or topping that is very easy to make and full of tart and sweet lemon flavor. It is irresistible and easy to make and a lot more cost effective to make as well with a few simple ingredients and simple steps. It tastes so good over scones or toast or also delicious in cakes and other desserts and over ice cream too. It takes just 15-20 min to make with a little patience and whisking but nothing is more delicious than a spoonful of homemade lemon curd

How to Make a Simple No Fail Citrus Curd

Simple Ingredients For Making This Lemon Curd

  • Lemons - fresh lemons and fresh lemon juice are the best for lemon curd - do not use the bottled stuff. This recipe can also be made using fresh oranges, grapefruit and fresh limes too
  • Sugar - just plain granulated sugar is all you need for this recipe - feel free to adjust amount to taste
  • Eggs - 2 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs is what you will need - see recipe note and tips below for variations (ie using 4 whole eggs)
  • Butter - I always use unsalted butter and cold and cut into cubes
  • Pinch of Salt - for flavour

How to Make a Simple No Fail Citrus Curd

What can I add to my curd to flavour it?

You can easily add a little extra flavour to your curd by adding in some essence or extract and even some bitters. What I love to do is add a little booze to mine. Especially citrus based liqueurs like Limoncello, Grand Marnier or Cointreau. They add a little extra depth to your curd and make it even more special. I would add no more than 2 tablespoons of additional flavourings in the curd in order for it to maintain the perfect texture. Some other recipes call for adding lemon oil or lemon extract for extra intense lemon flavour - if you decide to add these make sure they are pure lemon oil or pure extract so the flavour stays true to fresh lemons

How to Make a Simple No Fail Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe

This is such an easy recipe for making a very smooth and luscious citrus curd that will have you eating it by the spoonful. Here are the simple instructions:

  • WHISK together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small or medium sauce pan
  • COOK whisking continuously until thickened over medium low for 10-15 min. Lower heat and whisk in butter
  • STRAIN the curd through a fine mesh strainer - optional but recommend
  • POUR into jars and cool at room temperature, seal jar and refrigerate until ready to use

How to Make a Simple No Fail Citrus Curd

What can I use lemon curd in?

Other than eating it by the spoonful there are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy it. It’s very commonly served with scones, on and in layered cakes tike my berry trifle or my Lemon Blackberry Gluten Free Almond Flour Layer Cake, over or in ice cream, cupcakes, bread, muffins, pancakes, crumpets, waffles, trifles, cream puffs, tarts, and cookies. It’s irresistible and I’m sure you will find plenty of ways to enjoy it.


Homemade lemon curd should be cooled to room temperature and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will keep for 10 days

Can I Freeze Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd freezes beautifully, here’s how. Allow lemon curd to cool fully before freezing. Divide and pour into freezer friendly bags, plastic containers or jars. easy to thaw and use just what you need. Make sure to always leave room for expansion because liquids expand when frozen, so leave a half inch (2 cm) gap between the top of the jar and the lemon curd. Freeze and use within 6month to 1 year for best results. After thawing, lemon curd will last in the refrigerator for 4 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying.

Homemade Lemon Curd Tips

  • You can use whole eggs when making curd. The final product will be a little lighter in color and texture than if you use just egg yolks or a combination of yolks and whole eggs.
  • Feel free to adjust amount of sugar in recipe - a little less for more pronounced lemon flavour or more for a sweeter taste.
  • You don’t need a double boiler or worry too much about curdling. Yes, you have to watch the heat and stir constantly.
  • Straining is the best way to get smooth results. If you want a silky smooth finish, it’s best to strain the curd once it’s done with a fine-mesh strainer
  • You can preserve lemon curd by freezing. Freezing does not compromise the texture of the curd once thawed. The color, flavor and texture stay true for at least a year.
  • Don’t go beyond white pith when zesting so you avoid and bitterness when zesting your lemons
  • Estimate cook time is 10-15 min to get the curd ready - the key is to be patient with it and don’t be tempted to raise temperature which can lead to burning the eggs or cooking them too much. No need for a double boiler for this recipe just maintain a medium low heat. Do not stop whisking while cooking the curd
  • Lemon curd will thicken as it cools

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Servings: approx 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of approx 3 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest or approx 2 lemons)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and cold


  1. In a small saucepan whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice. Place pan on stove top/burner and turn the heat up to medium to medium low heat and stir continuously until sugar is dissolved 10-15 min and has thickened. Don’t increase heat are than medium.
  2. Turn heat down to low and add the cold butter a couple of pieces at a time, stirring to blend until each addition is melted and incorporated. Continue cooking the mixture another few minutes until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon
  3. Pour curd through a fine mesh sieve or strainer over a bowl to remove the zest and any partially cooked egg. Straining is optional but recommended
  4. Pour into jars and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Seal the jars and store in the fridge.

Recipe notes

  • You can use 4 whole eggs if you prefer - it will still work and be delicious but I just prefer the extra yolk without the whites for better flavour or texture
  • Use this recipe also to make orange, lime or lemon curd,

How to Make a Simple No Fail Citrus Curd