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Lemon Curd

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

Since Lemons are in season here in Australia and every neighbourhood has some lemons to give away because these babies would not just stop fruiting, I decided to take the burden off this first world problem by turning them to lemon curd. :)

Lemon curd are super easy to make and can be used for soooo many things, such as adding them to your scones, making lemon tart, as toppings for desserts, fillings for layered cakes, fill them up in your vanilla cupcakes and make my delicious blueberry and lemon curd tea cakes, of course ! :)

Why make my own Lemon curd?

It is great to be able to make your own curd fresh with lemons that you just don't know what do with. They are great as toppings or as spreads for desserts and is really easy to make. On the plus side, who doesn't love fresh?

2 easy Steps, 5 Ingredients, One delicious fresh Lemon Curd

I know I have said it many times, but lemon curd is sooooo easy to make. All you need is 5 ingredients or 4 if you want to omit the zest (which I highly recommend that you use for that extra flavour). These simple ingredients are things that normal pantry would usually already have and they are eggs (yolks for a firmer curd), sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk all the ingredients together then gently whisk to cook over a warm water bath (Step 1). Once the curd is thick, whisk in the room temperature butter until smooth (Step 2). Five minutes later, you have got yourself some curd! Simple, isn't it? :)

Double boiler it is

One of the challenges that people always seem to have when making any type of curd is the curd becoming lumpy or scrambled during cooking. This is mainly due to the eggs coagulating too quickly from cooking the curd over an intense heat. To avoid this from happening, it is recommended that you use a double boiler to cook the lemon curd under a more steady and controllable heat. The time to cook the curd over the water bath is slightly longer but it ensures that you have a smooth curd that do not scrambles too fast every time.

To prepare for the double boiler / Bain Marie, first ensure that you have a pot of water and a bowl with base that sits snugly on top of the pot but not all the way into the pot. Fill the water just below the base of the bowl (you do not want the hot water touching the base of the bowl or it can become too hot at the bottom and cause the curd to cook much faster around that specific area). When the water comes to a boil, maintain it to a gentle simmer, place the bowl of curd mixture over the top of the pot and whisk the curd constantly but gently until it starts to thicken.

Depending on the size of your bowl and the volume that you are making, the cooking time can vary. The recipe below makes 1 jar of curd and merely took me 5 - 8 minutes to cook.

Once you whisk in the sugar and eggs together, be ready to cook it out!

One of the things that you should not try to be ahead with is to whisk all the mixture for the curd together too soon before the water bath is ready. If you leave the sugar and eggs that has been whisked together for a long time without heating them, the sugar will start to draw the water out from the eggs/yolks and cause the protein in the egg to agitate against one another resulting in internal heat that you cannot see nor feel but can cook the eggs out on its own, creating something like orange lumps! Depending on the acidity of the lemons that you have at hands, lemons that has high acidity can cause the eggs to cook as well.

Since it is such an easy step, simply whisk all the ingredients together just when you are ready to cook them out.

How do I know if my curd is ready

The best way to know when your curd is ready is by dipping a wooden spoon or spatula into the curd. Draw a line along the curd with your finger (do not burn yourself!). If the curd starts to run off the spatula, you need to cook a little longer. When the curd is ready, the line should stay on the spatula.



Note: The curd below is perfect to be used to tarts and sets firm. If you want to have a runnier curd, simply replace some yolks with whole eggs instead.


80 g Egg Yolks ( 4 medium yolks)

150 g Caster Sugar/ Granulated Sugar

100 g Lemon Juice

1 Zest of Lemon

90 g Softened Unsalted Butter

1. Rub the finely chopped lemon zest into the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar followed by the lemon juice.

2. Place the bowl over a low simmering pot of water and continuously whisk to cook until the curd starts to thicken.

Take approximately 5 minutes to cook.

3. Once the curd has thicken and when tested with a spatula, you are able to draw a clean line without the curd running over the line, turn the heat off then whisk in the room temperature butter.

Transfer the curd into jars or a clean bowl and leave to cool at room temperature before storing it in the fridge.


For better keeping quality, you can pasteurise the jars by submerging heat proof jars into hot simmering water for 5 minutes then remove it from the water. Turn the oven to 160˚C then turn the oven off. Place the jars into the oven to dry. When the curd is ready, transfer the hot curd into the jar and instantly seal it with an airtight lid.

Properly jarred curd can last for up to a year at room temperature. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to 3 months. Depending on the storage and sterilizing quality, shelf life can vary and is only a guideline.




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