Sauces and Condiments

Simple 5 Ingredient Lemon Curd


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5 Ingredient Lemon Curd Recipe

Here is a super easy lemon curd recipe for you! It’s not hard or expensive to make at home with just a few simple ingredients and no special equipment.

No stress, no worries. Homemade lemon curd is silky smooth, tart, and tangy, yet sweet and buttery rich. It spreads like butter and lends elegance and sophistication to anything it sits upon.

Easy Squeezy to Make Your Own Lemon Curd At Home

In the early 1800s in “Merry Olde England,” lemon curd was made using an entirely different process than today’s recipe. The recipe back then added lemon to cream to create curds. Then, the curds were pressed through cheesecloth to separate the whey.

That sounds pretty messy, don’t you agree? Somehow the name “curd” stuck even though it does not begin to describe the beautiful spread it is, and I assure you this is a much tidier process!

Have you ever priced a jar of lemon curd in the store? It’s very spendy, and what you are about to make is infinitely better than you’ll find on the shelf in a jar that’s been there for who knows how long! Your homemade five-ingredient lemon curd will taste fresh and delicious!

Amazingly Simple To Make With Just 5 Ingredients

lemon juice and lemon zest

You will want to use fresh lemons. They do not need to be big, fancy five-star lemons. Here’s a great place to use bagged or “imperfect” lemons.

DO THIS PART FIRST. If you have a “zester,” use it. I don’t have one myself. You can use the fine side of a grater to “zest” the lemon peel and remove just the yellow part. You don’t want to use the white part underneath; it’s bitter.

Set the lemon zest aside to put in the lemon curd. (If you’re rushed, don’t own a zester, lost your grater, or all the above, you can buy lemon zest in the spice aisle, and it will work just fine.)

HINT: When you get ready to assemble everything for this lemon curd recipe, plop those lemons into a bowl of hot water, or nuke them for a half minute or so. Once they’re warm, roll them around on the counter, pressing firmly. When you do this, they will yield considerably more juice.

This 5 Ingredient Lemon Curd Recipe Uses Only Egg Yolks

I chose a yolks-only five-ingredient lemon curd recipe because I made Coconut Macaroons. I was determined to use those leftover yolks and make something delicious with them!

There’s so much information about lemon curd I forgot who said what! However, it turns out it’s not a bad idea to use yolks only. Whites and yolks do not always play nice with each other.

Want to use whole eggs? Dozens of cooks on websites will tell you how. Want an easy recipe? Please stick with me!

Easy One-Step Stovetop Method For 5 Ingredient Lemon Curd

Start by thoroughly whisking the egg yolks and sugar together. You don’t need a double boiler if a) you have a good heavy pot and b) if you have some degree of patience. If you have neither, use an oven-proof glass or stainless steel bowl that fits on a pot of boiling water. It will take about the same time, but you won’t risk scorching your beautiful curd.

Put the egg/sugar mixture on the stove on a low/low medium setting and begin stirring. Add the lemon juice, zest, and a pinch of salt when it gets a little warm.

Now stand there and keep stirring. Don’t quit. The mixture will appear opaque but become more translucent as it continues to heat slowly. You will know it’s close when the mixture coats the back of the spoon.

Do not let it come to a boil. A few plopping bubbles are OK, but stop now.

Next, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the butter a few pats at a time until completely melted.

I poured the mixture into a jar and put the lid on it. Cover it with some plastic film if you want to put it in a bowl. Press it directly on the surface to avoid the skin that will form.

Yield: 1 pint

5 Ingredient Lemon Curd

lemon curd

Incredible smooth and silky spread that's tart but sweet and buttery for desserts and more

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3-4 fresh lemons zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into pats
  • pinch salt


  1. Use the fine side of a grater (or a zester if you have one) to remove the zest from lemons. Use only the yellow part. Set zest aside to put in the lemon curd.
  2. Put lemons in a bowl of hot water or microwave whole lemon until warm, then roll on the counter to soften.
  3. Extract the juice with a juicer or squeeze lemon half between your hands. Remove seeds. Measure 1/3 cup of juice.
  4. Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until well blended, then put on a low-medium low stovetop or double boiler.
  5. When the egg/sugar mixture begins to warm, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  6. Cook slowly over low heat, constantly stirring until mixture begins to look translucent and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let it boil.
  7. Once bubbles begin to form as it approaches boiling, remove from heat and stir the butter in a few pats at a time until completely melted.
  8. Pour into a wide-mouth pint jar and put the lid on immediately. If you pour the mixture into a bowl, put plastic film directly on the surface so a film will not form on top.
  9. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

The Delicious Reward For Your Patience Is You Get To Lick The Spoon

Seriously, licking the spoon and the pan of lemon curd while it’s still warm ranks right up there with snuggling. OK, maybe quite not that awesome, but darn close.

So now that you have this lovely concoction, what do you do with it? Lemon curd is traditionally served on biscuits or scones and sometimes accompanied by clotted cream if you want something super fancy. It makes a splendid cake filling or the filling in a jelly roll, or the center of a thumbprint cookie.

It’s also wonderful, warmed slightly, and spooned over ice cream or pound cake. In fact, one of the simplest ways I enjoy it is simply sneaking a spoonful from the fridge.

Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd

Have you ever had lemon curd? Or did the name or the price tag scare you away? Now you know how easy it is to make at home and, hopefully, we’ve convinced you it is fabulous! If you make some, please tell us how you used it, and if you want to make our day, send us a photo of you and your curd! We sure do hope you’ll give it a try!

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