Lemon Curd

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By some gravitational pull… ahem, butter… this year’s cookie theme was shortbread. You know what goes really great with shortbread? Lemon curd. Now as a rule, I’m not a huge fan of lemon desserts, but this lemon curd, made with Meyer lemons, is nothing short of phenomenal! Meyer lemons tend to be sweeter than regular lemons, and lack the eye-tingling punch of acid of regular lemons, so they bring a refreshing flavor to this curd. Meyers come into season during mid-winter, so grab them up while you can. If you’re a big lemon fan, by all means use regular lemons instead. Or mix it up and use a few of each. Either way, this is one badass lemon curd!

Add the buttery flavor and sandy texture of shortbread, with the creamy tartness of lemon curd, and you have a combination that will have you sneaking out to the kitchen after guests have gone to savor every last drop.

What are the uses for lemon curd?

One of the most popular uses for lemon curd is as a filling for desserts. It pairs perfectly with cakes, cupcakes, tarts, and cheesecakes, adding a rich and glossy texture that complements the buttery sweetness of these treats. It’s also an excellent alternative to traditional frosting, giving your desserts a lighter, more refreshing taste.

For a quick and easy dessert, try sandwiching lemon curd between two cookies, macarons, or meringues. The sweet and tangy combination is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings in no time. You can also swirl it into whipped cream for an extra decadent topping that’s perfect for any dessert.

Aside from desserts, lemon curd can also be used as a spread for toast, scones, and croissants. Its tangy flavor and creamy texture make it an excellent alternative to jam or butter, adding a zesty kick to your breakfast or snack.

Lemon Curd

This recipe easily doubles. I made 4 cups to fill 12 jars, and still had some left over.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups


  • 3 oz. 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice about 4 lemons I used Meyer lemons (see notes on that above)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest optional


  • In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
  • In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.
  • Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

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