Small batch lemon curd recipe (2024)

Published on July 23, 2021 - Updated on June 26, 2022 by Chahinez 49 Comments

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This small-batch lemon curd recipe is perfect for two people. Ready in just 10 minutes with 5 simple ingredients, this from-scratch recipe couldn’t be easier to make and tastes so much better than any store-bought version. You won’t find a more delicious and easy recipe than this one!

Since you’re here, I know you’ll also enjoy Crumbl lemon glaze cookies, Blueberry lemon loaf cake, Keto summer matcha lemonade with chia seeds, Lemon strawberry vegan tart and also The best pink lemon bars.

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Small batch lemon curd recipe (1)

If you have put off making your own lemon curd, as you thought it was tricky and too labor-intensive to make, this is the recipe that will change your mind! Made with fresh lemon juice, it really delivers on the tangy flavor and doesn’t require a double boiler or cornflour either!

This is the best small-batch lemon curd recipe ever!

Store-bought lemon curd doesn’t even deserve to share the same name as homemade.This from-scratch recipe is tangy, creamy, and sweet in equal measures. This is the lemon recipe you never realized you needed!

I always say that this condiment is so versatile, once you make it you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Trust me on that 🙂

Why you need to make this recipe!

  • Ready in only 10 minutes.
  • Uses just 5 simple ingredients.
  • Makes a small batch so nothing goes to waste.
  • Instantly makes any breakfast, snack, or dessert just a little more special.T
  • This lemon curd doesn’t require a double boiler.
  • It is also made without cornflour.

What is lemon curd?

Lemon curd is a rich citrus topping or spread. It’s buttery and sweet with an intense tangy lemon flavor – like a creamy lemon version of jam or custard. This one is made from simple ingredients and comes together quickly on the stove.

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Ingredients for this homemade lemon curd

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient measurements.

  • Egg – You will need to use an egg that is at room temperature. Use both parts of the egg.
  • Sugar – You will white granulated sugar, don’t use brown sugar or it’ll change both the flavor and color of the curd.
  • Lemons – You will need to use good quality fresh lemons for best results. The zest and juice will both be used for that extra zingy and citrusy flavor. The most important tip for flavor is to use fresh lemon juice that’s been freshly squeezed. Don’t be tempted to use bottled lemon juice of any kind as it’ll be far too acidic and will ruin the flavor. Look for lemons that are fragrant with brightly colored yellow skins.
  • Butter – The butter will help thicken the curd and give it a delicious creamy and decadent flavor. Make sure to use unsalted butter and make sure you keep it cold before adding so it thickens the curd quickly to emulsify.
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How to make small batch lemon curd

This is how you can make small batch lemon curd. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!

  1. Bring the lemon juice and zest to a boil.
  2. Whisk the egg and sugar in a bowl until dissolved while the juice is boiling.
  3. Very slowly pour the lemon juice into the beaten egg mixture while whisking. You want to make sure the egg doesn’t cook or curdle at this point.
  4. Pour back into the saucepan and cook again.
  5. Once thick, remove from the heat.
  6. Add in the butter and continue stirring until combined.
  7. Press through a sieve (you want a super smooth consistency).
  8. Transfer to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface to avoid forming a skin.
  9. Chill in the fridge, where it will continue to thicken as it cools.
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Frequently asked questions – FAQ

Why is my lemon curd not thickening?

The curd will thicken as it cooks on the stove and will continue to thicken as it cools. Its final consistency will be achieved once it is chilled in the fridge.

How to store homemade lemon curd?

Store your scratch-made lemon curd in an air-tight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 1 week. But I doubt it will last that long!

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Can you freeze lemon curd?

Yes absolutely! Store the curd in an air-tight container in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 2 months.

What is lemon curd used for?

  • Top on mini cheesecakes.
  • Use as a filling in croissants.
  • Stir into yogurt for a luxury touch.
  • Try as a topping on scones, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or even oatmeal.
  • Use as filling between cake layers, in a tart, in a crepe, or as a filling for macarons and other sandwich cookies.
  • The uses for lemon curd are endless, it is such a versatile condiment that helps to elevate mundane breakfasts and desserts into versions that are flavorful and truly wow!
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Small batch lemon curd recipe

If you made this small batch lemon curd recipe and enjoyed them, don’t forget to leave a 5-star review by clicking on the 5 stars under the title and description. It would help me a ton

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Small batch lemon curd

This small batch lemon curd is smooth, creamy and extra tangy. It is delicious on its own but would go great on cheesecakes, cookies, icecream, pancakes and so much more.

5 from 50 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 5 minutes mins

Total Time 10 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine American, French

Servings 8 tablespoon

Calories 68 Calories


  • Medium saucepan

  • whisk


  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon butter


  • In a medium saucepan, bring the lemon juice and lemon zest to a boil.

  • While the juice is heating up, whisk the egg, and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Very slow pour in the lemon juice into the beaten egg mixture while whisking rapidly to keep the egg from cooking and curdling.

  • Pour the mixture back into the medium sauce pan and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Once the lemon curd is thick, remove from the heat and add in the butter. Continue stirring until everything is combined.

  • You can now press the lemon curd through a sieve to ensure it's super smooth.

  • Transfer the lemon curd to a bowl, then press plastic wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd to keep it from forming a skin on top and chill in the fridge. The curd will thicken as it cools and can be used anytime after that.


This recipe makes about ½ cup of lemon curd.

How to store homemade lemon curd?

Store your scratch-made lemon curd in an air-tight container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 1 week. But I doubt it will last that long!

Can you freeze lemon curd?

Yes absolutely! Store the curd in an air-tight container in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 2 months.


Calories: 68CaloriesCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 18mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 122IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 1mg

Keyword easy lemon curd recipe, lemon curd, small batch lemon curd

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How long does lemon curd last in fridge? ›

Store the curd: Lemon curd will keep in your refrigerator for up to a month according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 1 year. To thaw, transfer your curd from the freezer to the fridge 24 hours before you need it.

How do you make lemon curd less thick? ›

You can make lemon curd thinner by adding more juice, or reducing the amount of egg. Can you overcook lemon curd? Yes, overcooked lemon curd will become lumpy instead of smooth.

Why didn't my lemon curd get thick? ›

Trouble shooting: Most Lemon Curds are runny because they don't get cooked long enough, to 170 degrees F, to thicken the egg yolks – so cook on! If your curd isn't thickened after 10 minutes, or up to 15 if using a double boiler, then increase the temperature of the stove slightly – and don't stop whisking!

Why did my lemon curd curdle? ›

The most common reason why your homemade lemon curd split is cooking the curd on too high temperature. Because lemon curd is an egg yolk based "sauce," it requires gently cooking so that the egg doesn't become scrambled.

Can you freeze uncooked lemon curd? ›

Yes, you can freeze lemon curd! Once your fresh curd is chilled, just pop the airtight, freezer-safe container in the freezer. Lemon curd can be stored in the freezer for up to one year.

Why did my lemon curd turn green? ›

If your lemon curd turned green, it likely had a reaction to something metal. Avoid using a copper or aluminum pan as those will react with the lemon juice and cause the discoloration in the lemon curd, and could even cause a slightly metallic aftertaste.

Does homemade lemon curd thicken as it cools? ›

Lemon curd always thickens as it cools so you may find that you end up with a lemon curd that's thicker than you hoped for. If this happens, the easiest way to thin it is to whisk in a little extra lemon juice (about ½ a teaspoon at a time as you don't want to add too much) until it is your desired consistency.

How do you know when lemon curd is done? ›

I cook mine for about 2 minutes because I like thick lemon curd. Test the thickness by dipping the back of a spoon into your lemon curd and drag your finger across it. If it holds the shape without dripping off too quickly, it's done!

Why does my lemon curd taste eggy? ›

Although lemon curd uses egg yolks and/or egg whites, the final product shouldn't taste eggy. If it does, it may mean that you've overcooked your eggs. In saying that, traditional lemon curd does have a distinct after taste which doesn't sit well with some.

How do you fix lemon curd that didn't set? ›

You could try:
  1. Reheating it. Continuously whisk until the mixture reaches 170. ...
  2. Bloom one package (2.5 tsp or 7g) in 1/4 cup ( 60g ) of water for 5 minutes. Dissolve the bloomed gelatin in the microwave for 3-5 seconds. ...
  3. Mix 2 tablespoon of cornstarch in a 2 tablespoons of water and mix into lemon curd.
Mar 11, 2022

Why does my lemon curd taste weird? ›

Not using enough yolks

Additionally, using too many whites can cause your lemon curd to taste egg and sulfurous, which many people find unappetizing. The sulfur in the whites can also lead to an unpleasant smell, which you certainly don't want. The smell is worse in older eggs, so try to use fresh ones if possible.

Why is my lemon curd so yellow? ›

Use Sufficient Egg Yolks

Eggs are an important component of lemon curd, but yolks are valued more than egg whites when it comes to making lemon curd. Lemon curd has traces of yellow in it naturally, but its striking golden colour comes from the yolks.

Why does my lemon curd have a metallic taste? ›

To prevent the curd from acquiring a metallic taste, make absolutely sure that all utensils coming into contact with it--bowls, whisk, saucepan, and strainer--are made of non-reactive stainless steel or glass. Since the tart pan has a removable bottom, it is more easily maneuvered when set on a cookie sheet.

Why does my lemon curd have foam on top? ›

Between the heat and whisking, lemon curd gets foamy while it's cooking. As the curd begins to thicken, the foam will start to settle down, and then the addition of the butter at the end of cooking eliminates the foam. So don't panic when you see foam, just keep whisking and cooking.

Is it OK to mix curd with lemon? ›

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are highly acidic. Combining them with curd can disturb the stomach's pH balance, potentially leading to digestive discomfort or acidity for some individuals.

How many days homemade curd can be stored in fridge? ›

Easy tips to store curd for about 4–5 days in the fridge, Curd should be stored at the back of the fridge shelves where the fridge is the coldest, preferably the down last shelf will be the best choice. You should also avoid mixing fresh and used curd. And make sure you use a clean spoon every time you use it.

How long can curd be stored in fridge? ›

Buy the freshest curds that you can. Eat what you want, but if you can't finish the bag right away or if you intend to keep it for a while put it into the refrigerator. Once refrigerated, you can usually keep the curds about two weeks.

Does lemon spoil curd? ›

Similar to milk, lemon juice can cause buttermilk and yogurt to curdle. If you want to combine these ingredients, it's better to do so gradually and with proper tempering.

How do you store opened lemon curd? ›

It will keep for several weeks sealed in the fridge and for up to a week in the fridge once opened. Yes, you can freeze lemon curd. Perhaps in small practically sized freezer boxes or bags for up to 3 months. Thank you so much.


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