Making your own Lemon Curd

by Suzanne on January 14, 2011

in Preserving

Some of you may ask “what is lemon curd?”The best thing since sliced bread, I say.  Let me explain a little about the joy of lemon curd and how delectable it is, plus entice you to want to try this wonderful creation.  I first had lemon curd about 10 years ago while I was into making wedding cakes, and because I like all things lemon I fell in love with it. I need to express to you that  homemade lemon curd is incredible.  Lemon curd was a tradition in the the 19th and 20th century for spreading on scones and crumpets at afternoon tea (very British).  Lemon curd was also used in pies, pastries and cakes. Lemon curd is similar to pie filling but the texture is smoother and the flavor more intense.  Pie filling is thickened with flour or cornstarch while lemon curd uses egg yolks and natural pectin in the zest and  juice of the lemon.  The secret to the smooth texture in lemon curd is butter unlike the commercial pie fillings.

While researching about the origin of lemon curd, I couldn’t help but look up the different varieties of lemons and the origin of the lemon, it was so very interesting.  It is undetermined what the original origin of the lemon is but scientist suggest they have been grown for over 2,500 years in northeast India.  At first they were grown for ornamental use and it wasn’t until the 10th century that they became cultivated for consumption. Lemons were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus  and the Spanish conquest continued there spread but primarily as ornamental plants and for medicine.  Finally, lemons began growing in California in the 1750’s and then in Florida in the 1800’s.  The lemons that we buy in the store today are usually of 2 different types the  Eureka and Lisbon lemon.  I was surprised to learn that there are so many different varieties of lemons like the Avalon, Bearss, Buddha’s Hand or Citron, Bush Lemon, Dorshapo and Meyer, which is not really a true lemon, its a hybrid of lemon and mandarin orange.

making lemon curd |, enough of the history lesson on lemons let’s talk about how to make the curd. I used a fellow blog friend Smithbites recipe for my curd.   My friend at Bunkycooks teaches a great way to preserve lemons as well as this other great tutorial I found at Bake Cupcakes, I’m thinking of trying that next.

I know what your thinking now, what will you make with 4 jars of lemon curd?  Well, you could give one jar away to a fellow foodie who will  appreciate it.  Another jar could be used to make my lemon cream crostata (tasty).  Don’t forget to use one for spread on some yummy scones, waffles, pancakes or toast. Last but not least why not just eat the final jar.  Whatever you decide to do, make the most of the citrus season by using these beautiful nutrient rich fruits we are so blessed to enjoy.

Making your own Lemon Curd

1 large bag of lemons (about 8- 10 med-large)
1 cup of juice from the lemons
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
6 T. of un-salted butter
zest of 3 lemons
4 pint jars
4 lids
water bath canner or steamer

Step 1: Prepare jars by washing with hot soapy water or dish wash them and dry with clean towel. Get canner ready and lids out.
Step 2: Zest the 3 lemons and set zest aside. Cut lemons in half and juice to get one cup or 8 oz.
Step 3: In a double boiler whisk together the eggs,yolks,sugar and lemon juice. Fill the boiler pot with a few inches of water and let water come to boil then turn to simmer but let the water boil slightly.
Step 4: Put the lemon mixture over the boiler and with a whisk keep the mixture moving until a thermometer reaches 170 degrees or about 20 min. The mixture will foam and become thick too.
Step 5: Take the curd off the heat and stir in butter and zest until all is combined.

Step 6: Fill the jars using a wide mouth canning funnel to keep the curd off the lip of the jars. Using the hot water from the water bath put the lids in to soften the plastic that will end up sealing your jars. While the lids are getting soft wipe the lip of the each jar with a clean paper towel. Drain lids from the water and put on the jars. Screw on the top lid but not too tight.
Step 7: I use a steam canner which is a cinch and takes very little water to get going. Get the water boiling in either type of canner you have and process cans for 5 min. following manufacturer’s directions on the your specific canner.
Step 8: When processing time is up lift the cans out with canning lifter and set on a kitchen towel to set for at least 24 hours. Then sit back and look at what you accomplished and smile 🙂
If you are interested at where I found the info. on the lemons just check out this site.
Also Shared on Instructables 

Homemade lemon curd |

Homemade lemon curd |

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1 claudia lamascolo/ak January 15, 2011 at 2:07 am

I have always wanted to try this! I love making lemon tarts and with store bought curd filling, there is no comparison to making fresh.. those lemons are calling me to try this, very nice recipe you shared with us! Thanks, I cant wait to have time to try this one!

2 Suzanne January 15, 2011 at 6:09 am

Claudia with all the citrus in FL. you really should try this, you are sure to love it.

3 Wendy January 15, 2011 at 3:54 am

This looks delicious and what a great gift idea. One of my goals this year is to start canning. Printed out your recipe to give it a try! Amazing photo's!

4 Suzanne January 15, 2011 at 6:07 am

Thanks Wendy, canning is a fun resolution, I think you'll love to do it.

5 Mikel January 15, 2011 at 8:29 am

Great recipe, great photos and great blog. i really like your blog. Thanks for your comment!

I´ll be following you!!

Un abrazo!!

6 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thanks Mikel, very sweet of you!

7 kelli January 15, 2011 at 11:13 am

Funny thing Suzanne, I was looking at the lemon curd today in Kroger and thought, "I should make my own. Yeah right when will I do that?" But now, you've given me another nudge. : ) I love lemon curd! I've seen some people use it to fill mini tarts and it is delightful on toast and muffins. I got my mom hooked on it. : )

8 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

That is funny Kelly we must be on the same wave length! Let me know how it turns out 🙂

9 bunkycooks January 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hi Suzanne,

Thank you for the mention! 🙂 I can't wait to use those preserved lemons in a dish soon! I am going to give them some time to mingle a bit in the fridge! In the meantime, I will drool over your lemon curd!!

I just noticed the name of your logo design person and had to laugh! A Bob Suh (but, not yours) is my old boss that introduced me to Mr. Bunkycooks! What's the chance of that, huh? That is not a common name. BTW, he did a great job on your logo!

Hope to see you soon!


10 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Your welcome, I can't wait to see what you make with those preserved lemons. That is too funny that your boss had the same name as my friend, that is not a common name at all.


11 Julie M. January 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Beautiful snaps of a delicious recipe. This looks perfectly done Suzanne! I love all three of those bloggers you listed; great ladies! Wonderful post and now I'm craving lemon curd. 🙂 Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

12 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Thanks Julie, I know those ladies have great blogs and super recipes as well as yourself.

13 Kristi Rimkus January 15, 2011 at 2:53 pm

I've often thought about making this myself since it's so expensive to purchase. You've inspired me to give it a try!


14 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Kristi, I know you will love this lemon curd, thanks for stopping by

15 Reeni January 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Your jars of lemon curd are glorious! You've captured sunshine – something we all need more of at this time of year. I never made my own before but you inspired me. Nothing compares to homemade and I am a sucker for the sweet and tart flavors!

16 Suzanne January 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

thanks Reeni, I love the sweet tart too can't wait to dig into this!

17 Nina January 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Fantastic post! So happy to see this as I just made homemade lemon curd this week for the first time and thought exactly what you wrote about it! It is awesome–worthy of it's own post! Beautiful photos.

18 Paula (Salad in a Ja January 17, 2011 at 1:16 am

Very interesting history lesson. I did not know that a Meyer lemon was not really a lemon. Love lemon curd. I use it to make quick lemon bars by spreading over a shortbread base.

Question: Do you feel the tiny bits of lemon zest on your tongue or does it dissolve in the cooking process?

19 Suzanne January 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Well, it doesn't totally dissolve but my zest is so fine you can't feel it on your tongue. I suppose it depends on the size of your zest.

20 Rich January 17, 2011 at 5:49 am

Okay, well, between the photos, the description, and the recipes, I'm on board with this big time. I'm going to make lemon curd!

21 Suzanne January 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Yeah, I'm so glad you are inspired to make some too.

22 Merut January 19, 2011 at 6:04 am

Well, it definitely looks good. I just made my first lemon meringue pie, and the lemon filling used both cornstarch and egg yolks. So is that different from lemon curd or the same thing?

23 Suzanne January 19, 2011 at 6:18 am

Lemon curd is different in the intensity and the texture is a bit more smooth but they are similar. Lemon curd is seriously more fattening
of course that has to be why its better. LOL

24 Morgan February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am

Mmmm looks yummy! I love lemon curd. Every time I make it for a recipe I end up eating it by the spoonful first! ^-^

25 Dianna February 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm

This looks fabulous!! Do you need to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer? I noted from Smithbites comments on the lemon curd that it is not shelf stable and needs to be refrigerated or frozen. I usually can goodies in a hot water bath. Would that be ok for this recipe? I have no idea how long I would keep them in a water bath since they have so many eggs in the recipe. Any ideas? I can't wait to try your recipe and share with my family!

26 Suzanne February 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Good questions, I steamed mine for 5 min. I'm sure you can water bath it for 15 min. and it will be okay. I kept mine on the shelf and so far no problems, I only have one jar left though. Hope your curd turns out wonderful!

27 Amanda January 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Hi there! Very excited to try this. However, I have NEVER “canned” anything before. I have seen many variations of homemade jams and canned peaches and am curious about the canning process. Do you happen to have a post on this “intro to canning” 🙂 I would appreciate any tips or instructions on how to get started including what to buy and if there are more “reasonable” options out there please let me know as well. Let me close by encouraging you- Thanks for your blog! You are very inspiring! 🙂

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