Tart, creamy and luscious lemon curd can be used on scones, muffins, and toast.




  • In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, zest, and egg yolks; whisk in lemon juice and salt.

  • Add butter and place pan over medium-high. Cook, whisking constantly, until butter has melted, mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and small bubbles form around the edge of pan, about 5 minutes (do not boil).

  • Remove pan from heat while continuing to whisk. Pour curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface of curd and refrigerate until cool.

Cook's Notes

To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.

Reviews (17)

182 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 38
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 69
  • 2 star values: 36
  • 1 star values: 13
Rating: 5 stars
I have been making this recipe since seeing it in MSL April 2003 issue. Hands down- best Lemon Curd recipe everrrr! I'm slowly converting my recipe binder to digital, bringing me to this site- puzzled how this recipe hasn't rec'd 5-Stars from everyone, as it is truly an excellent recipe.
Rating: 5 stars
Easy, except for grating the lemon rind which was very soft. I scraped off the pith and finely chopped it instead. Tastes great!
Rating: 5 stars
It really is easy to make. And it tastes so good and can be used for so many of recipes.
Rating: 5 stars
I am a cake decorator and get requests for lemon curd filling all the time. This is by far the best lemon curd recipe. I used to use it all the time then switched to Ina Garten's lemon curd recipe because it uses whole eggs and seemed easier. However, there was something a little off that I didn't like, plus it was gritty because of the lemon zest. I decided to go back to this recipe. Night and day. It is soo much richer, smooth and creamy. It's really a fabulous recipe and I think using only egg yolks makes a much better product. The only thing I do differently is that I use Ina's method of peeling the lemon and pulsing in a food processor with the sugar - it's easier than zesting. However, I feel that straining out the lemon zest is a very important step. I use the egg whites for my swiss meringue buttercream, perfect use huh?
Rating: 5 stars
I don’t know why people aren’t rating this higher. I like it better than others I’ve tried. The zest that gets strained out in the end definitely amps up the lemon flavor, the process is simpler, and the end results taste divine! It’s also helpful to know, you can multiply this recipe and freeze portions, and they come out fantastically!
Rating: 5 stars
I have made this recipe dozens if not hundreds of times. It does not have to be as complicated as the recipe states, or as people here seem to be thinking: combine all of the ingredients but the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Use an emersion blender (or handheld mixer) to thoroughly combine everything, and blend/beat until the yolks are thick and light yellow, and the bubbles are thick and opaque. Then, add the cubed butter, and microwave for a couple minutes. Whisk it by hand until smooth. Return to the microwave for another couple minutes, then whisk until smooth. Continue until the texture is uniformly thickened through the center of the bowl, whisking every time you notice the outer edges becoming lightly puffy. I have never had it curdle, overcook, or take more than 15 minutes from start to finish this way, and it is so much less finicky than on the stovetop. I have never bothered with any method of cooling besides letting it sit until it is room temperature, or covering and refrigerating.
Rating: 4 stars
I did one major thing differently--I cooked the curd in a double boiler. I've scrambled eggs in curds and custards many times and I didn't want to risk it. Using a double boiler also meant that I didn't need to put it through a sieve (I prefer that the zest remains, too). In spite of the indignant comment that Martha "omitted" a step, I've never seen a curd recipe that calls for an ice bath. This will cool it faster, and stop the cooking, but refrigeration will do the same thing slowly.
Rating: Unrated
You have omitted a VERY important step in the written directions- the ice bath that the glass bowl sits in after the curd comes off the heat and goes through the sieve. PLEASE correct this so others don't have to throw away their runny curd too.
Rating: Unrated
I made the lemon curd recipe from Martha's December Living magazine. The directions say to "seal", I assumed that meant to seal the canning jar, but for how long? I don't want to continue to cook the curd.
Rating: 3 stars
This isn't the best lemon curd I've ever made, but it's good. It's a little more eggy than I usually prefer. The tart flavor is just perfect, though--lemony and not overly sweet.
Rating: Unrated
why is the salt listed as an ingredient in the lemon curd?
Rating: Unrated
The recipe looks delicious. I can't wait to make it at home :) 1 1/4 sticks of butter - what would be the weight of that? We have different butter stick sizes where I live.
Rating: 5 stars
I couldn't believe how easy this was. So so so good. Tangy enough to have some kick but not sour. Ooh, I could eat this stuff all day.
Rating: Unrated
Two thirds of a cup of lemon juice, so just under one cup.
Rating: Unrated
the recipe states 2/3 c fresh lemon juice
Rating: Unrated
1 cup
Rating: Unrated
Please specify how much lemon juice to add. Thank you.