This homemade meyer lemon curd is beyond easy to make from scratch! With just a handful of ingredients, it comes together quickly and goes on everything from cookies and cakes to scones and pancakes. It’s perfectly sweet, tart, buttery, and so delicious!

A jar of meyer lemon curd on a white counter next to lemons, white flowers, and a white sugar bowl.

The other day I was *blessed* to come across a bag of Meyer lemons. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that bright, gorgeous citrus pops up right in the middle of winter when we all need a little sunshine. Shoutout to nature.

So I don’t think it needs to be said that I grabbed a couple of bags. And what’s a girl to do when she’s in possession of armfuls of Meyer lemons? Well, make curd. And put it on everything.

Make sure to add this lemon curd to your lineup along with this 3-ingredient strawberry compote and sage apple butter. A sauce for every season!

Why you’ll love this recipe

Lemon curd is one of those staple recipes I learned how to make when I was in pastry school. But with Meyer lemons? Beyond. This curd belongs on everything from cookies to scones.

  • The recipe has just five simple ingredients.
  • It comes together in a few minutes.
  • This curd is so much better than store-bought.
  • You can wrap it up and gift it to friends – so cute!

The ingredients

White and brown bowls of salt, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, butter, and egg yolks on a marble counter next to lemons.
  • Sugar – regular white sugar will add sweetness to the lemon curd.
  • Meyer lemons – you’ll need the zest and the juice for the most lemon flavor.
  • Egg yolks – the yolks thicken the curd for a custard-like consistency.
  • Salt – a pinch of Morton’s Kosher salt will offset the sweetness of the sugar.
  • Unsalted butter – this will make the curd richer and tone down the acidity of the lemon.
  • Vanilla bean paste for a pop of sweetness and vanilla flavor.

Ingredient substitutions

  • Lemons – feel free to use regular lemons if Meyers aren’t in season.
  • Citrus – replace the lemons with limes or grapefruit.
  • Vanilla – you can also use vanilla extract. Just double the amount!
  • Dairy free – I haven’t tested this recipe with dairy-free butter but any 1-to-1 DF replacement should work just fine.

How to make this recipe

Six steps to making custard. In photo 1, a white pan of sugar and lemon zest is on a white counter. In photo 2, a hand is rubbing lemon and sugar together. In photo 3, the pan has egg yolks in it. In photo 4, the pan has lemon juice. In photo 5, a spoon is coated in custard. In photo 6, the pan has butter in it.
  1. Pour the sugar and lemon zest into a saucepan. Using clean hands, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until it’s fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolks and whisk them until they’re thick and pale, about 2 minutes.
  3. Then, whisk the lemon juice and salt into the egg mixture until it’s smooth.
  4. Cook the lemon curd over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened. Don’t let it come to a boil!
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and vanilla bean paste. Stir until the butter is melted.
Two steps to straining custard. In photo 1, custard is in a strainer on a white counter. In photo 2, a white bowl of custard is on a white counter.
  1. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
  2. Cool the lemon curd for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Lastly, press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the curd to keep a film from forming. Refrigerate until chilled. It will thicken as it cools!

Pro tip!

For the most lemony flavor, don’t skip out on rubbing the lemon zest and sugar together! It helps the zest release its oils which adds a ton of flavor. And don’t worry about it affecting the texture – the zest is strained out at the end!

How to use lemon curd

Helpful tools

Pro tip!

For this recipe, it’s important to use a pot that’s non-reactive like stainless steel or ceramic. You will also want to use a non-metal whisk. I like rubber whisks! If you use metal, it could negatively react with the acid in the lemon juice which will make the curd taste bitter and metallic.

A jar of Meyer lemon curd with a wood spoon on a white counter next to lemons, white bowls, and green flowers.

Storing & make-ahead

To store leftover lemon curd, place it in a jar. Press a small piece of plastic wrap against the surface to keep a film from forming. Then, seal the jar with a lid and refrigerate it for up to 1 week.

This lemon curd can also be made in advance! As long as it’s stored properly in a jar, it will last for up to a week.

Can I freeze lemon curd?

Yes! To freeze the lemon curd, spoon it into an airtight container. Cover the container and freeze it for up to 1 year. When you’re ready to use the curd, just pop it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Give it a stir and it should be good to go!

Quick tip

If you have a lot of Meyer lemons to use up, you can make large batches of curd to use throughout the year! Either freeze the lemon curd or place it in jars and gift it to friends.

Jars of Meyer lemon curd on a white counter next to a wood spoon, lemons, a white sugar bowl, and green flowers.

Tips & tricks

  • Make sure you’re constantly whisking the lemon curd. Otherwise, the egg could scramble which will make the curd lumpy.
  • For thick lemon curd, make sure to cook it long enough. It should not come to a boil, but the curd should coat the back of a wooden spoon. It will also thicken as it cools!
  • Don’t bring the lemon curd to a boil! This will overcook the curd and make it grainy instead of creamy.
  • For the best results, cook the curd low and slow. After a few minutes, it will thicken up for uber smooth lemon curd.

Recipe FAQs

What is the difference between lemons and Meyer lemons?

Meyer lemons are a bit different from regular lemons. They are smaller, sweeter, less acidic, and have a hint of orange flavor. They also tend to be a bit darker in color. Meyer lemons are typically in season between December and May!

Can I use regular lemons?

Yes! If Meyer lemons aren’t in season, this recipe will still work great with regular lemons. I would recommend increasing the sugar to 1 cup (200 grams) since regular lemons are more acidic than Meyers.

How do I thicken lemon curd?

For lemon curd that’s nice and thick, make sure to cook it for long enough. It should reach 170°F (77°C) and coat the back of a spoon. If it still hasn’t thickened, whisk 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of water. Add it to the lemon curd, and stir for a few minutes until it reaches your desired texture. Keep in mind that it will thicken more as it cools!

Why does my lemon curd taste eggy?

If your lemon curd came out eggy, it’s most likely because it was overcooked. Overcooking lemon curd will basically scramble the eggs and make it taste a bit funky. Make sure you’re cooking the curd low-and-slow and never let it come to a boil!

What should I do with extra Meyer lemons?

Meyer lemons are great in everything from cocktails to desserts! You can make big batches of lemon curd and freeze it for later. Or, use Meyer lemons in recipes like spiked strawberry lemonade, basil lemon pesto, or marinated mozzarella balls.

A spoon drizzling Meyer lemon curd in a jar on a white counter next to white bowls, green flowers, and lemons.

More sweet lemon recipes

The Best Lemon Curd Cookies
Ricotta Strawberry Lemon Cake
Sour Cream Lemon Pound Cake with Blackberry Glaze
Ricotta Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

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Easy Meyer Lemon Curd

Yield: 1.25 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This homemade meyer lemon curd is beyond easy to make from scratch! With just a handful of ingredients, it comes together quickly and goes on everything from cookies and cakes to scones and pancakes. It's perfectly sweet, tart, buttery, and so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon zest (8 grams), about 4 lemons
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (120 milliliters), about 6 lemons
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter (85 grams), cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)

Instructions 

  • Pour the sugar and lemon zest into a non-reactive saucepan. Using clean hands, rub the sugar and lemon zest together until it's fragrant and the lemon zest has released its oils, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolks to the lemon sugar. Using a rubber whisk, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is thickened and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Whisk in the lemon juice until the mixture is smooth. Then, stir in the salt.
  • Cook the lemon curd over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, reaches 170°F (77°C), and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Don't let the curd come to a boil!
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the cold cubes of butter. Whisk until the butter is completely melted. Then, stir in the vanilla bean paste.
  • Strain the lemon curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps or lemon zest. Let the curd cool for a few minutes. Then, pour the lemon curd into a jar and press a small piece of plastic wrap against the top to keep a film from forming. Seal the jar and refrigerate the curd for up to 1 week.

Notes

For this recipe, it’s important to use a pot that’s non-reactive like stainless steel or ceramic. You will also want to use a non-metal whisk. I like rubber whisks! If you use metal, it could negatively react with the acid in the lemon juice which will make the curd taste bitter and metallic.
If lemon curds aren’t in season, feel free to use regular lemons. I would recommend increasing the sugar to 1 cup (200 grams) since regular lemons are more tart than Meyer lemons.
Make sure you’re constantly whisking the lemon curd. Otherwise, the egg could scramble which will make the curd lumpy.
For thick lemon curd, make sure to cook it long enough. It should not come to a boil, but the curd should coat the back of a wooden spoon. It will also thicken as it cools!
Don’t bring the lemon curd to a boil. This will overcook the curd and make it grainy instead of creamy.
For the best results, cook the curd low and slow. After a few minutes, it will thicken up for uber smooth lemon curd.
Cuisine: American
Course: Sauces
Serving: 1Tablespoon, Calories: 93kcal, Carbohydrates: 9.3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4.9g, Saturated Fat: 2.7g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 28mg, Potassium: 31mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 8.5g, Calcium: 11mg
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xo Sara Lynn

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