Meyer Lemon Curd

Bowl of yellow lemon curd, whisk, stick of butter, egg shells, halved lemons

Just try to resist eating this Meyer lemon curd from the jar with a spoon! Pack the lemon curd into jars for gift giving, but save a jar for yourself and spread it on toasted brioche or warm-from-the-oven scones. There’s enough to fill tiny shortbread tarts [Editor’s Note: Or slather on shortbread, for that matter] or to dollop on an angel food cake served with fresh strawberries. The lemon curd is delightful when layered with raspberries and blueberries for a summertime parfait.

As a gift-giving tip, offer all these suggestions on a gift card and include a recipe card. Tie each jar with raffia or ribbon and attach card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including baked scones, biscuits, or even a loaf of poppy seed cake. It’s a perfect hostess gift—ready to be enjoyed at breakfast, at teatime, or for dessert.–Diane Morgan

LC Zestfully Yours Note

If you’re one of those types who loathes pulp in your orange juice, chances are you’re not going to be too keen on the inclusion of zest in this lovely, lovely curd. Wait! All is not lost. You can still impart a distinct and luscious Meyer lemon-y-ness to the curd and end up with impeccably smooth results by adding the zest a little earlier in the process and then straining it out. We propose adding the zest to the sugar before you whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, rubbing the sugar and zest mixture between your fingertips to really permeate and perfume the sugar with a lemony lilt. (Do note, if you strain the curd, your yield will be closer to 3, not 4, half-pint jars.)

Meyer Lemon Curd

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 3 to 4 half-pint jars
5/5 - 6 reviews
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Special Equipment: Instant-read or a candy or a deep-fry thermometer and 3 or 4 half-pint jars with lids.


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Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher and wash the lids by hand.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice. Transfer to a double boiler and cook the curd over barely simmering water, whisking constantly, until the lemon mixture thickens and reaches 170°F (76°C) on an instant-read thermometer. (The mixture will be very foamy on top.)

Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the curd into a bowl. Immediately whisk in the lemon zest and butter until the mixture is smooth and emulsified.

Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the sauce into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean, seal the jars, and refrigerate until the lemon curd is thickened chilled through before using, at least 4 hours. (There’s no need to process the sealed jars the old-fashioned way using a hot water bath, according to author Diane Morgan; you can simply screw the lids on the jars and keep them in the fridge so long as you’re mindful to polish off the curd within a week or so.)

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    Bonus Recipe: Meyer Lemon Mousse with Fresh Berries

    • Meyer Lemon Curd is tangy and decadent spooned straight from the jar, but resist temptation so you can try this simple, luscious mousse. Transfer all of the lemon curd to a medium bowl. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream along with 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold a glob of the whipped cream into the lemon curd to lighten it. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Spoon the mousse into parfait glasses, alternating layers with fresh berries of your choice. Refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 1 week.

    Recipe Testers Reviews

    This curd is lusciously delicious and smooth. Being a Meyer lemon curd, it lacks some of the puckery tartness of traditional lemon curds, and that's a good thing. It's a bit sweeter, like the flavor of a lemon and a tangerine lovechild. It did take awhile for the curd to reach 170°, but I like making it in a double boiler—it reduces the chance of any curdling. If you like a perfectly smooth curd, add the zest with the eggs, sugar, and juice, and then strain it. Me, I was perfectly fine with the tiny bits of bitter zest; it balanced the sweetness of the curd. We had it spooned over brownies. Decadent.

    The curd is very delicious, but I think you can get pretty much the same result using regular lemons. Personally, I prefer a very smooth curd, so I’d add the zest during the cooking process and then strain it afterward. (I don’t think you’re compromising the flavor at all if you remove the zest.) I made the mousse with fresh berries, and it was quite good, although very, very rich—I’d say a step or two away from cloying. Next time, I’ll use a higher proportion of berries to mousse to cut down on the richness of this dessert.


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    1. I’ve made this recipe 5x this last Christmas for gifting purposes. Incredibly great recipe!!! My question is.. would you recommend using navel oranges as an alternative? I was given some from a friend’s tree and would like to make curd (or marmalade) and am very curious how it would come out using oranges instead. Let me know your thoughts!

      1. Hi Lisa, you can use most citrus fruits to make curd though you might need to adjust the sugar according to the fruit’s sweetness. Please let us know how it turns out, orange curd sounds lovely.

        1. The navel orange curd turned out pretty good! My husband and I agree it tastes like a orange creamsicle, mild sweetness with creamy orange texture. These navels were more sour than sweet so with the 3 oranges I could see using maybe a little more sugar when I do a second batch. This curd would be great with biscuits, crackers or on waffles or toast. Very unique! I’m taking 3 jars to work tomorrow, hope they like it!

          1. How wonderful, Lisa! So happy that it turned out well. Please let us know what your coworkers thought.

            1. Feedback I got from coworkers is that its sweet, delicious, and definitely tastes like a creamciscle! I’ll make this again!

    2. I made this recipe yesterday. I decided to strain out the zest because I love how smooth citrus curd is. This one has a wonderfully velvety mouth feel. I chose it because I like the ones using extra yolks. The ones that use only whole eggs are definitely not as good. I would put a drop more juice next time and next time might be today.

    3. If you want a mousse-like curd, this is the recipe. However, it should not be hot-water processed, but left in the refrigerator to be eaten soon, because this recipe calls for constant whisking, which introduces hundreds if not thousands of tiny bubbles into the curd. When I water-processed, these bubbles caused leaking (see other posts re: leaking) and sub-standard seals. Also, when I opened my jar, the consistency of the curd at the top was sponge-like because of all the air bubbles.

      For the second time (grrr), instead of whisking during the cooking, I stirred with a silicone spatula. The curd became thick and heavy. After pouring the curd into a jar, I gently tapped the bottom of the jar against the counter to make any bubbles rise to the surface, which I flattened with a spoon. The curd was smooth and dense and there was no leaking after processing. Yum.

    4. Could someone please answer the question about processing the jars and their results. I did and used the same amount of time as my regular lemon curd recipe and many jars leaked. I always use a steam canner and am very surprised by the results. The curd is delicious but I need it to be stored and not in fridge. I would think that it would spoil in the fridge after a couple of weeks.

      1. Hi, GM. I made the curd again this past weekend, and this time I processed the jars. I used a water bath, and they were perfect; there was no leaking. I have the curd ready to be given as gifts–on the condition the jars are refrigerated and the curd is eaten within a month or so. One thing I did was tighten the rings a bit more than I would for jam because the curd is thinner. The curd will last about a week unprocessed in the fridge.

        I do want to caution readers that lemons vary in acidity–and Meyer lemons are even less acidic–so canning curd is tricky. It’s suggested that if you do want to can lemon curd, you use bottled lemon juice because of the standarded acid levels. Here’s an interesting read and recipe.

        I’m going to contact Diane Morgan, the author of the book, and have her jump here. I’m sure she’ll shed more light.

        1. Thanks for the update. I am wondering if I filled them more than I should have. My curd was very thick not thin like my tried and true recipe from BA. That recipe only uses yolks. I will be interested in a response from Diane. In the meantime, I cleaned up the jars and they appear to be sealed but I put them in the fridge.

          1. GM, that could be an issue. I know her recipe calls for a 1/2-inch headroom; most jams call for a 1/4-inch headroom. I had to spoons some out of the jars before processing, as I automatically filled them to 1/4 inch.

    5. No Meyer lemons where I’m living now, but lemon curd is always a beautiful thing! I was once moved to compose a haiku about a jar of curd that I had made…

        1. Thanks David – will have a look at the shops and see what sort of citrus they have. Plenty of clementines now though; I’m thinking those may work?

    6. Made this today and just shared a taste with my husband. Absolutely luscious and so much better than the jarred stuff from the grocery store. I stirred the zest into the sugar and did not strain. I plan on filling some chocolate espresso cupcakes with it tomorrow.

      1. How terrific that readers keep coming back to this divine lemon curd recipe. I must have tested 10 different lemon curds before I found the perfect texture and taste–nothing store-bought compare–if I must say so myself!


    7. This is a delicious curd to say the least. Very rich, creamy, neither too sweet nor too tart – just a lovely lemony curd with a hint of a floraly note. One thing to keep in mind when making this is that when straining the curd this may reduce the yield; I did strain and filled only 3 1/2 jars. I don’t mind the zesty bits, and will keep them in next time to see what difference this makes.

    8. Just made a batch and it’s cooling in its jars in the refrigerator. Luckily, I pulled the last few lemons from last season off the tree a few days ago. I added the zest at the beginning and strained it out, not because I prefer it that way (I don’t), but I’m not sure about the preferences of the friends who are likely to end up with it. I’ve made curd out of all kinds of citrus – blood oranges, Eureka lemons, and Meyers – and it’s all delicious!

      1. Hi Ida,

        So sorry for the delayed reply. While you can process the curd in a water-bath canner, I rarely do that. I just put it in gift-giving jars with tight-fitting lids and gift it. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. I never use steam as a processing method, so I would have no information to provide on why the jars would leak.

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