Lemon curd is the tart and tangy spread of my dreams. It’s a little bit sweet, with a bit of a pucker that sets my taste buds dancing and always has me coming back for more.
The first time I tasted lemon curd was when I was very young and went to my first Christmas high tea with all the ladies on my mom’s side of the family. This event is something I look forward to every year as soon as the holiday decorations start going up all over the city.
At this event, there are all the usual suspects: tea (of course), small sandwiches, pastries, scones, and lemon curd.
When I had my first taste of the spread, I knew that tart and tangy things were going to be some of my favorite foods. There’s something about the combination of acidic and sweet that really brings me joy.
I imagine it’s almost like tasting the sun – if the sun had a flavor and wouldn’t burn you to a crisp if you could even try to get close enough to taste it (haha).
Getting back on topic, making this from-scratch lemon curd couldn’t be easier. It’s made with only five ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to put together before you place it in the refrigerator to chill.
As a lover of this spread (and lemon bars as well!) it’s only natural that I try to keep a jar of curd in my refrigerator at all times. And this particular recipe has an even better flavor than the standard variety, thanks to the coconut sugar. I’ll share more details on that at the end of this article, so keep reading.
Plus, it’s incredibly simple and low stress to make.
There is no double boiler involved. You don’t have to worry about the possible metallic aftertaste that can come from cooking it in said double boiler. And after just 5 minutes of whisking, you have a smooth spread that’s available to use all week long.
You may even find yourself making it every weekend, like I am planning to do…
It’s also an easy recipe to get the kids involved in the kitchen. You can teach them to separate eggs. Show them how to carefully whisk everything together over the heat. Have them help out by melting in each pat of butter.
You’ll all enjoy making this simple recipe together, and enjoying it together every morning at breakfast, or in the afternoon when you sit down to tea.
How Do I Use This Spread?
There are so many ways to enjoy lemon curd, but here are some of my personal favorites:
- Spread on scones, muffins, waffles, or pancakes
- Use as a filling for cupcakes, cakes, or crepes
- Top slices of pound cake or pavlova with it
- Use in a trifle with layers of lemon cake and whipped cream
- Fill macarons or choux pastries
- Spread on biscuits, toast, or croissants
- Add it to your favorite yogurt or spoon over ice cream
If you are looking for a unique and flavorful option, try spreading this curd between two gluten-free basil shortbread cookies like you see pictured here. It’s a delightful little cookie sandwich that tastes just like summer in every single bite.Print
Coconut sugar lemon curd gives you all the tart flavor with an added twist that makes it stand out from the traditional version.
- 3 large egg yolks
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into four equal pieces
- Combine the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and coconut sugar in a small saucepan, and whisk to combine. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir with a wooden spoon while it warms up. You’ll need to scrape down the sides and the bottom while the mixture cooks. When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of your spoon, it’s done. This should take around 5 minutes.
- Once it hits that point, remove from heat, and add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring between additions until it melts completely into the mixture. Pour the curd into a non-reactive glass container or bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and press it down to make contact with the surface of the curd. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Spread on your favorite breakfast treats, use it to flavor other types of baked goods and desserts, or make cookie sandwiches with about 2 teaspoons of lemon curd spread between two cookies.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Spreads
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: lemon curd, coconut sugar, butter, eggs, lemon juice
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Separate Eggs, Zest and Juice Lemon, and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Separate three large egg yolks from the whites. Set the yolks aside. The whites can be reserved to make meringue or for use in a different recipe.
Zest a medium-size lemon. Cut it in half, and then juice the fruit until you have about 1/4 cup of juice. Discard any seeds.
Cut 4 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter into four pieces. Place these in a bowl and place it back in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
Measure out the remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Cook
In a small, preferably non-reactive saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, zest, lemon juice, and coconut sugar until combined.
Place over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon as it cooks, scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan frequently. Cook until the mixture has thickened, for about 5 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when it’s done.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until each one melts completely into the mixture before adding the next one.
Step 3 – Chill
Transfer the curd to a glass container or bowl. Use glass because it is non-reactive, and will help the mixture chill faster.
Cover with plastic wrap, and press it down gently onto the surface of the curd. Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator before using.
Why Use Coconut Sugar?
Why is this my favorite sweetener to use when making lemon curd at home? There are a few reasons!
One is that you get all the minerals that refined granulated sugar lacks. You do lose the bright yellow color a bit, so there are tradeoffs.
But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean you lose the flavor in this spread because it’s just as good (if not better) than other lemon curds I’ve had!
The coconut sugar adds a slight caramel taste, which will make you want to eat this lemon curd straight off the spoon.
Craving even more flavor-packed homemade spreads? Try these recipes from Foodal next:
What will you spread this lemon curd on first? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to rate the recipe once you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 13, 2013. Last updated on May 25, 2021.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.