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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Baking, Desserts, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Lemon Curd, Make-Ahead

Lemon Curd

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 pint
Thick, creamy, and perfect for topping tarts, this four-ingredient lemon curd application is as versatile as it is delicious.
This recipe first appeared in Season 1 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pats and chilled

Specialized Hardware

Digital kitchen scale
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
Yield: 1 pint


  • Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1 inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Measure lemon juice and, if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. 
  • Once the water reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to low and place the bowl on top of the saucepan. (The bowl should be large enough to fit on top of the saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened and the mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove promptly from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
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