Delicious & Easy

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd? Or lemon butter? Whatever you call it, lemon curd is one of my favorite things to make and has been ever since 1968 when I came west from Boston, armed with The West Coast Cookbook. This was an engagement gift from my California aunt who’d inscribed it Love and much happiness and good eating. The book’s rather clubby tone (“we like” or “we serve” this dish for breakfast) didn’t put me off either, because I felt invited in via Aunt Betty’s friendly gesture.   

And all these years later, I’m still making lemon curd; page 69 is a mess, spotted and spattered. The recipe is very easy: lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and grated lemon rind—all whisked together in the double boiler, allowed to thicken, and there you have it. A glossy yellow thick flavorful substance that lasts beautifully in the fridge. A wonderful mouthful of lemon. 

Recipe courtesy of Sally Buffington and her memoir, A Place Like This: Finding Myself in a Cape Cod Cottage (Woodworth Press 2021).

Ingredients for

Lemon Curd

½ stick butter

Grated rind of one lemon

3 lemons, juiced

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cup sugar

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

MAKES 2 cups

Instructions for

Lemon Curd

In a double boiler, melt the butter, then add grated rind and lemon juice, salt and sugar. Stir. Continue to cook over boiling water and add egg yolks and whole eggs, whisking intermittently, until the mixture thickens and is shiny. Cool before storing. Keeps well in refrigerator if tightly sealed.

Frequently asked

Questions About This Recipe

Buffington makes curd with lemons grown in her backyard.

How to use lemon curd? 

It makes a lovely tart filling, or you can spread it on toast or scones. I’ve used it between multiple layers of angel food cake. Or on slices of pound cake, with berries. The bright yellow “curd” is excellent any time of year, but in a jar, nicely labeled and adorned with a bow, it makes an especially thoughtful holiday gift.


Notes & Thoughts