Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

I’m chronically impatient and unrepentantly lazy. Whether I’m navigating a city’s streets or planning a meal, I’m always seeking the quickest, easiest route. It’s not one of my best traits, but it has a tendency to make me more efficient. If a dish has too many ingredients, involves too much prep, or looks like I’ll get too many pots and pans dirty, my first thought is to figure out how I can make it simpler.

This lemon curd is the perfect example of what I call indolent innovation. Most recipes involve creaming butter in a mixer and setting up a double boiler. Rather than accept the laborious status quo, I set out to simplify it. First I remembered an old trick to emulsify melted butter with liquids so you don’t have to beat it into submission with an electric mixer. Then I decided that by using a heavy bottomed pot over low heat I could do away with the double boiler. Et voilà! One-pot lemon curd in about twelve minutes.

Lemon Curd with Meyer Lemons

But just because we’re skimping on labor doesn’t mean we’re skimping on quality. This lemon curd is just as smile-inducingly delicious as the more laborious version. The sweet and floral aroma of the Meyer lemons is in full force thanks to the liberal addition of lemon zest, and yet by straining the zest out before making the curd, you don’t end up with papery bits of zest in every bite. The resulting lemon curd is satiny smooth with a glossy yellow sheen usually reserved for pricy Italian sports cars.

While Meyer lemons work best, I know they can be tough to find in some areas, so you can come up with something close by mixing two parts lemon juice with one part mandarin orange juice, same with the zest.

Equipment you'll need:

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    Meyer Lemon Curd
  • Meyer Lemons make a fragrant lemon curd with the perfect balance sweet and tart.
Prep TimeCook Time
2 minutes 10 minutes




  1. Drop the whole stick of butter into a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat and let it melt (the pan should be just warm enough to melt the butter). Once it’s mostly melted turn off the heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and egg whites. Use an egg beater or whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  3. Once the butter has come down to a lukewarm temperature, add the egg yolks and whisk the butter and egg yolks together until the mixture has emulsified and is uniform in color.
  4. Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the lemon juice mixture into the butter mixture, pressing on the solids to extract the flavor from the lemon zest.
  5. Stir to combine, then turn the stove on to low heat. Heat the mixture continuously stirring with a silicone spatula to keep the curd from scorching to the bottom of the pot.
  6. The curd is done when it's reached the consistency of gravy and coats the spatula. It will be about 175 degrees F (80 C).
  7. Chill the pot in a cold water bath, the curd should get thicker as it chills. Transfer the lemon curd to an airtight container. The lemon curd will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Baby Sumo

    Ah I think we use similar methods to make fresh lemon curd.. mine takes abt 10 mins on the hob too. :)

  • Nami

    I still have Meyer lemons left in the fridge. This will be my project today. Thanks for the recipe!

    • justonecookbook

      It’s so delicious. I made three batches total and gave away to three families. They all loved it too! Thanks Marc!

  • Joan

    You are COMPLETELY awesome!!! Thank you for this gorgeous, I know delicious, and beautifully simplified recipe.
    Those are my criteria also.I love delicious food but haaaate long multi-pot cleanups.I actually bought a 2 lb bag of organic Meyers @ Whole Foods fri.They are WAITING~~:>)

  • missmochi

    I think the reason everyone loves your recipes is because a lot of readers are the same way when choosing what to cook: too many ingredients, too many laborious steps, and we’ve moved on to make ourselves a grilled cheese instead!

  • Pingback: Meyer Lemon Pound Cake | Dessert Recipe | Just One Cookbook

  • nivlac64

    I’m guessing those aren’t Marc’s hands with those long fingernails. haha

  • Sara Ogg

    Mine never got to 170 on my thermometer! Problem must have been thermometer because curd was very thick but very good. Next time I’ll just eyeball!


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!