One of my very favourite, very old recipes on OE, updated! I make this honey lemon curd all the time, just to have around to use in baking (or to eat with a spoon) and to give as gifts. Lemons are available in stores year round but I get bulk orders from crowdfarming and use them to make preserved lemons, this curd, and to freeze.
If you’ve never had lemon curd before, it’s creamy, sweet, and a little tart. It’s a bit like an ultra-flavourful pudding, really. You can use it in cakes, cookies, to swirl into ice cream (it’s excellent in these coconut yogurt popsicles).
Maybe you’re already a big lemon curd fan – in that case, this is a touch different from what you might expect. As it uses less sweetener than normal, and honey in place of sugar, it is a bit less sweet and also has more depth of flavour. All around better, really.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Honey: I haven’t tried making this with another liquid sweetener, and recommend a light-tasting honey. Don’t use forest honey for this recipe.
- Vegan butter: pictured is a high quality vegan butter but I most often use coconut oil instead. With unrefined oil you’ll get a very slight coconut flavour, which isn’t unpleasant here, but you can use refined oil to keep it very neutral. You can of course use dairy butter.
Step by Step
1. Prepare: add the egg yolks and honey to a small saucepan.
2. Whisk: mix will with a whisk to combine, then whisk in the lemon juice and zest.
3. Cook: place the pot over low heat and cook.
4. Thicken: cook, stirring constantly, until the curd has decreased by about half.
5. Add the butter: remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted.
6. Transfer: pour the curd into a sterilised jar and cool completely before refrigerating.
As far as I know, this can’t be safely canned. You may be able to use a pressure canner but I can’t speak to the safety of canning this as it doesn’t contain sugar or another canning preservative like citric acid. It does last in the refrigerator for quite some time, at least a couple of weeks.
I use Naturli vegan butter, and recommend Miyoko’s in north America. You will taste it in the final product, so a neutral tasting one is best – not one that you don’t like the taste of on toast, for example. If you prefer, you can strain the curd after cooking to remove any pieces of zest. I prefer it with the zest in but you do you.
How to Store
Storage: lemon curd should keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator if stored in a covered, sterilised jar.
Freezing: freeze for up to three months, and thaw in the refrigerator.
- Slow and low: low heat and constant stirring are both very important here! If the heat is too high, you’ll get sweetened scrambled eggs. If you don’t stir, you’ll get a cooked layer at the bottom of the pan. Both are a waste of ingredients, so do it right and be patient.
- Use unwaxed lemons: because you’re using the zest along with the juice from the lemons, try to get organic, unwaxed fruit. Wash well in warm water before zesting.
- Be patient: this will take about ten minutes to thicken into a curd, so pull up a stool if needed and be prepared to stir for a while. It’s worth it.
More Lemon Recipes
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Honey Lemon Curd
- 60 grams honey
- 3 egg yolks
- 125 ml lemon juice about 6 lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from about 2-3 lemons
- 60 grams vegan butter, cut into small pieces
- Whisk the honey and egg yolks in a small saucepan until combined and lightened in colour. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.60 grams honey, 3 egg yolks, 125 ml lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Cook over low heat until it starts to thicken, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. This should take about 10 minutes. It’s ready when reduced by about half, and the curd coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the vegan butter to the hot curd and whisk to melt and incorporate fully.60 grams vegan butter, cut into small pieces
- Pour your lemon curd into a glass jar and loosely cover with a lid to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, seal tightly and refrigerate.
- After refrigerating, the curd should be set and pudding-like in texture. It will keep up to a couple weeks in the refrigerator.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in September 2014. It has been updated with new step-by-step photos and improvements to the text and recipe as of July 2020.