5 Ingredients or Fewer

Honey Lemon (or Lime) Curd

February 13, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Who doesn't love tart tangy lemon curd? This one gets a makeover with honey replacing all of the sugar. The method is easier than pie—all of the ingredients go into the pot and are cooked over direct heat. Don't worry, it works and it's so easy you'll never buy lemon curd in a jar again. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 3-4 medium lemons or 6-7 limes
  • 3 large eggs or 1 large egg plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (225 grams) honey
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (I use fine sea salt)
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  1. Set a medium-fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl for the finished curd and have a silicon spatula handy.
  2. Grate the zest of two of the lemons (or 3 of the limes) into a 1-quart, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan. Whisk in the eggs (or eggs and yolks), honey, and salt.
  3. Squeeze enough juice from the lemons or limes to measure 1/2 cup (120 ml) and whisk it into the pan. Add the butter in several pieces.
  4. Whisk the mixture over medium heat, reaching into the corners and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan constantly (to avoid scorching the curd) until the butter is melted and the mixture thickens and begins to simmer at the edges. Continue whisking and sweeping every inch of the pan, allowing the mixture to bubble gently all over for about 10 seconds.
  5. Use the silicon spatula to scrape the curd into the strainer, pressing gently on any solids. Scrape any curd clinging to the underside of the strainer into the bowl. Chill before using. Curd keeps in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Samantha Raynor
    Samantha Raynor
  • Lynn Davis
    Lynn Davis
  • Carol Elizabeth McRae
    Carol Elizabeth McRae
  • Thea
  • Alice Medrich
    Alice Medrich
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

24 Reviews

G August 16, 2020
made this was so yum thank you
Samantha R. February 20, 2020
Absolutely amazing! I made it with limes and the color is a beautiful yellow that tastes similar to a lemon curd, but with a lime tang.

I can’t have dairy so I substituted my favorite vegan butter (miyoko’s) — it’s like the real thing! My go to for any butter substitutes, I wouldn’t use margarine-type substitutes like melt or earth balance because they aren’t as thick and buttery.

The curd tastes just like a bakery and is a perfect texture!

Julia H. February 7, 2020
My Lemon Curd always tastes a bit metallic.. How can I avoid that? I love lemon curd but I only buy it readymade – so if I find it here in Austria.. I already use a wooden spoon. Maybe somebody can help?
Lynn D. February 3, 2020
I made this recipe (with 1/3 C. honey, per the comments) following directions for the instant pot and it was amazing. Thank you!
Minjae January 12, 2019
I used a 1/2 cup of honey and followed the rest of the recipe. Delicious!
Rose R. July 13, 2018
Finally got around to making this (I used limes)-it’s delicious! Simple, straight-forward & exactly what lime (or lemon) curd should taste like! No more store-bought for me; this is too easy & too yummy not to make again & again🤤
Rose R. June 6, 2018
I don’t care for the flavor honey imparts in baked goods and jams/jellies, so I’d rather make this with another sweetener. Do you have any suggestions for replacing the honey? And in what ratio?
Carol E. April 27, 2018
I use lemon curd to fill cupcakes. Also, I swirl it into slightly softened vanilla ice cream, sometimes putting the ice cream between two cookies for a great ice cream sandwich.
Margaret April 6, 2018
My lemon curd turned out really watery and I cooked it on low heat for like 20 minutes. I'm kinda nervous I ruined it? I even added an additional egg to try and thicken it up, but it's still so thin... did i do something wrong?
Alice M. April 8, 2018
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by watery. Lemon curd sets up thicker only after chilling. The recipe simply asks you to cook til it bubbles and then let it bubble gently for 10 seconds, so I'm not sure what lead to 20 minutes of cooking. Do you want to explain more about what happened and your results?
Samantha R. February 20, 2020
I think the issue is the low heat! On medium heat, it should start to bubble and get that white foam edging with gentle bubbles all around as it thickens! Too low and it’s probably not going to bubble and condense. (That’s what worked for me)
Mike March 25, 2018
What a wonderful recipe! I’ve been looking for ways to improve my lemon curds. Can’t wait to try honey.
laura S. March 25, 2018
do you have any instructions on making the merengue baskets into which the curd is filled?
Alice M. March 27, 2018
Here's my procedure (and tips) for making meringues: https://food52.com/blog/9946-how-to-make-meringues-with-any-amount-of-leftover-egg-whites
laura S. March 27, 2018
A March 24, 2018
You do know that honey is mostly sugar, right?
Mike March 25, 2018
Hi A. You do know that honey is glucose and fructose while white sugar is all sucrose, right?
Alice M. March 27, 2018
Yes! I did not mean to suggest that honey is not also sugar here. I'm most interested in the difference in flavor and texture. Meanwhile I know that lots of people might prefer to use honey than white sugar.
Ange March 23, 2018
Has anyone tried to make this with dairy-free butter/marg/olivani?
Erica March 22, 2018
Has anyone noticed that lemon curd tends to take on a metallic taste? I have made a lemon curd before, using no metal utensils/pans/bowls and this has seemed to help. Any thoughts on if it was a coincidence or if this to be expected from lemon curd?
Alice M. March 26, 2018
I use a stainless pot and stainless steel whisk and freshly squeezed (never bottled) lemon juice. The curd is very tart and lemony to my palate (which I like) but perhaps your palate reads this as metallic? We are all a little different!
Thea March 21, 2018
how would this curd work for a tart and would you recommend doing a no bake lemon tart or bake it so its a little firmer?
Kaime March 26, 2018
You can add gelatin to firm up any curd for use in tarts or pies.
Alice M. March 26, 2018
I have a lemon tart using the sugar version of this curd in my book, "Gluten Free Flavor Flours" and one in "Pure Dessert" which is not gluten free. I have not tried the honey version in a tart, but it should work.