Leftover Yolks into Lemon Curd


As I stepped into my garden, after a four week whirlwind trip, I was greeted by four lemon trees filled with bright yellow, speckled orbs with thick skins and bright juice. Since I am always looking for lemon zest, I decided to save as much as possible by zesting before juicing my lemons. A portion of the zest was stored in ice cube trays, in the freezer while the rest was used for my lemon curd.

Lemon Zest

This lemon curd was created out of a necessity to use up the excess egg yolks leftover from making meringues. The meringues came about due to the discovery of way too many eggs in the fridge that needed consuming. This whole food/cooking process made me realize that we should follow the trail created from our cooking adventures rather than just follow set recipes. If I had not made meringues, would I have created this lemon curd? If I did not have lemons growing at my finger tips, would I have made this curd? We really need to take stock of what is close at hand and get cooking.

This lemon curd recipe is just as good with other flavours such as lime or orange. Take advantage of what is in your kitchen or garden.

Top lemon curd in meringue finished off with a few berries

Top lemon curd in meringue finished off with a few berries

Lemon Curd from Leftover egg yolks

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

When I see jars of lemon curd lined up on grocery shelves, I wonder if they could ever equal the flavours from this recipe. All it takes is 20 minutes for a lemony tart goodness that can be added to so many desserts.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes


  1. Mix egg yolks and sugar in a small saucepan until smooth.
  2. Place mixture over low heat then beat in lemon juice, zest and pieces of butter with a whisk.
  3. Continue stirring until mixture has thickened.
  4. Be careful not to heat too fast as the eggs will cook and you will have scrambled lemon eggs!
  5. Strain through a sieve, store in an airtight sterilized container.
  6. Lemon curd keeps, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks.
    Sterilizing Jars
  1. Jars can be quickly and safely sterilized in a microwave.
  2. Wash jars, fill with a little water and cook in microwave for at least 1 minute.
  3. Using a pot holder, remove the jar from the microwave, pour out the water and place in warm oven until ready to fill.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 21, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Oh My!!!! This is wonderful, I was just sainyg to Mom the other day that I needed a great Lemon Curd recipe, and voila It is here. Thank you. I have such fond memories of dipping my spoon straight into the jar at Grams place, each mouthful better than the last. I never could find that recipe. I wonder if they are similar. Stay tuned, Ill let you know. Hope your having a great week.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Greetings from Canada Mary. I had a half dozen egg yolks left over from another recipe so I made your lemon curd with them. The flavour just dances off my tongue. Great recipe, thanks. I bet it is even better with lemons from your own back yard!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      So happy it worked out and that you were able to put your egg yolks to good use.

    • Reply
      February 3, 2017 at 8:24 am

      It is so satisfying to use my lemons but I am sure your lemon curd was excellent as well.

  • Reply
    Mary R
    January 26, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Looks beautiful! Do you can your curd in a water bath?

    sincerely, another Mary R who loves baking and hates waste

    • Reply
      February 3, 2017 at 8:23 am

      You can use a water bath to make sure that the eggs do not overcook.
      Good luck and enjoy.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Can you freeze any leftovers? Or will it get gross? Thanks!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Both the yolks and the curd can be frozen for future use.

      • Reply
        October 26, 2017 at 4:39 pm

        Oh good as I have just found this recipe for using up m6 egg yolks but d9nt really need the lemon curd straightaway so I will freeze it!

  • Reply
    Lemon cinnamon brûlée tarts – The CakeTonian
    April 16, 2017 at 11:01 am

    […] 1 cup lemon curd […]

    • Reply
      October 26, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Thank you, it is 1 cup of lemon curd

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    What did you put your curd on top of in the photos?

    • Reply
      October 26, 2017 at 10:16 am

      A meringue nest!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2017 at 11:30 am

    A dollop of lemon curd on porridge/oatmeal is a thing of deliciousness. Top with sliced almonds for a bit of texture.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    This was SO good!! Easy to follow recipe and mine came out really tart which I love. I don’t like the overly sweet lemon curds. They lose a lot of that wonderful lemony flavor. The only problem is that I want to eat this on just about everything!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Bauman
    December 11, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Wow that is an awesome recipe! Thank you, I never know what to do with egg yolks. I think last years are still in the freezer.

  • Reply
    March 6, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Very yammy I used special in a almonds biscuits

  • Reply
    March 20, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Excellent, easy and versatile recipe. I forgot to add the butter and it was still rich and creamy. So delighted to be able to put ALL those leftover yolks to great use! Thanks for a super recipe!

  • Reply
    March 23, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Hi, how would you make this with oranges? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Pavlova with Blueberry Curd and Strawberries – Paws in the Kitchen
    April 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    […] can use butter instead of oil. The recipe I started with, for lemon curd, calls for 5 tbsp butter. I omitted it because I planned to serve this to someone who can’t […]

  • Reply
    May 17, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Novice baker here- do you use salted or unsalted butter? TY!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Unsalted butter. Sorry for the delay in my reply

    Leave a Reply