Canned Lemon Curd

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I love lemons.
I love the taste, the smell, even the color.
Lemons make me smile.

And lemon curd is just the best. I hate that it’s called curd though. The word curd just sounds like sour milk. Not the delicious sweet, sour nectar that it really is.

Once you get your hands on some lemon curd there are so many things you can do with it. From pies and tarts to cookies, bread and cakes. Or just eat it on a biscuit or slice of bread.

But finding Lemon curd around here isn’t easy. The first time I went looking for it, I checked all the local grocery stores, even Walmart, nothing. My mom finally found me some in a little tea shop. Close to $6.00 for a small jar of this deliciousness.

I knew you could make it but I’d just never looked into it.

Then the other day I was doing a search about using bottled lemon juice and I came upon this post from A Gardener’s Table. It went into great detail about using real lemon juice, fresh squeezed  versus bottled. A great article. But almost at the end was a link to the Oregon State University Extension Service for canning Lemon Curd.

Canning Lemon Curd. I love to can things.

Click. Reading through the instructions, I can do this. And the best part? At least for me, anyway, they recommend using bottled Lemon juice! Yay!!!!! I’m not into fresh squeezing 15-20 lemons just to get 1 cup of juice. And since it’s bottled juice, which I always have on hand, I’ll be able to make this any time I feel like it. A rainy day, in the dead of winter.

And Lemons make me smile, lemon curd makes me smile even more.

Lemon Curd
yields 4 half pint jars

2 1/2 cups super fine sugar *
1 cup bottled lemon Juice
3/4 cups unsalted butter, cut and chilled
7 large egg yolks
4 large whole eggs

*If you don’t have super fine sugar, just place granulated sugar in a food processor for about 1 minute.

Prepare jars and keep hot until ready to use. I place hot water in mine and then just before using place in the microwave for 30 seconds to make sure they’re still hot.

Fill canner with enough water to cover filled jars by 1-2 inches. Heat water to 180 degrees but not higher. You want water to come to a boil after prepared jars are added as part of the processing.

You’ll be using a double boiler to make this. If you don’t have a double boiler just use a larger mixing bowl on top of your sauce pan. Heat water in your bottom pan, making sure water will not touch the bottom of your double boiler. In the top of your double boiler, on the counter, combine egg yolks and whole eggs. Whisk till well combined.

Add in sugar a little at a time, whisking well, till all added and combined.

Add in lemon juice.

Stir till combined and smooth.

Place double boiler on top of saucepan with the boiling water and add in chilled butter.

Stirring with a rubber spatula or spoon, cook until butter is melted and temperature reaches 170 degrees. It took mine about 15 minute to reach temperature.

When you get close to temperature, it will magically start to thicken.

Once you reach the temperature of 170 degrees, remove double boiler from pan and place on counter. Stir for about 5 minutes until you have the consistency of pudding.

Reheat jars in the microwave if needed. Fill jars leaving 1/2 inch head space.

Be sure to wipe rims and sides to remove any “drips”

Apply lids.

Check temperature of the water on your canner, making sure it’s at 180 degrees.

Place jars in canner, once water is boiling, continue to process for 15 minutes at 0-1,000 feet, 20 minutes at 1,001-6,000 feet and 25 minutes for above 6,000 feet.

Remove from canner when time is up and let sit for 12-24 hours then check for seals.

Canned lemon curd will keep for 3-4 months.

I’ll be posting some recipes this week of things you can make with your freshly made Lemon Curd. And if you’re looking for ideas for all those egg whites, why not make some Meringues. Just don’t use them all. You’ll want to save some. Trust me.

I’m linking up at some of these great parties and Carnival of Home Preserving.
Update June 1, 2012
There has been a lot of discussion as to whether it is safe to can Lemon Curd in the method used above. 
My Original source for the recipe was found here from the Oregon State University: 
The same recipe appears from the National Center for Food Preservation, University of Georgia
And there is an article from the NCFP UGA for Freezing Lemon Curd here

I have sent an E-mail to the University of Georgia Extension Service asking for clarification on the issue of safety and will also contact my local extension agent to see if he can get me a speedier answer. I certainly don’t want to share bad/mis-information just my love of canning and Lemon Curd.

While I wait for a response to my inquiry Always practice food safety when canning. The NCFP is full of information and I urge you to take a look. or you can contact your local Extension Agent. 

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. I love lemon curd and have been looking for a recipe to make it. And of course love the idea of canning it for later! Just dropping in from Serendipity and Spice to a visit and a follow. I would love it if you put Freedom Fridays on your list and share this there:) (did I just say “love” like 3 times??)

  2. Fresh lemon juice makes homemade lemon curd even more yummy. Here’s an idea for one of your upcoming lemon curd posts – check out my post for lemon curd ice cream. Yummy stuff.

  3. Yum!

  4. I have never tried canning before, but you are tempting me to try! I just love lemon curd… on so many things! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  5. I love lemon curd!!! Looks so good in your pics!! (Egg whites make great facial materials, too!!)

  6. Wow everybody wanna take it.
    Atkins Products

  7. Had to pin this one, Joan. Love lemon curd!

  8. I hate to be a pill but canned lemon curd at home isn’t safe. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, anything with butter or eggs isn’t safe to can at home. Home canning doesn’t get enough heat to be shelf stable. Commercial canning does. It’s okay for the fridge though.

    • Renee, thanks for your input. I was worried about canning it myself but since this recipe comes from the University of Oregon’s Extension Service, I can assume it’s safe. I hope you read through the entire post before making judgments and also clicked on the link to the extension service. I often worry about what I can but also take canning with a grain of salt. I’ve read articles that say you can’t can something with butter in it but then Ball recommends in their recipes adding a teaspoon of butter to remove foam from jellies and jams.

    • Renee I find it funny that the National Center for Home Food Preservation says “canned lemon curd at home isn’t safe”. Here is the link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation recipe for home canned Lemon Curd.

  9. I just adore lemon curd! Especially as a filling for cupcakes–so good!

  10. Joan, this looks so lemony wonderful! I hope to get this made while my Mom is visiting. She loves lemon curd. Cheers friend! Simply Gourmet Photography

  11. I’m putting some of this in my pantry for sure! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  12. My grandma used to make Lemon Curd – what a clever idea to can it! I’m a new follower from Naptime Delights. I hope you’ll stop by!


  13. I am not the biggest lemon fan but your curd looks lovely!

  14. I LOVE thing made with lemon. I’ve pinned this. I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  15. mouth watering…

  16. I think I could make this… it would be nice to have on hand for lemon bars etc. I would love it if you would share this on foodie friday today.

  17. Joan,

    I love, love lemon curd. And it’s so easy to make -no tempering. Even though I have made it lots, I have never canned it. That’s a great idea! Then maybe it would keep my from sneaking a spoon of it from the fridge all day long. (Even my kids eat it like pudding.)

    I followed you over from the Pity Party linky party. I would love if you stopped by my blog.

    Thanks for sharing,
    fellow lemon lover


    when I read the article given in a previous post above (Developed at The University of Georgia for NCHFP, posted on NCHFP Dec 2004):
    it says you CAN can lemon curd,

    yet another article (written August 2004) from NCHFP said the opposite:
    clearly stating to freeze or refrigerate lemon curd CANNOT BE CANNED

    I don’t can eggs/dairy/fat as my personal rule – I know some people do but when there is so much conflicting information I think it’s better to be safe for my family and store recipes like these in the fridge or freezer. It looks like a very yummy recipe though! I make lemon and lime curd quite often and keep it in my refrigerator 🙂

    • Meegs, thanks so much for your interest. I love all the discussion that is being brought up and all those that still love to can, giving input. I read bot of the articles you sited. The first one is the same one I got my information from, apparently Extension Services share information and documentation, saying you CAN can Lemon Curd.
      The second document you posted doesn’t say you can’t can it, just gives the method for freezing when discussing the storage of Lemon Curd.
      I have sent an E-mail to the University of Georgia Extension Service asking for clarification on the issue of safety and will also contact my local extension agent to see if he can get me a speedier answer. I certainly don’t want to share bad/mis-information just my love of canning and Lemon Curd.

  19. Laura @ Laura Williams Musings says:

    Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog today and every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

  20. thanks for following it up with the university Joan!
    it’s tricky when there is so much conflicting information, isn’t it 🙁
    but all of the discussion shows how many fans there are out there that LOVE lemon curd – I’m eagerly awaiting my lemon tree to ripen over the next few weeks and I can get into making a stash of lemon curd too!! 🙂

  21. p.s. i should have mentioned that both recipes (links) have the same ingredients, which is why i thought they conflicted with each other …

  22. LOVE! Pinning.

  23. Yum yum 😀

  24. I LOVE that I came across this idea. We all have to decide what is right for ourselves…guess there will be controversy about most anything. I think this is awesome – Pinning!!!

  25. This sounds soooooo good. Appreciate you adding the differences of opinion as an afterthought. I’ve canned for a lot of years and sometimes get quite irritated with some of the newer ideas of what’s not safe. Our society has gotten so “politically correct” and worried about all the possibilities, we’ve almost become a sterile society. Will look forward to seeing your response from the University of Georgia.


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