When Life Gives You Lemons: Canning Lemon Curd Recipe

lemon curd next to sliced lemons
Canning lemon curd is easy to do in a water bath canner. Ensure the water is at 180°F before you place the filled jars inside the canner and process them. This will help preserve homemade lemon curd without curdling the eggs in the mixture and allow long-term storage.

What is the Best Way to Can Lemon Curd?

Per the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the best way to can lemon curd is by using the water bath canning method.

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lemon curd in jar

Water Bath Canning Lemon Curd Recipe

  • Author: Patrick
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes


You can easily prepare this homemade lemon curd recipe with whole eggs, sugar, fresh lemons, and unsalted butter. Use your homemade lemon curd as a topping for scones or as a delectable filling for cakes, pies, and tarts!


  •  7 large egg yolks
  • 4 Whole eggs
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice or lime juice
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter


  1. Start by washing 4 half-pint canning jars and canning lids in warm, soapy water. Rinse well, and keep the jars hot.
  2. Fill the bottom pot of your double boiler with a few inches of water and let it come to a gentle boil.
  3. Fill the water bath canner with water. Turn on the heat and ensure the temperature reaches 180°F (but no higher).
  4. In another bowl, whisk the lemon zest and sugar together vigorously and set aside.
  5. Pour the egg yolks and the whole eggs into the top part of the double boiler and incorporate the lemon zest and sugar mixture, stirring continuously.
  6. Carefully incorporate the lemon juice, a few teaspoons at a time, while whisking.
  7. Place the mixture over the boiling pot to create the double boiler and allow the steam to begin heating the mixture.
  8. As the mixture warms, add in the cold, unsalted butter while stirring continuously to ensure the butter is fully incorporated.
  9. Continue cooking the mixture until the temperature reaches 170°F, and then remove it from the heat.
  10. Use a mesh strainer to strain the mixture, and then ladle the curd into half-pint jars, leaving half an inch of headspace.
  11. Wipe the rims with a paper towel, and apply the canning lids. Add the screw bands and tighten them to ensure they are fingertip tight.
  12. Make sure the water in the prepared canner is at 180°F before placing the filled jars into the canner.
  13. Let the canner come to a rolling boil, and then start your timer for 15 minutes.
  14. Once the 15 minutes are up, use a jar lifter to carefully remove the jars from the canner and let the jars cool to room temperature.
  15. Check that each of the jars is sealed after 12–24 hours. If any jars are unsealed, refrigerate and use the contents within 2-3 days.
  16. Label all sealed jam jars and store your homemade lemon curd in a cool, dark place.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Canning Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • Serving Size: 2 tbsp
  • Calories: 110kcal
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Fat: 5.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 85mg

How Long Does it Take to Can Lemon Curd?

Canning lemon curd takes around an hour, including prep time and cooking time. The processing time is 15 to 20 minutes of the total time.

How is Lemon Curd Different from Lemon Jelly?

Lemon curd and lemon jelly contain different ingredients.

Lemon curd is a rich and creamy spread made from fresh lemons, egg yolks, sugar, and butter. It is used as a topping or filling for desserts.

Lemon jelly is a sweet and tangy spread made with fresh lemon juice, gelatin, and sugar. It has a firm texture and is often served with whipped cream or on its own.

Woman cracking eggs into a bowl next to a block of butter and pile of lemon zest
Ingredients for lemon curd

What are the Benefits of Canning Lemon Curd?

  • Consuming canned lemon regularly may reduce the risk of gout
  • Due to its acidity, consuming lemons can be beneficial for skin health
  • Lemon curd is a versatile ingredient that can be used in desserts and pastries
  • Lemon curd is rich in vitamin C and a great source of potassium
  • Lemon curd is packed with powerful antioxidants that can help fight cell damage

Can You Add Lemon Zest to Canned Lemon Curd?

Yes – you can add lemon zest when canning lemon curd, but it is optional. The natural oils in the lemon zest will enhance the lemon flavor.

What is the Shelf Life of Lemon Curd?

The NCHFP recommends storing canned lemon curd in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks or in the freezer for 6 to 12 months. Cold temperatures extend the shelf life of lemon curd.

Lemon curd has a shelf life of 2 to 4 weeks when stored at room temperature.

Does Lemon Curd Go Bad?

Yes, lemon curd can go bad because it contains butter and eggs. If your lemon curd has visible mold, a slimy texture, or smells sour, discard it.

Tips for Storing Lemon Curd

  • As with other fruit curds, always use clean spoons when scooping it
  • For best results, store lemon curd in a cool, dark place
  • Place plastic wrap over the curd as it cools to prevent skin formation
  • Store it in airtight containers and keep it refrigerated if not in use


Patrick has a farming background and is a full-time food writer and recipe creator. His goal is to help you discover how fantastic canning is by sharing his knowledge. Outside of the kitchen, Patrick enjoys outdoor activities and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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