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How to Make Refined Sugar Free Lemon Curd

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Learn how to make refined sugar free lemon curd at home without any leftover egg whites! A tart and slightly sweet condiment perfect for topping fruit scones, filling cakes and tart cases, and slathering on pancakes and french toast. This recipe uses the entire egg to set the curd and is naturally sweetened with agave syrup.

a spoon taking a dollop of refined sugar free lemon curd out of a small glass jar

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An easy refined sugar free lemon curd recipe

Homemade citrus curds are one of my simple pleasures. If we’re new friends, you should know that I am mighty obsessed with citrus desserts – lemon, grapefruit, lime, orange – I love them all!

So it was only a matter of time before I showed you exactly how to make my tangy and flavourful Refined Sugar Free Lemon Curd.

Trust me, once you try making homemade lemon curd, you will NEVER go back to store-bought. This recipe is very easy to make and tastes absolutely divine. It’s incredibly zingy with slightly sweet notes from the agave syrup. I know you’re going to love the flavour!

The best part about this recipe? It uses the entire egg, so you never have to worry about leftover egg whites when you’re making lemon curd again!

a plate serving a pair of scones and a jar of homemade lemon curd with one scone halved and topped with the curd

Is lemon curd the same as lemon jam?

No, curds are created by thickening the juice from the fruit with eggs, sugar, and butter, whereas jams involve breaking down the whole fruit.

What ingredients you’ll need for this lemon curd recipe

To make this homemade lemon curd, you’ll need just 5 main ingredients:

  • Lemons: We can’t make lemon curd without lemons! For this recipe, you’ll ideally want medium sized lemons that are unwaxed because we’ll be using the zest as well.
  • Eggs: Whole large eggs are the thickening agent for this curd.
  • Agave syrup: To cut through the sharp tang of the lemon juice, we’ll be using agave syrup to naturally sweeten this lemon curd recipe. It provides all the sweetness we need with a neutral flavour.
  • Unsalted butter: Butter is what gives lemon curd its richness and silky texture. You don’t want to leave this out or mess with it.
  • Salt: A little bit of seasoning goes a long way to bring out the flavour of the lemon and makes the agave just a tiny bit sweeter.
a trifle glass filled with meringue pieces, refined sugar free lemon curd and blueberries

How to make refined sugar free lemon curd

I think people panic when it comes to making lemon curd at home because they think it’s a big upheaval and easy to mess up. But with a little bit of practice using this simple recipe, you can make it in less than 20 minutes! Here’s how:

  1. Cream together the butter, agave syrup, lemon zest, and salt until light and airy in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Crack in the eggs and mix well. Slowly pour in the lemon juice while whisking continuously until well combined.
  3. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  4. Remove the curd from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof glass jar. Allow the curd to come to room temperature and then seal and chill in the fridge until set.

Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.

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Uses for homemade lemon curd

I love this refined sugar free lemon curd on scones, but there are myriad ways to use it. Here are just a few examples:

How to store lemon curd

Ideally you want to store this refined sugar free lemon curd in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. It will keep for 7-10 days.

If you can’t eat all the curd within the 10 days, you can also freeze it. Decant the curd into a freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost, place it in the fridge until it thaws.

a small glass jar filled with homemade lemon curd with an antique spoon sticking out of it sitting on a marble table

Lemon Curd FAQ

Have a question about making refined sugar free lemon curd? Let’s get you some answers! If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to leave a comment below.

How much sugar is in lemon curd?

Traditional lemon curd contains about 70g of sugar per 60ml of lemon juice.

However, this refined sugar free lemon curd recipe doesn’t use any white sugar at all! We’re using just 60ml of agave syrup to naturally sweeten the curd instead.

What does butter do in refined sugar free lemon curd?

Butter creates the silky, creamy texture that is characteristic of lemon curd. It also provides a richness that helps cut through the sharp citrus.

a plate serving a pair of scones and a jar of homemade lemon curd with one scone halved and topped with the curd

Why is my lemon curd not thickening?

Depending on how much curd you’re making and the heat you’re using, it can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to thicken. If you haven’t reached the 10-minute mark yet, just keep heating it and stirring.

This refined sugar free lemon curd also continues to thicken as it sets in the fridge, so keep that in mind too.

Should I strain my lemon curd?

Yes, I recommend always straining homemade lemon curd. This step will remove the zest from the curd, which creates a super smooth and creamy texture, and it will get rid of any cooked egg white or lumps that may have separated from the emulsion.

Why does my lemon curd taste eggy?

An “eggy” flavour in lemon curd results from overcooking the egg whites. This usually happens from using too high of a heat – the eggs heat up too fast and scramble.

That’s why I prefer to use a double-boiler for this refined sugar free lemon curd recipe to heat the curd low and slow and not on a direct heat.

a spoon taking a dollop of refined sugar free lemon curd out of a small glass jar

How long does lemon curd take to set?

You’ll want to let your lemon curd cool to room temperature first – which can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes – and then set it in the fridge for at least an hour to thicken up and chill.

How do you know if refined sugar free lemon curd is bad?

The biggest indication is smell. If your curd smells whiffy or like rotten eggs, it’s probably best to chuck it and make a new batch.

Another way to know your lemon curd has gone bad is if it’s begun to separate or break down.

Why did my lemon curd turn green?

Your lemon curd may have turned green because you used an aluminium or copper pan or bowl. These metals react with the acid in lemon and cause the green hue. It is still safe to eat but may taste a little metallic. I would recommend using a glass bowl and creating a double boiler for this recipe.

Learn how to make refined sugar free lemon curd at home without any leftover egg whites! A tart and slightly sweet condiment perfect for topping fruit scones, filling cakes and tarts, and slathering on pancakes and french toast. This recipe uses the entire egg to set the curd and is naturally sweetened with agave syrup.

Tips for making this recipe perfectly

  • Be sure to buy unwaxed lemons for this recipe. Because we’re using the zest of the lemons as well as the juice, we don’t want to be eating the wax.
  • Use a double boiler. This will allow you to heat the curd low and slow over an indirect heat and prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • If the emulsion splits after adding the lemon juice, don’t panic. This is natural and it will come back together once you start to heat the mixture.

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If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this refined sugar free lemon curd recipe and tutorial by leaving a comment and rating below!

How to Make Refined Sugar Free Lemon Curd

Learn how to make refined sugar free lemon curd at home without any leftover egg whites! A tart and slightly sweet condiment perfect for topping fruit scones, filling cakes and tarts, and slathering on pancakes and french toast. This recipe uses the entire egg to set the curd and is naturally sweetened with agave syrup.

Category Dessert, Frostings & Fillings
Cuisine American, British, Canadian, French
Keyword homemade lemon curd, how to make lemon curd, lemon curd, lemon curd recipe, sugar free lemon curd
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves 350 ml
Author Amanda | Naturally Sweet Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 50 g soft unsalted butter
  • 60 ml agave syrup
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest (about 3 medium lemons)
  • tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 100 ml fresh lemon juice (about 3 medium lemons)

Method

  1. Place a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water over a medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.

  2. In a large heatproof glass bowl, cream together the butter, agave syrup, lemon zest, and salt until light and airy.
  3. Crack in the eggs and mix well. Slowly pour in the lemon juice while whisking continuously until well combined.
  4. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (approximately 10 minutes).
  5. Remove the curd from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a sealable glass jar. Allow the curd to come to room temperature and then seal and chill in the fridge until set – about 1 hour.

Notes

The lemon curd will keep sealed in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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