can i use out of date lemon curd

This article is written expressly to answer the question “can I use out of date lemon curd“.

Well yes, you can. You see most food items tend to be edible even after they have exceeded their expiring date.

This simply means that a lemon curd should still be good for a while after it has expired.

Outdated lemon curd is most applicable to canned lemon curds. And most canned products last a few weeks after their expiration date.

This brings us back to the main question of the day “can one use out-of-date lemon curd?”

Lemon curd can be edible after its expiration date. If preserved well, it can even last longer than a few months.

Does Lemon Curd Go Bad?

lemon curd go bad

Just like every other perishable product, lemon curd can go bad if not stored or made properly.

Here are the possible causes for lemon curd to go bad.

The Instrument Used In The Preparation

Not only can your lemon curd go bad, but it can also develop a metallic taste after it is made.

For several reasons, your lemon curd could taste metallic and look weird.

The main cause is undoubtedly the use of aluminum or metal pots while making the curd.

This is a result of the reaction between the acid in the lemon and the metals in the pot.

If you use a metallic pot or bowl that is not lined, the acid in the lemon will react with the metals in the pot or bowl.

utensils for lemon curd

This, in turn, can make your lemon curd have a metallic taste.

Tip: Using a metallic pot or bowl can also give your lemon curd a weird greenish color.


The best thing to do if you don’t have a lined metallic pot is to use a heat-resistant ceramic bowl.

The ceramic bowl should be placed in such a way that it is hovering over boiling water.

After making sure that it is properly placed, you can use it to make your lemon curd.

Tip: Make sure to use a heat-resistant ceramic, for any other ceramic is liable to break.

The Lasting Period

lasting period of lemon curd

You should also consider how long the lemon curd has been sitting.

This is because the time the lemon curd has spent sitting out will undoubtedly alter how it tastes.

The lemon curd will most likely go bad if it goes past its lasting period or, as some people call it, its shelf life.


It’s best to stay on the safe side of things and steer clear of using foods or products that are over their expiration dates.

The lasting period of a lemon curd varies due to some factors.

How Long Can Lemon Curd Last?

how long lemon curd last

Like I said earlier, the lasting period of a lemon curd depends on some factors, the place of storage, for example.

Here are some factors that would determine how long a lemon curd can last.

Homemade Or Store-bought

The lasting period of store-bought lemon curd is longer than that of homemade lemon curd.

Lemon curd produced at home needs to be kept chilled at all times.

As long as it hasn’t been opened, store-bought lemon curd can be kept at room temperature. 

homemade or store bought curd

After being opened and chilled, store-bought lemon curd typically keeps for up to six months.

Homemade lemon curd has a shorter lasting period. In the refrigerator, it keeps for about one or two weeks.

Note: Store-bought lemon curd needs to be refrigerated after opening to extend the shelf life.

Place Of Storage

The lasting period of a lemon curd stored inside a fridge will differ from that which is stored in the freezer.

Lemon curd can be kept in the freezer for up to a year without losing its flavor or texture when defrosted.

lemon curd storage material

Before using, let frozen food melt for a day in the refrigerator. After defrosting, it should be consumed within a month.

Material Used For Storage

It is best advised to use a glass jar to store your lemon curd. The lids must have a tightly sealed cover to avoid gas from going in or out. 

A lemon curd lasts longer when stored in glass compared to when stored in a plastic or metallic container.

Can I Use Out Of Date Lemon Curd

Yes, you can use out of date lemon curd. However, you have to use the following steps, to ensure your lemon curd is still usable. 

use out of date lemon curd

Step #1: Prepare The Container Or Jar

Lemon curd keeps well in canning jars, but any glass container will do as long as the lid fits snugly.

To clean each container completely, use warm, soapy water. Use a clean dish towel to dry the jars after thoroughly rinsing off all the soap.

If you cleaned the jars before preparing the lemon curd, it is best to place them upside-down on a fresh cloth when doing other stuff.

This is to stop any impurities from getting inside the jar.

Step #2: Distribute The Curd

Use a large spoon to carefully distribute the lemon curd after making it. Sieve it to get rid of any residual lemon zest or egg. 

When handling the lemon curd, do so with caution.

Use oven mitts or a dish towel to protect your hands from burning, as the bowl is still going to be very hot.

distribute lemon curd

You might need to use a rubber spatula to remove all of the lemon curds from the bowl. This is due to the sticky nature of the substance.

Use a wet paper towel to clean the edge of the jar, for it is sure to get a little messy during distribution.

Step #3: Leave Space For Expansion

Leaving space at the top of the container will prevent it from breaking when the curd cools down since liquids expand as they cool.

In cases where the jars have been overfilled with curd, you can simply use a spoon to scoop some out. 

Tip: Doing this is crucial if you don't have time to let the jars cool before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Step #4: Cover The Curd With A Plastic Wrap

cover with plastic

Take a piece of plastic wrap and tear it off so that it is bigger than the jar’s lid.

Lay the plastic wrap flat against the curd by gently placing it over the jar and gently pressing it down.

If the curd was exposed to too much air while chilling, a thick layer would develop on top.

The consistency would be a little different from what you’d anticipate. Though, it is not a cause for alarm.

allow to cool

Step #5: Allow To Cool And Seal Shut

At this time, remove the lemon curd’s lids. Any pests or contaminants won’t be able to get inside the curd thanks to the plastic wrap.

You can proceed to seal the jar tightly after the jar is cool.

Peel the plastic wrap off the jars after they have cooled, then throw it away. It’s alright if a small amount of curd leaks out with the wrap.

Ensure that each jar’s lid fits securely and you are good to go.

How To Recognize A Spoilt Lemon Curd

recognize spoiled lemon curd


It doesn’t take rocket science to know that something is spoiled if it starts growing molds.

The spread needs to be stopped as soon as you notice any mold on the surface.


If your homemade lemon curd has been left open for weeks then it may have gone bad.

In that case, it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid consuming such curds.

overexposed curd

The same is true for a store-bought lemon curd if left open a few days past what the label suggests.

Change In Taste And Smell

If your lemon curd smells or tastes weird, you should dispose of it. The same applies when it loses its flavor.


In conclusion, the answer to the question “Can I use out of date lemon curd?” depends solely on what you feel comfortable with.

We’ve established that it is safe to use out-of-date lemon curd depending on the circumstances around it. 

So with all that has been said so far, I hope we’ve been able to answer the one question that brought us here in the first place.

Thank you for your time and patience.

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