how to fix runny lemon curd

The question; “how to fix runny lemon curd” is a widely asked question in the cooking world.

This is because we sometimes make slight errors when following a recipe. After all, we are human.

It could be an issue with the measurements of the ingredients or the duration of a process.

This could result in getting terrible results like over-whipped egg whites or overcooked apple pie, or in this case, runny lemon curd.

lemon curd

Luckily for you, this article will be taking you through the step-by-step process of restoring a runny lemon curd.

The best way to fix a runny lemon curd is to thicken it with things like butter, extra eggs, or in some cases, cornstarch.

How To Thicken Lemon Curd

The best way to get your lemon curd thickened is by paying close attention to the following factors.

So no matter the recipe, these factors will be responsible for the thickening of lemon curd.

Factors Responsible For Thickening Lemon Curd

thickening lemon curd


The best way to thicken lemon curd is to apply enough heat.

It turns out that the reason most curds fail is that the egg yolks aren’t boiled long enough to thicken them. 

If you realize that your lemon curd isn’t thick enough, then the first thing you must go looking for is how much heat you used. 

It takes 30 minutes at minimum to completely heat lemon curd. Within the thirty, there must be consistent stirring and much more if the curd in question is plenty.

Once the curd has cooled, it will thicken much more. And if it is not as thick as you want after cooling, then reheat it once more.

Do so by placing everything back using a large saucepan and heating to medium.

Butter And Cornstarch


Cornstarch and butter are entirely optional!

Cornstarch is utilized to guarantee that the curd thickens perfectly, but it is not actually needed. Without it, it still will thicken.

The butter cuts the acidity of the lemon juice while also keeping the curd pliable and squishy.


Egg yolks or whole eggs can be used to make lemon curd or even a mixture of the two.

eggs on tray

A curd made from egg yolks rather than whole eggs will be more vivid, bright, and rich.

You can increase the number of whole eggs or egg yolks in your recipe if you prefer exceptionally thick curd.

Tip: Reduce the number of eggs in your recipe for a thinner, easier-to-pour curd.

Lumpy Lemon Curd?

Because it hasn’t been continuously stirred or the eggs have cooked in the mixture, lemon curd may become lumpy.

You can filter the lumps out of the curd if there are only a few.

lumpy lemon curd on bread

For lump-free curd, you have to stir continuously throughout the entire cooking process.

Then you have to heat the curd in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. 

Make sure the bowl isn’t in contact with the water.

After dipping a spoon into the curd, brush your fingers along the back of the spoon.

If it leaves a clear mark in the curd, it has cooked thoroughly and is ready to chill.

The curd will thicken even more after it has completely cooled. Pour into a jar, seal it, and put it in the refrigerator.

Tip: This method may take more time but it is definitely worth it.

How To Fix Runny Lemon Curd

fix runny lemon curd

When faced with a runny curd, fear not because there’s still hope.

You see most people believe there is no remedy for runny lemon curd but they are wrong.

Here is how to fix lemon curd that is too runny.

Step #1: Reheat Your Lemon Curd

Place your lemon curd back over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Use a spoon or a whisk to stir.

Use a thermometer; aim for 170 degrees.

Occasionally, you must maintain it in the proper position and you must continuously stir or whisk the mixture while heating it. 


Under no circumstances should you boil it.

Pour it through a sieve into a clean bowl after you are certain it is done, allow it to cool for a few minutes, then cover it with plastic wrap and chill.

Note: Avoid letting it cool in the skillet you cooked it in since that could cause the curd to keep heating up and result in scrambled eggs.

Step #2: Add More Eggs

Whisk about two to three eggs, depending on the amount of lemon curd that needs thickening.

After making sure it is perfectly whisked, place the lemon curd in a saucepan and gradually heat.

add whisked eggs

Then add the egg gradually to the already heating lemon curd. Stir the lemon curd with a whisk until it is thoroughly combined.

Continue whisking as the curd cooks to make sure the egg yolks don’t curdle. For around 10 minutes, whisk and boil the mixture until it thickens.

Tip: Increase the heat while whisking continuously if the curd isn't thickening.

Step #3: Add More Butter

Dice your bar of butter into tiny little cubes. And add the little tiny cubes into an already heated lemon curd.

Use a spatula to mix it gently together until the butter has dissolved and it is finely mixed. Then leave it to cool and thicken.

more butter

Step #4: Add Cornstarch

Mix about a handful of cornstarch with a few drops of warm water till it dissolves into a fine paste.

Place the lemon curd in a saucepan and allow it to heat up. Gradually add the paste to the lemon curd and stir until the mixture is perfectly even.

Let it heat for about 8 to 10 while stirring it continuously. Check for doneness and then leave to cool for a while.

If it doesn’t thicken, repeat the process.

Tip: Don't add too much cornstarch because it can make the lemon curd lose its taste.

How To Fix Over Thick Lemon Curd

over thick lemon curd

Now that we know all we need to know on how to thicken runny lemon curd, we can now move to other issues.

Lemon curd always becomes thicker as it cools, so you could discover that the final product is thicker than you anticipated.

If this occurs, the simplest approach to thin it is to whisk in a small amount of additional lemon juice. 

Add approximately half a teaspoon at a time since you don’t want to add too much until it reaches the correct consistency. 

It doesn’t need to be heated, simply whisk the juice into curd that is room temperature.

Also, when making a new batch of lemon curd, make sure to reduce the number of eggs to ensure that it doesn’t get too thick.


faqs lemon curd

How Long Does It Take For Lemon Curd To Thicken and can it be reheated?

As the butter melts, you’ll see that it starts to become smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high after it is smooth, then cook it while constantly stirring until the curd thickens.

There will be a 15-minute wait.

Reheating it can be a bit challenging. But it can be done by putting it in a small saucepan and then reheating it over the lowest heat.

You can then slowly stir it but be careful as  It will burn if heated to a high temperature.

lemon curd in jar

Can Lemon Curd Be Overcooked and Does It Require Straining?

Yes, although, an overcooked lemon curd won’t be smooth; it will instead turn lumpy.

This is because the longer heat is applied to the lemon curd, the higher the chances of the egg turning into scrambled eggs.

The curd can also be strained before cooling to remove the zest for a silkier texture.

But if you prefer the flavor and texture without the zest, you can skip this step.


Sometimes life throws at us runny lemon curd, and sometimes it’s over-thick lemon curd. The main thing is we now know how to fix a runny lemon curd

This will help in making various lemon curd recipes.

I hope this article has been able to answer not only the question that brought you here but other likely questions you didn’t know you had.

Thank you very much for your time and patience.