If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may know that citrus items haven’t always been high up on the list of foods I enjoy, and citrus curds are darn near the bottom.  However, this key lime curd may have just converted me.  I originally made it for use in a cupcake (more about that tomorrow).  I ended up making far more than I actually needed for the cupcakes and was completely surprised when I found myself returning to the bowl to take just one more little taste…well, a lot of times.

If you already knew you liked citrus curds, then it’s not news to you that you can do so much with them – fill tartlets, top scones or muffins, stir into yogurt, fill layer cakes, or layer into trifles.  I’m sure there are plenty more uses that I haven’t even thought of.  I’ve made citrus curds quite a few times before and this is the best recipe I’ve tried, both in flavor and in ease of preparation.  So, whip up a batch today and tomorrow I’ll share a wonderful cupcake recipe to help use it up!


3 large eggs
¾ cups sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice*
4 tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces


  • 01

    In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the eggs and sugar.  Whisk together until well blended.  Whisk in the key lime juice.  Place the pan over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring or whisking constantly, until the mixture is warmed through.  Be careful not to heat the mixture too quickly to avoid curdling the eggs.  Whisk in the butter a little bit at a time, stirring in each addition until completely incorporated before adding more.  Continue to cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens and a spoon or spatula leaves a path when drawn through it (no higher than 175˚ F on an instant-read thermometer.)  Immediately remove the pan from the heat and pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.  Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.  (This keeps up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)

  • 02

    *This can certainly be made with regular old limes if you can’t find key limes, as well as other types of citrus – lemon, orange, etc.


  • I’m not usually a big citrus dessert person, but key limes are absolutely the exception. I grew up in the keys and it is the number one food that tastes like home! I’m actually going down for a visit in a couple weeks, I think I’m going to have to stock up on juice…

  • mmmm I would love to make tarts with this :) delicious!

  • MelanieL

    This looks so delicious! I’ve wanted to try making lemon curd for a long time, I need to do it! I’m curious if you’ll be making an appearance at Pioneer Woman’s book signing in Noblesville today? :)

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    This kinda scares me…but I like that. I need to step outside of my box!

  • CooknBooknBeadn

    This sounds yummy and definitely something I need to make very soon.

  • I love citrus curds – this one looks lovely!

  • Key lime pie might just be my favorite dessert ever, so reading about this curd makes my mouth water!

  • Ashley

    Try folding in some whipped cream and freezing it in a loaf pan, then enjoy a slice with raspberry (or other berry) sauce. So yummy! (Maybe not the healthiest though :D)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm so yummy Annie! I could eat this on almost everything!

  • pat1645

    The recipe sounds great, but I must compliment you on your gorgeous pictures. So colorful!

  • This sounds wonderful. I love curd and would also keep returning for another wee taste :)

  • Guest

    This looks so good!
    I think you should also give a lemon bar recipe :)

  • annieseats

    Well, thank you!

  • annieseats

    I didn’t even realize she was in our area! I worked all day anyway.

  • I am a curd virgin, but if you insist that this is great, I’m willing to try it. :) I like the idea of putting it in tartlets and then putting fresh fruit on top. Hmmmm…. :)

  • I am really looking forward to the cupcake recipe… I always love yours and how beautifully they bake up and taste! And this curd looks so delicious, I can’t wait to make it!!

  • Ghlee92

    Looks gorgeous!!!! :D going to try this this weekend! How many limes did you use to make 1/4cup of juice? I’ll be going grocery shopping soon :)

  • Brenda

    Hi Annie. The lime curd looks fabulous, I am planning on making it ASAP, but I’m wondering what is it that you are serving it on? Is it a scone? It looks so buttery, crumbly delicious!!!

  • Looks easy and tasty!!! I need to make this, this weekend!! Perfect for spooning into my yogurt!!

  • annieseats

    It is a scone that is pictured :)

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure, I didn’t count. It would depend on the size and juiciness of your limes anyway. Enjoy!

  • Bks823

    Sounds good — Where did you get the jars from?

  • annieseats

    My grocery store.

  • Bks823

    thanks I will have to look for them.

  • Wendyb964

    Though my mum was English, neither she nor anyone in my family likes citrus curd or marmalade.I, however, can, ahem, eat it with a spoon. Perhaps not as high on the list as nutella and bischoff spread, if purchased it does come in single serving (4 oz)jars, lol. With a plethora of meyer lemon trees I often make it but find it hard to give away until someone tries it (fruit parfaits with whipped cream and granola) is an easy way to have it last longer. If I get off my hiney, I’ll toddle off to the kitchen and make some with more citrus including limes on the shopping list for later. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I don’t know which one I like more – the pictures or the recipe! :) Both look terrific. Can’t wait to try this soon.. oh so many possibilites!

  • Sandi

    We tried a lime cupcake with a whipped cream frosting I found on another site. The cupcake was very good but we did not like the icing. I scraped it all off and decided to try this lime curd and a meringue frosting instead. All I can say is awesome! I also could not help taking spoonfuls of the lime curd as is.

  • Aliza

    I have to comment on how gorgeous your pictures are! really unbelievable. The details of each picture are amazing and I specifically love this one with the colors. Really impressive. I wish I could photograph like you!

  • annieseats

    Thank you so much!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed them!

  • Lynn in AK

    I’ve never tried lime curd but am now anxious to! I make lemon curd on a regular basis so my girls and I can have it on scones for our tea parties. One shortcut I discovered is to dump all the ingredients into my VitaMix and blend for 5 minutes (170 degrees) and voila… you have lemon curd! Super easy and I think it would work with the lime curd, too.

    I’m a native Hoosier who now lives in Alaska. I’m going to have to search your blog for salmon recipes. :)

  • Lwebber29

    I’m going to try this tonight to use with cupcakes. One tip for others – if you can’t find key limes, look for a bottle of Nelly & Joe’s Key Lime Juice at the grocery store (Kroger for me). Mine has it in with the mixers for liquor.

  • Erik

    I’m not a huge fan of curd, but I do make a triple-berry curd from time to time that’s quite good and not as acidic as lemon curd. This sounds like a nice change of pace. Key limes aren’t particularly easy to find here, but I’ve used bottled key lime juice for my key lime pie and key lime poundcake. Do you think it would be okay in this recipe, or would the fact that it’s not ‘fresh’ be apparent in the finished product?

  • annieseats

    Supposedly you can use bottled but I haven’t tried it myself with this particular recipe. It’s possible it’s the “fresh factor” that is making a difference here for me, or maybe it’s just the recipe itself. If you use bottled, please let me know how it works out for you!

  • What would you do if you don’t have a fine mesh strainer?

  • annieseats

    I recommend buying one. It’s an indispensable kitchen tool to me, and cheap.

  • Nessa

    i have a question.. what do we keep after we strain? =)

  • annieseats

    The lime curd :)

  • Suze

    OMG – I had been hanging onto this recipe since it came out, and FINALLY sat still long enough to make it tonight. It is YUMMY! I am going to whisk it into yogurt in the morning.

    I just love your recipes and site and pics and everything. I do low carb, and convert as much as I can. I made this with 3/4 cup granular erythritol that I powdered (it doesn’t dissolve well) and about 1/16th tsp of pure stevia powder. I started to wonder if it was ever going to thicken, and if it was because of the sweeteners. But it finally did! And it is wonderful.

    Thanks so much!

  • danielle

    I have been trying to find out if curds would be appropriate to put in a hot water bath and keep longer than the 2 or so weeks, any idea?

  • annieseats

    If you are referring to hot water bath canning, you should only can recipes that have been tested and approved specifically for that purpose. This recipe is not tested for canning purposes.

  • xTina.

    i was so afraid in making this, but it turns out WONDERFULLY! thank you !! <3

  • sonia

    Does this have to be refrigerated for a certain amount of time before it can be used in the cupcakes?

  • annieseats

    Not really, but it should be cool before the whipped cream is added and before serving.

  • Trisha

    i am not sure what happened here. i used a non reactive pan (stainless steel) and even took care to make sure that the strainer and whisk were also non-reactive. the wonderful taste of the curd is overpowered by an intense metallic taste. so disappointed and frustrated, since i made a double batch :(

  • Ya

    Hi Annie, Can I use in tarts? Will the curd set? Thanks

  • annieseats

    You can use it in tarts. It won’t set exactly, but as long as it’s made correctly and thickens up adequately, it won’t be too runny for a tart.