Key Lime Curd

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Sweet and tart Key Lime Curd is easy to make and is a delicious filling in cakes, cookies, or put a tasty addition to scones and muffins.

A jar of key lime curd with key limes beside it.

Key limes are hard to come by in our area.   They rarely make it to the market and when they do they sell out quickly.

So when Melissa’s Produce sent me several bags of key limes I couldn’t wait to use them.  I had ideas for making a key lime pie and key lime pound cake but I wanted to make something that I could use for a longer period of time.

I don’t know about you but I love fruit curds.  They are so versatile and they add a bright pop of flavor to any baked good or bread.  So I couldn’t wait to try and make key lime curd.


  • egg yolks (just the yolks, save the whites for meringues or angel food cake)
  • granulated sugar
  • key limes (they are usually in a bag at the market)
  • salt (I just use table salt in this recipe)
  • butter (I use unsalted butter but you can use whatever you have on hand)

It might surprise you to know that making fruit curds is actually really simple as long as you follow the directions.  It also doesn’t take too long.  I can make curd in about 30 minutes.

The biggest pain when making this key lime curd was juicing the limes.  Have you ever juiced a key lime?  They are super tiny so you need a whole lot of limes to get enough juice to make the lime curd.

Pin Image:  A jar of key lime curd with key limes beside it, text title, ingredients to make key lime curd.

I ended up putting a fine mesh sieve on top of a liquid measuring cup and squeezed the limes over top of it to strain out the seeds.  This made it much quicker to do then pick out the seeds individually.

What is a key lime?

Key limes are small, spherical limes that grow in tropical regions.   They are lighter in color than limes, being more of a yellow than green color.  They also have a lot more seeds than traditional limes.  The skins are thin so they don’t keep as long.  Key limes are super fragrant and tart and are best used to balance out the sugar in sweet recipes.

Do I have to use key limes?

You don’t have to but the flavor will be a little different.  If all you have are regular limes they will work fine and still give you big lime flavor.

How long does key lime curd last?

You can keep lime curd in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  I like to put mine in Mason jars and screw on the lids.  It makes them easy to store in the refrigerator and easy to keep fresh.

Can you freeze lime curd?

You can freeze lime curd but I will say that I have never done it.   Put the lime curd in an air tight container with 1/2 inch of headspace at the top and freeze for up to 1 year.  When ready to use thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Once the lime juice is ready this recipe comes together really quickly.  I find it easiest to make it in a double boiler.

In order to make a double boiler you need a large pot with several inches of water in the bottom.  It should be simmering, not boiling.  If the water is boiling you run the risk of the eggs scrambling in the bowl on top of the pot.

A close up of a jar of key lime curd with a spoonful of key lime curd.

You will need to whisk the curd constantly while it is on the double boiler.   It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes for the curd to thicken.  Once the curd begins to stick to the whisk you will know that you are close to it being finished.

More Lime Recipes:

Once the curd has thickened remove the bowl from the pot and whisk in the butter.  This will give the curd it’s rich, smooth flavor. 

Let the curd cool then use it in cakes, tarts, or on breads and muffins.  Store any additional key lime curd in an air tight container in the refrigerator.  (No judgement if you just want to eat the curd out of the jar with a spoon!)

If you’ve tried my Key Lime Curd or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:

A jar of key lime curd with a spoon in it.

Key Lime Curd

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Sweet and tart lime curd is easy to make.


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • zest of 4 key limes
  • 1/2 c. fresh key lime juice (about a pound of key limes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter


  1. In a heat proof bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, key lime zest, key lime juice, and salt.
  2. In a medium pan place 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Place the bowl over top of the pot creating a double boiler.
  4. Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until the curd has thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until smooth.
  6. Place in a jar and put in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


Recipe from Cooking LSL

A jar of key lime curd with a spoon in it.

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