This Small Batch Instant Pot Lemon Curd is really simple to make. It has only 4 ingredients and comes together in just 30 minutes in electric pressure cooker with no hands-on cooking. Easy and delicious! It is a perfect summer treat or gift.
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When I began experimenting in the kitchen, I actually started with baking first. But instead of learning to make simple cupcakes or muffins, I dove right into complicated desserts: multi-layered mousse cakes, custards, homemade jams and curds.
Separating eggs, temperating, constant whisking when making pastry creams or curds never scared me. I thrived making those kinds of desserts.
That was me in some previous life. That was me 15 years ago.
Now, the easier the better. The fewer steps the more likely I’ll actually have time to make the dessert. So, days of lemon curds were long gone, that is until now.
I used to make Lemon Curd once every few years. It seemed a waste to spend all the time cooking the lemon curd to only make one cup but more than one cup was way too much to consume
Now, I can make a Small Batch Lemon Curd in my Instant Pot and it is one of the easiest and uncomplicated desserts there is. I am amazed at how simple Small Batch Instant Pot Lemon Curd is and how delicious it is. Smooth, sweet, and tart, it’s perfect to spread over fluffy brioche or crunchy cookies, add to cakes or ice creams, or just eat with a spoon!
Instant Pot Lemon Curd is a great summer recipe when you don’t want to spend time at the hot stove. It is also great for gift giving in the winter around Holidays!
Ingredients to make Instant Pot Lemon Curd
- Lemon juice (freshly squeezed!)
- Pure lemon extract (optional)
As you can see, ingredients are really simple and accessible. But here are some notes and variations for the recipe.
Variations for Lemon Curd
- Lemon zest
- I decided not to use lemon zest and instead I used pure lemon extract for extra lemony flavour. This makes this Lemon Curd even easier to make.
- Feel free to use lemon zest instead. If you do, then use a microplane zester to get the zest off.
- Lemon juice
- Depending on the size of the lemons, 2 lemons could yield between 1/3 to 1/2 cup of juice.
- You can follow the same directions and instructions with either 1/3 or 1/2 cup of lemon juice. No need to adjust other ingredients.
- I use this kind of juicer, it’s amazing! I only recently got it and love it!
- I usually like my desserts less sweet but this particular recipe is on the sweeter side.
- If you prefer less sweet desserts then you can reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup.
More Lemon Dessert Recipes:
How to make Small Batch Instant Pot Lemon Curd
When I was developing this recipe and technique, I wanted it to be as simple as possible. Most other instant pot lemon curd recipes either add softened butter into cooked and cooled lemon curd. Or, they use a food processor to blend softened butter with lemon juice and sugar before cooking.
I am positive that both of those versions yield great results but I wanted to make something even simpler than that.
I didn’t want to use an extra appliance like a food processor. And getting softened butter is usually a challenge in my kitchen. I do not have a microwave and I often forget to take the butter out of the fridge in advance.
So, I came up with a different technique. I use melted butter. And the result is the same as when softened butter is blended with lemon juice in a food processor. I know because I tried both of those to compare.
- Melt the butter.
- Combine and whisk all the ingredients in an oven-safe bowl that fits inside your Instant Pot.
- Cook in Instant Pot using a Pot in Pot (PiP) method.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the bits of cooked egg white. Yes, there will be cooked egg whites. It is not a problem!
- Cool and enjoy!
NOTE: Some people expressed concerns after watching the video that this lemon curd is not thick enough. The video was done with still uncooled lemon curd. It gets much thicker as it chills in the fridge and cools!
I love using Instant Pot to make Lemon Curd because I don’t have to worry about tempering the eggs, constantly whisking the pot, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom or bubbles over. All the guesswork is taken out of the process. It’s much less time-consuming and a lot easier!
What if eggs curdle in Lemon Curd?
Every time I cooked my lemon curd in Instant Pot, a little bit of the egg whites curdled. This may seem at first like a big problem but it is not!
All you have to do is pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve, so that the actual curd is strained and all the cooked egg whites are separated.
I promise, you will not taste any scrambled eggs at all.
More Instant Pot Dessert Recipes:
- Instant Pot Carrot Cake Bread Pudding
- Creamy Instant Pot Millet Porridge
- Instant Pot Chocolate Caramel Sauce (Chocolate Dulce de Leche)
- 3 Ingredient Instant Pot Nutella Cake Bites
- Instant Pot Gingerbread Cheesecake for Two
- Instant Pot Brownies (baked right in Instant Pot insert)
- Instant Pot Baked Apples (vegan and gluten-free)
What can you use for Pot in Pot cooking method?
Pot in Pot cooking method is when you use another pot to put inside your Instant Pot. So, what materials can you use in Instant Pot?
Technically, you can use any oven-safe material form inside Instant Pot. However, there are many discussions all over the internet where people say it’s unsafe.
Jenie from Jenuine Home has an absolutely wonderful Can Pyrex Go in Instant Pot article about safety of using Pyrex dishes in Instant Pot. I highly suggest you give it a read if you are worried about using glass inside Instant Pot.
Here are the various dishes that I used in my Instant Pot with no issues over the past many months:
- Corningware casserole
- Anchor glass bowl (I used this one during testing of Lemon Curd also)
- Pyrex bowls
- Lock & Lock Food storage containers (this is the one I used in this particular recipe as it’s smaller)
Please use at your own discretion.
How to use Small Batch Instant Pot Lemon Curd
Great thing about this recipe is that it makes a Small Batch Lemon Curd. I consistently get 1 and 1/4 cups of the curd with these proportions or just around 10 ounces. Because this recipe has such small yield, I am not worried about how to use it. A spoonful here and a couple more there and the whole batch is gone in no time.
However, here are a few other ideas on how to use Lemon Curd:
- On scones
- On warm Instant Pot No Knead Dinner Rolls slathered with butter
- Drizzled over vanilla ice cream
- Mixed with softened cream cheese as a fruit dip
- As a filling for cake
- As a filling for eclairs
- Peanut butter and lemon curd sandwiches
- With Traditional Russian Crepes
- In Lemon Cheesecake Rolls (recipe coming very soon)
How to store Instant Pot Lemon Curd
Lemon Curd should be stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge. It would keep for about 7-10 days.
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Small Batch Instant Pot Lemon Curd
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 3/4 cup sugar (feel free to reduce to 1/2 cup for less sweet lemon curd)
- 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter (1/4 stick/60 g)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- Add 1 cup of cold water to your Instant Pot and place a trivet inside.
- Close the lid of your Instant Pot and turn the valve to Sealing.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select 10 minutes. It will take about 5-6 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 10 minutes of cooking are done, do natural pressure release for 10 minutes. It means that you do not touch your Instant Pot for 10 minutes and do nothing.
- After 10 minutes of natural pressure release are done, do a quick release. This will take only a few seconds.
- Very carefully, as it'll be really hot, remove the bowl with Lemon Curd from Instant Pot.
- Remove the foil and mix really well. It will look a bit separated at first and it will most likely have a few pieces of cooked egg white. It is ok and not a problem.
- Pass the well-mixed Lemon Curd through a fine-mesh sieve to catch the cooked egg whites. Discard the egg whites.
- Transfer the Instant Pot Lemon Curd to a glass jar, cool on the counter for about 10-20 minutes and then refrigerate until fully chilled. Lemon Curd will thicken as it cools in the fridge.
- Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet lemon curd.
- I use a lemon juice squeezer similar to this one.
- Do not worry if some of the egg whites cook, it is fine. Just make sure to use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the lemon curd.
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