Lemon Curd Store Bought: How Long Does It Really Last?

lemon curd store bought

Lemon curd is a delicious, tart, and tangy spread that is perfect for spreading on toast, using as a filling in cakes and pastries, or eating straight out of the jar with a spoon. Whether you enjoy it on its own, with fresh fruit, or as part of a more elaborate dessert, lemon curd is always a welcome treat.

While it is possible to make your own lemon curd at home, many people prefer to buy it pre-made from the store. But how long does store-bought lemon curd actually last?

Store bought lemon curd typically has a shelf life of about 2-3 weeks. However, there are a few things you can do to make it last longer

If you are wondering if you can make your lemon curd shelf life longer, then you have come to the right place. Not only that, we will discuss the difference between homemade and store bought lemon curd, and how to choose store bought lemon curd.

Homemade vs. Store Bought Lemon Curd: What’s the Difference?

Making lemon curd at home is easy and much cheaper than buying it from the store. Most people will say that their homemade lemon curd tastes so much better than store-bought, but this is, nonetheless, very subjective! 

There are pros and cons to both store-bought and homemade lemon curd. Store-bought is the best choice if you’re looking for a quick and simple solution. However, if you’re looking for a more authentic flavor, homemade is the better option.

Homemade curd uses real lemons, you need both the lemon juice and lemon zest. You can use your own taste, sweetness, and texture. You can balance the flavor and thickness. You can make your own best lemon curd. They are all done during the cooking process.

Store-bought lemon curd is usually made with less expensive ingredients, which can affect the flavor. Homemade lemon curd is typically made with fresh lemons, butter, and sugar. This results in a richer flavor that some say is worth the extra effort.

When it comes to texture, store-bought and homemade lemon curd can vary greatly. Store-bought tends to be smoother, while homemade can be more lumpy. If you’re looking for a specific texture, it’s best to make your own lemon curd.

How to Choose Store Bought Lemon Curd

You can buy lemon curd in store with so many options, but how do you know which store-bought brand to choose? 

Store-bought lemon curd is typically made with sugar, eggs, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Ingredient-wise, they are the same as with your homemade lemon curd.

There are, however, some general guidelines you can follow to avoid mistakes in lemon curd‘s buying. Here are some guidelines to help you make one before you buy one based on your needs.

  • When it comes to taste and flavour, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, so you’ll want to sample a few different brands before making a decision. It is obvious that the flavor is not as fresh as homemade lemon curd.
  • Avoid brands that use artificial flavoring or coloring – these will generally result in an inferior product. It is important to read the label of your store-bought lemon curd to make sure that it does not contain any artificial flavors or colors.
  • Look for brands that use fresh lemons rather than concentrate – this will give the curd a brighter flavor.
  • Once you’ve found a brand you like, pay attention to the ingredients list. The best curds will use butter and eggs from free-range chickens fed a natural diet. There is often a lot of sugar added to store-bought lemon curd, so you may want to pay attention.
If you are looking for a unique way to enjoy store-bought lemon curd, try pairing it with some savory foods. Try spreading it on top of a grilled cheese sandwich or adding it to a roasted chicken wrap. The possibilities are endless!

Shelf Life: Unopened vs. Opened Lemon Curd 

You shouldn’t be concerned if you’ve had your lemon curd for a while and are worried it might be spoiled. Given that lemon curd is made with lemons, it should be fine for a few days. These fruits do not spoil quickly.

But how long does it last? The shelf life of lemon curd depends on whether it is unopened or opened.

Unopened lemon curd will last for about 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Lemon curd can be frozen. Allow it to cool first, then pour it into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months

Once opened, however, the lifespan of lemon curd decreases to about 1-2 weeks. Of course, there’s the issue of how to store it. To prevent mold and bacterial growth, try to keep lemon curd in the fridge once it’s opened. 

So if you plan on using lemon curd frequently, it’s best to keep an unopened jar on hand.

If you do find yourself with an opened jar of lemon curd that you don’t think you’ll be able to use up within the next week or so, consider freezing it. Frozen lemon curd will last for several months and can be thawed and used as needed.

Can You Still Eat Expired Lemon Curd?

Many folks are unsure if they should eat lemon curd that has expired. Yes, you certainly can! But there are some considerations to make.

  • Look at the date of expiry. It should be OK to consume if it has just been out of date for a few days or weeks. It’s generally advisable to stay away from anything if it hasn’t been used in months or years.
  • Make sure the lemon curd is kept in the right way. It is highly recommended that you dispose of it in the trash if it has been out on the counter for a long period of time. Because it’s impossible to tell if food has gone bad once it starts to spoil. There is no taste or odor associated with microorganisms. And poisoning from tainted food is nothing to play around with.
  • Verify the consistency and color of the lemon curd. If the color has altered or seems dull, as well as the consistency, this is a warning sign. Check to see if the liquid is thicker or thinner than it was previously. This is also a bad sign.
  • Put your faith in your nose! Don’t consume the lemon curd if it smells odd or the jar smells foul, like sour milk. Always err on the side of caution instead of regret.
  • Last but not least, check the lemon curd container for any symptoms of deterioration. It is time to discard the lemon curd and jar if there is mold forming on their surface.

How to Tell if Lemon Curd is Bad, Rotten, or Spoiled?

Store-bought lemon curd generally lasts longer compared to homemade ones. This is due to the fact that nitric acid was added during the manufacturing process in store-bought curd, to prolong the product’s shelf life.

However, if not stored correctly, lemon curd from the store as well as from homemade can go bad. 

Here are a few indicators that your lemon curd has deteriorated, rotted, or gone bad.

  • It has a sour, off-putting smell. Lemon curd that smells sour or odd is usually rotten and shouldn’t be consumed.
  • The color has changed from a bright yellow to a dull brown. If your lemon curd has gone bad, you’ll know it by the color change. The curd will turn from a beautiful yellow to an unappetizing greenish-brown or dull brown.
  • The texture is lumpy or watery. There are a few tell-tale signs that your lemon curd has gone bad. The most obvious is a change in texture. If your lemon curd is lumpy or watery, it’s time to toss it out.
  • It tastes sour or otherwise unpleasant.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to throw out the lemon curd and start fresh. After all, there’s nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good dish with spoiled ingredients!

Making and Preserving Lemon Curd

Conclusion: Lemon Curd Store Bought (How Long Does It Really Last?)

In conclusion, store bought lemon curd can last a long time if it is unopened and stored in the fridge. Once opened, it should be used within a few weeks. If you want your lemon curd to last even longer, you can freeze it for up to three months. Unopened lemon curd can last longer, up to six months.

If you’ve made your own lemon curd, it will last about the same amount of time as store-bought. 

So go ahead and enjoy your store bought lemon curd, knowing that it will be delicious no matter when you eat it.

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