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How to Make Grapefruit Curd (and 15 Ways to Use It!)

Grapefruit Curd is another flavor of citrus curd that is a delicious tasting fruit spread that is sweet and tart. This homemade grapefruit curd recipe can be prepared stovetop or in the microwave, and can be canned for longer shelf life.

photo of grapefruit curd in a jar with a spoon

Come learn everything there is to know about preparing grapefruit curd, common troubleshooting techniques, how to can it, and how to serve this simple recipe.

Creating this Recipe for Grapefruit Curd

I mentioned grapefruit curd last week when I posted my Grapefruit Poppyseed Scone recipe. As promised, I’m finally sharing the recipe.

The scones are wonderful as is, but mmmmmm magnificent with a little bit of the curd on top, plus they’re prettier that way too!

Right now Madeline is totally smitten with any kind of curd. To her it tastes even better than frosting! She loves to eat it with a bowl of fresh or frozen berries for a snack or spread on top of a toasted English Muffin with her breakfast.

What is Grapefruit Curd?

Grapefruit curd is a custard-like delicious fruity spread. It is smooth and creamy, rather than gelatinous like jam, and made with fruit juice, egg yolks, butter, and sugar.

Jams are often somewhat translucent, but grapefruit curd is thick and opaque due to the addition of egg yolks and butter.

That said, the addition of egg yolks and butter drastically decrease the shelf life of curd when compared to a jar of jam or jelly.

The good news is that you can actually can grapefruit curd to preserve it for a longer shelf life, and I’m including those instructions in this post!

You’ll love how delicious this grapefruit curd recipe is and all the many uses –  spread your homemade grapefruit curd atop scones or muffins, dollop onto a bowl of yogurt or oatmeal, or even use it as a filling for cupcakes or cakes.

Why Make Grapefruit Curd?

Citrus curd is the perfect thing to make during citrus season or when you need to use up leftover egg yolks.

A quick recipe search will show that Lemon Curd is obviously the most popular of citrus curds, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other flavors, like this Grapefruit Curd, as well!

I’ll also show you how easy it is to make and the many ways you can use this creamy, citrus deliciousness.

This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Helpful Tools for Preparing this Recipe

Making grapefruit curd doesn’t require a lot of special equipment. Here are some kitchen tools that I recommend:

  • Microplane Grater – microplanes make it super easy to zest grapefruit.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups – you’ll want precise measurements for the sugar, fruit juices, and zest from the citrus fruits.
  • Medium Heatproof Bowl – to combine the egg yolks with the juices, zests, and sugar
  • Wire Whisk – a wire whisk makes whisking the eggs super easy. You don’t want to end up with lumps of cooked egg!
  • Saucepan or Double Boiler – a heavy saucepan or a double boiler will both work for cooking the grapefruit curd.
  • Wooden Spoon – the last step in this recipe is stirring in the butter. A wooden spoon works well!
  • Jar – I like to store my grapefruit curd in a jar. I love Weck Jars for this because they’re so cute!
photo of ingredients in grapefruit curd

Ingredients to Make Grapefruit Curd

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe for grapefruit curd from scratch: 

  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Large Egg Yolks
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Grapefruit Zest

I don’t recommend making substitutions to the ingredients in this recipe. It is best with real butter, and the egg yolks are necessary for the recipe to turn out properly.

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

What is the Best Kind of Grapefruit For Making Grapefruit Curd?

I recommend using ruby red grapefruit to get the fresh grapefruit juice for this recipe. It has a sweet and tangy flavor and produces a pink grapefruit juice.

The recipe will work just as well using white grapefruit, but you’ll miss out on the pretty color. I find that white grapefruit has a slightly bitter taste, too, when compared to red grapefruit.

You could use grapefruit juice from the juice aisle of the grocery store, but you need to zest the grapefruit anyway (it gives it an extra punch of grapefruit flavor!), so it’s really best to purchase whole, fresh grapefruit.

But, it is all up to personal preference and what flavor of grapefruit you like best.

2 Ways to Make Grapefruit Curd

You can prepare grapefruit curd using a stovetop method or a microwave method.

The microwave method is great if you need to cook a batch up quickly. Just be sure to cook the curd in 45-second intervals and stir it frequently, otherwise the eggs may scramble.

I prefer to prepare my grapefruit curd by cooking it on the stovetop. Even though it isn’t as quick to prepare, I think stovetop cooked grapefruit curd is slightly creamier than microwave grapefruit curd. 

1. How to Make Grapefruit Curd on the Stovetop

  • First, combine grapefruit juice, lemon juice, grapefruit zest, and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  • Then, heat the mixture to simmering over medium heat. After that, reduce the heat to low.
  • While the juice and sugar mixture cooks, whisk the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. 
  • Then, slowly pour half of the juice and sugar mixture into the yolks while vigorously whisking. 
  • Transfer the amount in the bowl to the saucepan.
  • Cook for 5 – 10 more minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coasts the back of a spoon, over low heat while whisking.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Cool to room temperature, then store refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.

Tip: If you have thinner saucepans or are worried you’ll scorch the curd by mistake, fill a medium saucepan with water and heat until simmering. Then, place a heat proof bowl on top (NOT touching the water!) and make the curd in the bowl. Using a double boiler to cook grapefruit curd will ensure it doesn’t burn. 

2. How to Make Grapefruit Curd in the Microwave

  • In a large bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. The bowl should be large enough so it is only half full to reduce the risk of curd bubbling over by mistake!).
  • Microwave on HIGH for 45-second intervals. Then, stir the grapefruit curd between intervals.
  • The grapefruit curd will be done once it coats the back of the spoon, around 4 to 6 minutes total cook time.

How Do You Know When Grapefruit Curd is Done?

The finished curd should coat the back of a spoon. Think: the texture of warm pudding. If you quickly swipe your finger down the back of a spoon and a clean line remains, your curd is ready!

If you have an instant read candy thermometer, you can also check the temperature. Custards, like lemon curd, are usually considered “done” between 170-180 degrees F.

Tips for Making the Best Curd

  • Pressing grapefruit curd through a fine-mesh sieve will remove any lumps that may be present.
  • I recommend using a heavy-bottomed saucepan to prepare the curd. It distributes the heat evenly and helps prevent scorching on the bottom.  
  • If you don’t have a heavy bottomed saucepan, you can use a double boiler instead. Don’t have one? You can set up a makeshift double boiler with a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with water in it.
  • If you prefer your curd sweeter, try adding additional sugar. Likewise, for a more tart curd, reduce the sugar. 
  • To prevent curdling or lumps, stir the curd egg mixture constantly.
  • Need help separating eggs? Heres how to separate whole eggs.
  • Use the egg whites in another recipe, like angel food cake or pavlova, or freeze them for later. 

Homemade Curd FAQs

Grapefruit curd is pretty easy using either of the methods explained in this post, but just in case, here are some tips for troubleshooting common questions:

Why Did My Grapefruit Curd Develop Lumps? 

A lumpy curd means that your batch of grapefruit curd it is curdled. (Kind of ironic that we call it grapefruit curd but don’t actually want it to curdle!). 

Curdling usually happens when the grapefruit curd has not been stirred frequently enough or if it is cooked at too high of a temperature. Curdled or lumpy grapefruit curd doesn’t look very appealing, but it is plenty safe to eat!

  • If your grapefruit curd has lumps in it: press it through a fine mesh sieve.
  • To prevent grapefruit curd from forming lumps: continually stir the egg, sugar, and citrus juice mixture while it cooks over medium heat. And whatever you do, do NOT turn up the heat to speed up the cooking process. High heat also causes curdling. 

Why is My Grapefruit Curd Runny?

There are three possible reasons that your grapefruit curd turned out runny:

  1. Runny grapefruit curd can signify that you took it off the heat too soon assuming that it would become thicker once cooled. Usually, grapefruit curd will thicken once cooled, but cooking it long enough will help it thicken properly later on. 
  2. You made a double or triple batch but cooked it for the same length of time as a single batch. Larger batches will need a longer cooking time to get to the proper state. Make sure to check the temperature with a candy thermometer when in doubt. The temperature should be between 170-180 degrees F.
  3. Your curd could also be runny because you didn’t measure your grapefruit juice properly and added too much. It is best to rely on measuring the juice rather than the number of grapefruits used since every grapefruit contains a different amount of juice.

How to Fix Runny Curd

If your grapefruit curd is runny, don’t panic! You can still save it. 

Simply return the saucepan to the stovetop and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the desired consistency is reached.  

Grapefruit curd drizzling into a jar off of a spoon

What is the Best Way to Store Grapefruit Curd

For short-term storage, grapefruit curd should be refrigerated. Or, for longer storage, it can be frozen. All of these methods are perfectly safe and will preserve the silky texture of the grapefruit curd. 

Storing Grapefruit Curd in the Fridge

Homemade grapefruit curd will last in the fridge for up to a week when stored properly. Seal it in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed to the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.

How to Freeze Grapefruit Curd

Did you know that grapefruit curd can be frozen? It is safe to store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Here’s how to do it:

  • First, make sure you let the grapefruit curd cool completely. 
  • Then, transfer to a freezer-safe container. 
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of the curd to create a barrier and prevent a film from forming. 
  • Label and date accordingly. 
  • When ready to thaw, place in the fridge overnight. 

Tip: I prefer freezing grapefruit curd in small mason jars so I can thaw a little at a time. This is great if you plan on using it as a spread or spooning it atop yogurt rather than using in large batches for things like cake fillings. Make sure you leave 1/2 inch of headspace to account for expansion in the freezer.

How to Can Grapefruit Curd

Canning grapefruit curd preserves it for up to four months. Not much longer than freezing it, but more ideal for gifting purposes. Note that if any browning or separation occurs, you’ll need to throw out the grapefruit curd. 

To can grapefruit curd: 

  • Wash your canning jars in warm, soapy water. Rinse well, then keep hot until ready to can the curd. 
  • Prepare the canning lids according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Fill a boiling water canner with just enough water to cover the jars by about 1 inch. The water will need to be heated to 180F. 
  • Once you’ve made the grapefruit curd, immediately fill the sterilized canning jars. Leave ½ inch of headspace. 
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel, then close with a two-part canning lid. 
  • Process in boiling water canner, then let cool for 12 to 24 hours before checking the seals. 

Process Times for Half-Pint Jars: 

  • 0 to 1,000 feet: 15 minutes
  • 1,001 to 6,00 feet: 20 minutes
  • Above 6,000 feet: 25 minutes 
photo showing what to do with grapefruit curd

15 Ways Enjoy this Delicious Recipe

Wondering what you should do with grapefruit curd?

Grapefruit curd is a great basic condiment to have on hand for sweet cravings or the need for a last minute, simple dessert. You can allow the citrusy goodness to take center stage, or be a background flavor for just a hint of flavor.

The possibilities are endless, but here are a few delicious uses for your batch of grapefruit curd.

  1. Fill a Tart Shell with grapefruit cud and top it with whipped cream for a grapefruit tart.
  2. Serve in the center of Pavlova shells with whipped cream. (Bonus: you’ll use both egg yolks and egg whites to prepare this dessert!)
  3. Spread atop scones or biscuits (try these citrus poppyseed scones).
  4. Layer greek yogurt, a little bit of curd, and granola for a fun breakfast treat.
  5. The fresh citrus flavor would be a tasty cupcake filling in these perfect white cupcakes or on a layer cake.
  6. Serve it with angel food cake and fresh fruit.
  7. Inside or drizzled on top of a batch of dessert Dessert Crepes.
  8. For a simple dessert, you can serve it on top of vanilla ice cream.
  9. Serve curd with pancakes and waffles instead of syrup.
  10. Make thumbprint cookies and use curd instead of jam.
  11. Marbled on top of a homemade cheesecake recipe.
  12. In a bowl with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
  13. As a filling between layers of French macaroons.
  14. Layer it in a trifle glass with pound cake, whipped cream, and fresh berries for a simple summer dessert.
  15. Fill homemade jelly donuts with grapefruit curd instead of jam.
photo of a woman eating this grapefruit curd recipe on a bowl of ice cream

More Fruit Curd Recipes to Try!

Orange Curd is a fun take on the classic lemon curd recipe. This curd has a pretty orange color and has a nice sweet and tart flavor.

The perfect balance of sweet and tart, homemade Lemon Curd is easy to make on the stovetop or in the microwave. In this post. Plus learn how to can homemade lemon curd!

Homemade Raspberry Curd is a delicious tart raspberry filling. You’ll also love its pretty color. It is perfect for making during the summer when raspberries are in season and has so many uses!

I love the combo of lemon and coconut together and this tart, yet sweet Coconut Lemon Curd just melts in your mouth.

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.

What are some of your favorite ways or recipes to enjoy citrus curd?

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photo of grapefruit curd in a jar with a spoon

Grapefruit Curd

Yield: 1 pint
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Grapefruit Curd is another flavor of citrus curd that is a delicious tasting fruit spread that is sweet and tart. This homemade grapefruit curd recipe can be prepared stovetop or in the microwave, and can be canned for longer shelf life.


  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 10 tablespoons butter, sliced into tablespoons


Stovetop Grapefruit Curd 

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, grapefruit zest, and sugar. 
  2. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Then, turn the heat to low.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. 
  4. Slowly pour half of the citrus juice mixture into the yolks while vigorously whisking. 
  5. Return the amount in the bowl to the saucepan.
  6. Continue to cook over low heat while whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes and the temperature should be between 170-180 degrees.
  7. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
  8. Cool to room temperature, then store refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.

Tip: If you have thinner saucepans or are worried you’ll scorch the curd by mistake, fill a medium saucepan with water and heat until simmering. Then, place a heat-proof bowl on top (NOT touching the water!) and make the grapefruit curd in the bowl. Using a double boiler to cook the curd will ensure it doesn’t burn. 

2. Microwave Grapefruit Curd

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl (it should only be about half full, you don’t want the curd bubbling over by mistake!).
  2. Microwave on HIGH for 45-second intervals. Stir the curd between each interval. 
  3. You’ll know the grapefruit curd is done once it coats the back of the spoon and the temperature is between 170-180 degrees F. This could take anywhere between 4 to 6 minutes. 

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Nutrition Information
Yield 40 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 66Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 45mgSodium 25mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 0gSugar 8gProtein 1g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Tammie Martinez

Thursday 20th of July 2017

Know this may sound like a silly question but are all of the citrus juices supposed to be 'freshly squeezed'? Every recipe I've seen, other than the ones here and one on another site clearly states that, in other words, no bottled juices. I've made lemon curd many times and today I plan on making the lime curd (going to make mini Pavlova's and mix the curd with whipped cream). I came across your site while searching for orange curd recipes (know the hubs would really enjoy that one! ) which then led me to these three. I'm really excited yet nervous about trying to make the three you have listed but of course before I do, I have to know the answer to my question. Thank you in advance. 


Friday 21st of July 2017

Yes, I always use freshly squeezed citrus juices.

Stacie balletto

Saturday 24th of June 2017

Is it okay to freeze the curd?  What about canning?


Monday 26th of June 2017

I have no experimented with either. I would consult a canning reference book regarding canning recommendations. Let me know if you try either and how it works out. Thanks!


Monday 2nd of December 2013

Make lemon curd all the time as I have 5 massive lemon trees which are laden this year. My pink grapefruit trees are also offering up quite a bit of fruit so shall try this recipe. I also make passion fruit curd when they are in season -- yummy

Terri Nguyen

Sunday 1st of September 2013

Does the butter need to be at room temperature?


Monday 9th of September 2013

I have used cold or room temp butter

Pamela Rothbard

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

I love the grapefruit curd idea. Your pictures are divine.

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