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Instant Pot Lemon Custard Cups are a tangy, light, and refreshing treat, perfect for spring and summer! So easy to make in the Instant Pot!
Featured with this recipe
There’s nothing like topping off a delicious family dinner with a luscious dessert! It’s light, sweet, and tangy with a colorful touch of sunshine in a bowl. This lemon custard is such a refreshing way to end any meal.
This lemon custard makes a statement when it is shared with friends and family. A bright yellow custard can be made within minutes and is simple to make. Mix together, pour the custard into ramekins, and place in the instant pot. The instant pot does all the work!
Homemade Lemon Custard Ingredients
Some simple custard ingredients that are staples in your home are the best Each ingredient is important in creating the best lemon custard that is thick, creamy, and delicious!
- Whole milk – This gives it that rich, thick, and creamy texture from the milk.
- Sugar – Added for sweetness and to balance the tart flavoring from the lemon!
- Cornstarch – Thickens the lemon custard and helps set up when baked in the instant pot.
- Lemon zest – Gives that delicious lemon flavor with the sunshine color.
- Salt – Just a pinch will help balance all the flavors.
- Eggs and yolks – This helps gives the beautiful color and thickens the custard.
- Butter – The smooth appearance is a silky ribbon that comes from the butter.
- Lemon juice – A zesty and fresh and vibrant flavor that comes straight from a ripe squeezed lemon juice.
How to Make Instant Pot Lemon Custard
Making lemon custard from scratch in a pressure cooking appliance makes these extra easy and special. The instant pot will cook from the bottom up and all around leaving these ramekins filled with custard cooked perfectly! This dessert is amazingly delicious!
- Bring to a boil – In a medium-sized saucepot, bring milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest, and salt to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat.
- Whisk – Combine 2 eggs and 2 large egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the hot lemon custard mixture a little at a time to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will prevent the eggs from cooking. Whisk in butter until melted, then add lemon juice. Stir until smooth and creamy.
- Instant pot – Pour equally into 4 8-ounce oven-safe ramekins, leaving about 1/2″ space at the top. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil. Place the trivet in Instant Pot and add a cup of water at a time. Carefully place ramekins in the Instant Pot (3 on the bottom forming a triangle and 1 over the top in the center).
- Cook – Place lid on Instant Pot and set tab to “sealing”. Set to “manual” and set to “high pressure” for 5 minutes.
- Let cool – When the time is up, do a quick release, not the natural release, and turn Instant Pot off. Allow ramekins to cool to room temperature and then place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.
Tips for this Easy Lemon Custard Recipe
Instant pot lemon custard recipe is already gluten-free, can be made in a few different flavors, and can be served simply with whip cream on top or elegant over top of your favorite desserts. This is a simple and great way to have a light and tasty dessert at the end of your meal!
- Gluten-free – This recipe is naturally gluten-free so even those with dietary restrictions can enjoy a sweet treat after dinner.
- Flavors – Custard is generally made with milk or cream and egg yolk. It can be thick like a pie filling or thin like a sauce and made with many flavors. Lemon is a particular favorite because the zest and freshness of the lemon pair nicely with the richness of the custard base. Try it with oranges, limes, or grapefruit for all citrus flavors!
- Serving – This lemon custard recipe is super versatile and can be eaten in a million different ways. Generally, the custard is cooled after cooking in an Instant Pot and served chilled, perhaps with whipped topping. However, you could try it warm or hot. The texture and consistency will be more like a sauce, perfect for drizzling over ice cream or yogurt.
- Toppings – Although this classic custard tastes divine with just a bowl and a spoon, you can also try topping it with whipped cream, graham crackers, fresh fruit, cheesecake, or meringue. Mix it with oatmeal, or yogurt, or spread it on toast, waffles, or muffins like jams. You can even add a dollop to the thumbprint cookies.
“I LOVE anything and everything lemon. This recipe is super easy however, the hardest part is waiting the two hours to cool lol. Thanks for sharing your easy instant pot recipe! I needed an excuse to bring it out again 😀”-Peter
Frequently Asked Questions
Lemon custard is a bit lighter in color compared to lemon custard but they both can be used as a topping and filling for baking. Lemon curd has more eggs, sugar, and butter for its consistency whereas custard is made with cornstarch to thicken it.
Because of the balance of proteins and acid from the lemons, it has to be at the right temperature so it does not damage and create clumps from the milk. This will lead to lumpy custard.
We love making this recipe in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker! It’s easy and there’s no need to constantly watch and stir over the stove. Be careful, however, when layering your ramekins. Our tried and true method is three ramekins on the bottom and one on top. If you’re doing more, just make sure to build up the stack like a pyramid so they are stable.
Storing Jars of Lemon Custard
Store lemon custard in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two to three days. It is not the best frozen and can separate. When ready to reheat, slowly warm up over the stove top stirring it slowly on low heat.
Read Next:27 BEST Instant Pot Recipes
More Lemony Desserts
If you like this recipe, be sure to try some of our other delicious lemon desserts:
Instant Pot Lemon Custard
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest from about 2 lemons)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- In a medium-sized saucepot, bring milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest and salt to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat.
- Combine 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the hot lemon custard mixture a little at a time to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This will prevent the eggs from cooking.
- Whisk in butter until melted, then add lemon juice. Stir until smooth and creamy.
- Pour equally into 4 8-ounce oven-safe ramekins, leaving about 1/2″ space at the top. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil.
- Place trivet in Instant Pot and add 2 cups water.
- Carefully place ramekins in the Instant Pot (3 on the bottom forming a triangle and 1 over the top in the center).
- Place lid on Instant Pot and set tab to “sealing”. Set to “manual” and set to “high pressure” for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, do a quick release and turn Instant Pot off. Allow ramekins to cool to room temperature and then place in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
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how long will this good for in the fridge ?
As a rule of thumb, I try to eat leftovers within a week of making them.
I LOVE anything and everything lemon. This recipe is super easy however, the hardest part is waiting the two hours to cool lol. Thanks for sharing your easy instant pot recipe! I needed an excuse to bring it out again 😀
My husband is going to love this treat. He adores everything lemon-flavored and I get to try a new recipe in my instant pot. Thanks for sharing!
Lemon is my absolute favorite dessert ingredient, can’t wait to try this!
I’ve just had a fantastic dessert that used a similar custard and I wondered about the recipe… Here it is! Excited to try it now.
I love any kind of lemon dessert and these look amazing. I can’t wait to try.
can you make this recipe without a pressure cooker?
We haven’t made this specific recipe without a pressure cooker so I’m not how to direct you otherwise. If you try it in the oven, just be sure to check them often (after 20 minutes or so). Hope this helps!
If you bake these in the oven, I would follow standard egg custard procedure & bake them in a water bath (in a larger deep baking dish with very hot water filled to within 1/2” of the tops of the ramekins). I suggest 350° F for 25 – 30 minutes.
Thanks! This is a great tip!
Do you have cooking instructions for those of us who do not have an IP?
The instructions should be the same for any pressure cooker– not just an IP. Hope this helps!
I don’t have ramekins. If I make this in the ceramic dish that fits inside, would i increase the time?
I’ve make cheesecake and frittata in the ceramic dish with success.
It really depends on the size of the ceramic dish. What size would you be using? how much can it hold?
I tried this recipe and although the custard did set up very nicely, it was not smooth. Yours looks very smooth like pudding. Mine turned out a little grainy and I don’t know what I did wrong. Could you help?
Hmmm, I’m not sure what could have happened. I can’t think of why it would be grainy. I will look over the recipe and if I can think of a reason for the graininess I will get back to you!
Mine tasted like eggs, not much lemon flavor.. was so bummed… first try at a custard, am I just expecting it not to taste like eggs?? Should it?? Lol
It shouldn’t really taste like eggs.. my guess is that it was probably overcooked? You can always add more lemon if you feel like it needs more zesty flavor!
Please, What is the capacity of the Instant Pot used for this recipe??? Something tells me that I’m going to with I’d purchased a larger IP.
I used the 6 Qt for this recipe. Hope this helps!
Do you remove them from Instant Pot to cool to room temperature? Have not tried the recipe yet as this was a question in my mind, thx
Yes, I carefully removed them with hot pads. Hope this helps!
Made this last night. Turned out great. I’m going to try a little more extract and zest next time though. The lemon flavor was too faint for me
Hi very new to cooking and instant pot but followed directions but took out of fridge and just have lemon flavoured milk help thx
I’m not sure I understand what the issue is here. The custard should be completely set when you take them out of the IP. Was it still liquid when you removed it from the Instant Pot?
Hi left to cool in instant then put in fridge never did set up I did whisk with hand blender and never removed tinfoil until I checked at end thx
Did IP not pressure up?
Have you tried it with fresh lemon juice? I’m about to have lemons on my tree so would like to use them instead of extract. Any idea how much juice?
Instead of extract I would actually use more lemon zest. Just to give it more of a zing! You could use lemon juice but it might make it too watery. So fun that you have a lemon tree!!!
I know this recipe is from 2018 but it says lemon juice in the recipe not extract. Should it be extract and not lemon juice?
No, it is lemon juice!