Making homemade lemon curd can be a complicated process. Not this Microwave Lemon Curd! It's silky smooth, bursting with bright lemon flavor and color and comes together in minutes!
Lemon curd? Ridiculously easy? No way! I know, I know, making lemon curd can be a bit of a pain. Some recipes involve a double boiler, some careful watching, stirring and standing over the stovetop. This microwave lemon curd? Not so much! It comes together in about 10 minutes and much of that time is hands-off cooking in the microwave.
Don't believe me? I wouldn't have believed making lemon curd could be easy either, but the first time I tried it, I was totally sold. These are the simple steps:
- Combine fresh lemon juice with sugar, eggs and egg yolks.
- Stir until everything's smooth and a sunshiny yellow.
- Add the butter.
- Microwave in 45-second increments, whisking in between. It will take 4-6 45-second microwave stints/stirs till the mixture turns to a thickened, glossy curd.
See what I mean? Easy!
Every now and then I come across (or come up with) a recipe that's is so good and so easy it just has to be designated as part of our Ridiculously Easy Series (you can see many of these recipes in the thumbnails above this post). Ridiculously Easy recipes here at The Café are super popular with our readers because they are simply so easy that it's almost, well… ridiculous! But that’s not the only criteria for ridiculously easy recipes. For those of you who are new to The Café, there is a list of attributes a recipe must have to be deemed “Ridiculously Easy”:
- A recipe that takes minimal effort and minimal hands-on time to put together. (Resting, rising or chilling time is not taken into consideration.)
- It’s also one that produces fabulous, super delicious results, ie, results that “appear” to have taken lots of time, talent, prowess and/or hard work.
- Ridiculously easy recipes have to work well on those busy days when time is short and expectations are high.
- And last, ridiculously easy recipes are perfect for entertaining, mostly because of the first two characteristics. They take the stress out of dinner parties as well as gatherings of families and/or friends and allow you more time to enjoy your people.
- Bottom line? They’re super simple, something anyone can do. (Shhhh! We’ll keep that part our secret.)
This microwave lemon curd definitely checks ALL of the boxes! On top of that, it's smooth, silky, not-too-tart and not-too-sweet. Besides just eating it with a spoon, there are lots of ways to use lemon curd.
What to do with lemon curd
- Spread it on toast, English muffins or these wonderful homemade biscuits.
- A spoonful would be fabulous on these Ridiculously Easy Sugar Top Scones.
- Lemon curd is delicious on pancakes, waffles, etc
- Spoon it over ice cream and serve with shortbread cookies.
- Fill homemade or store-bought crepes with lemon curd and topped with fresh berries and Raspberry Coulis
- Use lemon curd as a cake filling
- Lemon curd is a delicious filling for Pavlova or meringues.
- Combine whipped cream and lemon curd for a light, delicious lemon mousse.
- Pour it into small jars tied with a pretty label and give a jar as a gift. (If you'd like a PDF for the labels, just leave a comment below the post.)
- Serve it with fresh fruit for breakfast or brunch. I like to serve it in a pretty bowl next to the fruit. It's fun to add a small bowl of poppy seeds too for a fun and gourmet touch.
So, you know how they say "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade? I say, make lemon curd! Even if life doesn't shower lemons on you, be sure to pick some up at the store. You probably have everything else you need for this simple, elegant recipe. And if you make a batch today, you'll be all ready for our fabulous Lemon Curd Shortbread Tart (below) which we'll be sharing tomorrow. It might not look like it, but this is another super easy recipe you'll be making again and again!
Café Tips for making this Easy Microwave Lemon Curd
- This recipe calls for lemon zest. The "zest" is just the yellow part of the peel. The white part (the pith) is bitter. To easily zest a lemon (or other citrus fruits) use a microplane-style zester. These are wonderful little tools to have in the kitchen as they also work for parmesan cheese, ginger, garlic, etc. Just a note, these zesters do get dull and need to be replaced after a couple of years.
- If you notice any small lumps in your finished lemon curd, you may have overcooked it. Simply push it through a fine-mesh strainer and it will be silky smooth.
- You'll be using a total of 5 eggs for this recipe, 3 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks. The extra egg yolks makes the curd a little thicker. Reserve the 2 egg whites for another use (like an egg-white omelet or some delicious meringues)
- Every microwave brand and model is different as far as power so there isn't an exact time to cook this lemon curd. It will take around 5-7 minutes in the microwave and you can tell when it's done when it coats the back of a metal spoon and/or the temperature is 175-180˚F. (I use my instant thermometer to check the temp.)
- This delicious lemon curd makes a nice gift. I like to pour it into pretty jars like these Weck jars and add a little label. If you'd like the PDF for these Homemade Lemon Curd labels just leave a comment below and I'll email it to you. Receiving a jar of homemade lemon curd is like receiving a jar of sunshine!
- This lemon curd will keep well in an airtight container for a week to 10 days.
- You can also freeze lemon curd. Freeze in freezer storage containers leaving ½-inch headspace to allow for expansion. I've never kept lemon curd this long but the National Center for Home Food Preservation says that "Prepared lemon curd can be frozen for up to 1 year without quality changes when thawed."
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 1 cup sugar
- finely grated zest from 2 lemons
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 egg yolks reserve the whites for another use or discard
- 3 large eggs
- 4 ounces salted butter (1 stick) cut into cubes
In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt (⅛ teaspoon if using unsalted butter) until smooth. Add butter cubes. Microwave on high power for 45 seconds. Remove and stir vigorously with a whisk.
Continue to cook 45-second intervals, stirring after each interval. It will take 4-7 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave. Lemon curd is done cooking when it coats the back of a metal spoon. You can also check it with an instant thermometer. It’s done when it reaches 175˚F.
Remove from the microwave and whisk well. Add lemon zest and stir. Allow the curd to cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
See Café Tips above for further instructions and more detailed tips.
If using unsalted butter add a pinch (about ⅛ teaspoon of salt).
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