One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new place – especially a new country – is to visit the grocery store. Partly because I’m cheap and will cook my own meals when on vacation…but mainly because there are new and interesting things in every aisle. During a study-abroad month in England, I was a poor student who made myself a lot of sandwiches. I was delighted to discover that our neighborhood Tesco carried jars of lemon curd, available in the jam aisle for less than a pound.
What is lemon curd, you may ask? Think of the filling of a lemon meringue pie, but in the form of a jam or jelly. It is sweet, spreadable, and pleasantly tart. It can be used in a wide variety of recipes – from trifle, to Eton mess, to filling for cakes and cupcakes. Is it healthy? Goodness, no. But like most sweets, I think it’s good for the soul.Jump to Recipe
Here in the States, it’s not so easy to find lemon curd at the grocery…but fortunately, making it is a snap. This version is perfect for small apartment or dorm living – when you want to make something fancy, but don’t have a stove. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, but can be used in dozens of desserts (if you don’t eat all of it on toast, first).
You will only need a few ingredients for this recipe: 3 eggs (plus 2 egg yolks), granulated sugar, lemon juice, and unsalted butter. For a fresher flavor, I recommend squeezing fresh lemon juice, and adding the zest from those lemons; this, however is optional. Even with lemon juice from a bottle and no additional zest, your lemon curd will taste delicious. (And, as a bonus, all of the ingredients for this recipe are gluten-free, so feel free to make this for your friends with Celiac!)
Start by placing your eggs and egg yolks in a large, microwave-safe bowl and beating them thoroughly. Whisk in the granulated sugar. While you are whisking, melt the butter in a separate container.
Add your lemon juice (and optional zest) to the egg-and-sugar mixture. Once the butter has cooled slightly, slowly whisk it in. Do not add the butter while it is still piping hot; you run the risk of scrambling your eggs and ruining the dish!
Once all of your ingredients are thoroughly combined, place the mixture in the microwave. At this point, your mixture will be thin and watery. Cook on “high” for 45-second increments, stirring between interval. Your lemon curd is done once it has achieved an almost custard-like viscosity; for me, this required six intervals in the microwave.
Your lemon curd is nearly ready! Place it in the refrigerator to cool completely before using. As this lemon curd also makes a wonderful gift, you may also pour it into sterilized jars for storage and sharing; as long as it is refrigeratoed, it should remain fresh for about 3 weeks.
Congratulations! You’ve made lemon curd! If you try this recipe, please tag #WhiskAverseBaking on social media, or leave a message in the comments below.
Microwave Lemon Curd
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 lemons, zested (optional)
- Whisk together eggs and additional egg yolks in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Stir in sugar.
- Melt butter. While butter is cooling, add lemon juice and zest to your egg and sugar mixture.
- Once the butter has cooled slightly, slowly whisk it into the egg mixture.
- Cook mixture in the microwave on high for 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval. The mixture is done when it has thickened to viscosity resembling custard; in my microwave, that required six cooking intervals.
- Pour finished lemon curd into sterilized jars, if using, and place in the refrigerator to cool. The curd will be ready to use once it has cooled completely.