Easy Microwave Lemon Curd

easy microwave lemon curd

The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
120 Calories
7g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 120
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 62mg 21%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 32mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemon curd is a sweet, tart sauce often used in the same ways as jellies and jams. Made from fresh lemon juice, zest, eggs, sugar, and butter, it's a bright yellow, creamy mixture that tastes great on anything from biscuits to cake to fresh fruit. Lemon curd is typically made on the stove, sometimes using a double boiler, but you can quickly make it using the microwave.

The microwave makes lemon curd extra easy, with fewer dishes to clean. The mixture is cooked in one-minute increments and whisked thoroughly in between until it thickens enough to coat a spoon. It'll set up further in the fridge, producing a silky, but not overly thick, lemon curd.

Always use fresh, not bottled juice for microwave lemon curd. It keeps well—about two weeks in the fridge—although you're sure to find yourself spooning it on top of everything. If you run out too quickly, it takes just minutes to whip up more.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest , about 2 lemons

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the butter to a large, heatproof bowl that will fit in your microwave. Microwave for 30-second increments just until melted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes so that the butter is melted and warm but not hot.

  3. Add the egg yolks, egg, sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Whisk until well fully combined.

  4. Microwave in 1-minute increments, whisking well between each increment, until the curd is thickened, coats the back of a spoon, and reaches 185 F. This will take between 5 and 10 total minutes, depending on your microwave.

  5. Strain into a lidded container or containers, then chill for at least 4 hours. The curd will thicken up further in the fridge.

Tips

  • Make sure your bowl is the right size and safe to use in the microwave. The curd mixture should only reach about 1/4 of the way up the bowl to prevent it from boiling over.
  • If you have a silicone whisk, use it. The acid in lemon juice can react to metal, giving the mixture a subtle metallic taste.
  • To prevent eggy-tasting lemon curd, don't overcook. As soon as the curd has thickened a bit and coats a spoon, it's done. It will thicken up further in the fridge.
  • For a smoother lemon curd, strain it after cooking. This will remove any chunks of zest and any little bits of scrambled egg.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Lemon curd will keep for about 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • For even longer storage, freeze it. Transfer the curd to an airtight container, leaving an inch of headroom. Freeze for up to 6 months, defrosting in the fridge overnight before using.

How to Use Microwave Lemon Curd

Lemon curd can be used in a variety of delicious ways:

  • Use to smear on toast, scones, and biscuits
  • Swirl into yogurt
  • Top a cheesecake or cake
  • Top individual slices of pound cake or angel food cake
  • Layer into a trifle
  • Enjoy with fresh berries

Recipe Variations

  • This lemon curd is a bit thinner than other recipes, making it good for spooning over things. If you'd like a thicker mixture, use two whole eggs and 1 egg yolk.
  • This curd can also be made with other citrus fruit. Limes will yield a tarter curd, while oranges will make a sweeter mixture. Grapefruit is also a nice option, or make a mixture of different citrus varieties.

What Does Butter Do in Lemon Curd?

Lemon curd only has a few ingredients: lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and butter. Butter gives lemon curd its signature silky richness, making the mixture smoother and creamier. It also helps it set up in the fridge.

What Do I Do if My Lemon Curd Won't Thicken?

If your lemon curd isn't setting up, it likely needs to cook for longer. Keep cooking and stirring the mixture until it coats a spoon. Note that curd will thicken up further as it chills in the refrigerator.