I’ve been meaning to make my own lemon curd for ages, but it was only after making a pavlova I had the perfect opportunity to use up all the egg yolks leftover. It’s really easy to make, but it’s even easier making microwave lemon curd instead of on the hob.
If you’ve got other citrus fruit you can change the lemons for those – orange or lime both work well.
With lemon curd it’s best to just use the yolks to keep it thicker and creamier in texture. As zest creates much of the flavour, you can strain the curd to remove the zest, but I didn’t bother. If you finely zest it, you’re unlikely to notice it when eating.
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Whether cooking the curd in the microwave or on the hob, you need to keep stirring regularly. Don’t worry about the egg scrambling. This shouldn’t happen (if it does, straining will help to remove those bits).
With the microwave method, the ease is in just having everything put into a microwavable bowl in one go, and heating it for 3-4 minutes. Just stop and stir every 30 seconds until it’s smooth and thickening.
You’ll know the curd is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon without just dripping off.
Don’t worry that it’s not really thick yet. The lemon curd will thicken as it cools.
In terms of storage, you’ll need a clean sterilised jar and lid. Washing the jar in a dishwasher is the easiest way to ensure a really clean jar.
The lemon curd will last for around 7 days in the fridge, or 2-3 if keeping out of the fridge.
How to use microwave lemon curd
Not just for spreading on toast or crumpets, here’s some options for using your homemade lemon curd.
- Lemon eton mess – instead of strawberries, swirl lemon curd through whipped cream and meringue pieces.
- Lemon roulade – spread over roulade sponge, top with whipped cream and then roll up
- Filling for sponge cake – sandwich 2 sponge cakes together with lemon curd
- Lemon trifle – spread madeira sponge slices with lemon curd, place in the base of a large serving bowl, top with raspberries, then custard layer and whipped cream swirled on top
- Swirl into porridge or plain yoghurt
- On pancakes or waffles
- Swirl into cheesecake or spread on top
- On scones (instead of jam)
- Make individual lemon tarts
- Make a lemon parfait – in a small glass layer granola or ‘crumble’ topping, lemon curd, yoghurt, repeat, sprinkle with almond slices on the top
- Use as a treat dip with almond or shortcake biscuits.
- Fill vol au vent cases for party desserts
- Mini lemon meringue pies
- Spread over a puff pastry base, top with mascarpone and berries to make a family dessert
- Use as a middle surprise filling for cupcakes or muffins
- Lemon meringue ice cream
- Make lemon mug cakes
- Lemon fool
- Replace cinnamon with lemon curd to make lemon swirled buns.
Microwave lemon curd recipe
Makes a standard jam jar full
Prep time – 5 mins
Cooks – 5 mins
- 135g caster sugar
- 6 tbsp (40g) butter, soft
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp lemon zest, fine zester
- 4 egg yolks
- If using unsalted butter, pinch of salt
1. Stir all the ingredients in a microwavable bowl
2. Cook in the microwave for around 3-5 minutes depending on the power of your microwave. Stop and stir every 30 seconds.
3. (Strain through a fine sieve if you want to ensure it’s perfectly smooth – optional).
4. Pour or spoon into a sterilised clean jar. Loosely cover to cool. Then put the lid on and store in the fridge.
Next time I’m going to try clementine curd as I always have an excess of those.
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