An easy recipe for lemon curd made in the microwave. This Lemon Curd is so simple to make, delicious, and there are so many different ways to use it!
*Photos updated June 2018*
Lemon curd made in the microwave may seem a little weird, but I promise it works really well. In fact, I’ve tried making it a few different ways over the years and this microwave version is still my favorite way to make it.
Not only is it easier than making it on the stovetop, but it tastes just as good. Another great thing about this easy lemon curd recipe is that it mostly uses whole eggs instead of just egg yolks, so you’re not left with a ton of egg whites.
And if you’re wondering how to use the lemon curd, I’ve included several different ways!
How To Make Lemon Curd
To make this recipe, you’ll start out by whisking together some melted butter and sugar. Just make sure to let your butter cool slightly first, so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs when you mix them in.
Then, whisk in three eggs and an egg yolk. I know I mentioned that this recipe uses whole eggs, but I find that the extra egg yolk creates a thicker, creamier lemon curd. You can use the extra egg white for these strawberry turnovers or these candied pecans.
Once the eggs are mixed in, whisk in some fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. I haven’t tested this recipe with bottled lemon juice, but when it comes to lemon desserts I’ve always found that fresh is best.
As far as the lemon zest, I use the zest of one lemon and I find that it’s the perfect amount. If you want the lemon curd to be even more lemony, feel free to add the zest of one or two more lemons.
Once you’ve whisked in the lemon juice and zest, microwave the mixture in one-minute increments, stirring well after each minute. It’s best to use a large microwave-safe dish because the curd will rise some as it cooks in the microwave. I like to use an 8-cup Pyrex glass measuring cup, it may seem like a lot but it’s really necessary for this recipe. Once the curd is finished it will look like the picture on the right.
You’ll also know the curd is done once it has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. If you want to get technical, you can test the temperature and it should be about 185°F. The amount of time will also vary depending on your microwave, but mine usually only takes about 4.5-5 minutes.
Once your lemon curd is cooked, strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any chunks of zest and egg. As long as you whisk the eggs in really well, you should hardly see any when you strain it. Then, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the curd, let it cool, and refrigerate it.
Different Ways to Use Lemon Curd
If you’re wondering how you can use lemon curd, here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:
- On top of pancakes
- Use as a filling for phyllo cups or sugar cookie cups, top with whipped cream, and fresh berries
- Mixed into homemade whipped cream
- Spread on top of graham crackers
- Spread some on toast or a toasted English muffin
- Use as a filling for vanilla or lemon cupcakes
- Mixed into vanilla frosting for a lemon buttercream frosting
The possibilities are really endless when it comes to different ways to use it, so feel free to get creative!
Baking Tips for Microwave Lemon Curd
- I strongly suggest using fresh lemon juice for this recipe. To get the most lemon juice out of your lemons, press them onto the counter and roll them with your hands before cutting into them.
- Make sure to use a LARGE microwave-safe bowl to microwave the lemon curd. I always use my Pyrex 8-cup glass measuring cup (this one is similar to mine) and I suggest using something similar.
- Make sure to whisk in each ingredient really well. You want to make sure the sugar and eggs + egg yolk are fully mixed in. If they’re not fully mixed together, the curd may turn out a little gritty and have some cooked pieces of eggs in it.
- The curd will not be as thick as what you see in the pictures at first, but it will thicken more as it cools. You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container to remove any lemon zest and small pieces of egg that may have cooked. If your eggs are mixed in well, you should see hardly any when you strain it.
Microwave Lemon Curd
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- In a large microwave-safe bowl (make sure to use one much larger than what you think you will need, I use a Pyrex 8-cup glass measuring cup), whisk together the melted butter and granulated sugar. Add the eggs and egg yolk and mix until well combined. Then add the lemon juice and zest and mix until fully combined.
- Microwave on high in 1-minute increments, making sure to remove the curd from the microwave and mix well after each increment. The lemon curd is done once it coats the back of a spoon, mine usually takes about 5 minutes, yours may take a little more or a little less time. Keep a close eye on it as you're microwaving it to prevent any spills too.
- Remove from the microwave and pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a clean, heat-safe container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to use.
Lightly adapted from All Recipes
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