Homemade lemon curd in under 10 minutes: No joke - here's how

easy microwave lemon curd

So, I was browsing through my Modern Baking magazine last night, and came across the slickest little recipe ever:

Microwave lemon curd.

I mean, I know you can make lemon curd at home, but doesn’t it involve egg yolks, and stirring a pot on the stove, and transferring some of the hot liquid from one bowl to another and back again…

No thanks – too busy!

But THIS lemon curd, made simply by stirring everything together and cooking in the microwave for 7 minutes?

I can do that.

Modern Baking, since I know you’re wondering, is the main trade magazine of bakery professionals: bakery owners and employees, caterers, wedding cake bakers, and anyone who makes their living with flour and sugar and eggs and all that good stuff.

They have a tips column I peruse with avid interest each month, in which a baker in, say, Skokie, Illinois, asks for a foolproof way to keep buttercream frosting from melting.

The column often includes short, simple recipes – short and simple because, when you’re making a living as a baker, the more efficient you are, the better.

The challenge is, most of the time these recipes A) assume a certain level of familiarity with common bakery practices (kind of like recipes used to be written back in the day – no directions, you’re just supposed to know what to do); B) they assume a certain amount of equipment (a dough sheeter, for instance); and C), they make 30 dozen of whatever, when all you want is 2 dozen at the most.

But this lemon curd recipe is different.

It doesn’t use any unusual techniques; no fancy equipment is necessary; and it makes just 1 quart of curd, easily cut back to a more manageable 2 cups.

Did I mention how easy this is?

How about how tasty?

Well, see for yourself; if you have lemons, sugar, butter, and eggs on hand, get out your microwave-safe bowl and let’s get started.

Put 2 large eggs and 1 cup sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.

Make that a BIG microwave-safe bowl; the eggs and sugar should take up no more than 1/4 of the bowl’s capacity.

Whisk to combine, then whisk in 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, which you’ve melted first.

Finally, add 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. About 4 large, juicy lemons should do it.

Note: Modern Baking calls for the grated rind of the lemons as well as their juice. I prefer a super-smooth curd without stringy little bits of peel, but add it for more assertive lemon flavor, if you choose.

Whisk until everything is thoroughly combined.

Put the bowl on a plate (to catch any bubble-overs), place in the microwave, and cook in 1-minute increments, stirring after each.

High power? Low? I don’t know, my microwave doesn’t have any power levels. The instructions in Modern Baking say 3 to 5 minutes at “full power,” but if your ‘wave doesn’t have power settings – just wing it.

At first, you won’t see much change; as the curd heats it’ll foam up, but it’ll stay quite liquid.

Speaking of foaming up, this is why you put the bowl on a plate…

At some point – for me, it was 8 minutes – you’ll see the curd start to mound just a tiny bit. It’s subtle; it won’t be anywhere near the thickness of finished lemon curd. But it’ll definitely be thicker than it was to begin with.

As the recipe says, it should coat the back of a spoon.

Well, that’s kind of general, isn’t it? Doesn’t ANY liquid coat the back of a spoon?

I decided to take the curd’s temperature, just to make sure the eggs were thoroughly cooked.

At 187°F, they were indeed sufficiently cooked. And the curd was thick enough that it didn’t run right off the spoon, but kind of coated it – I guess.

Anyway, I stuck the curd (a scant 2 cups) in the fridge, and once it was thoroughly chilled… Eureka! It had thickened to a smooth, spreadable consistency, stiff enough to mound nicely when dropped from a spoon.

It’s not as stiff as jarred lemon curd…

…but it’s certainly stiff enough to dollop onto a ginger cookie and enjoy.

Or combine with whipped cream for a lemon icebox pie, or spoon into paczki – both of which I intend to try ASAP.

Stay tuned…

Read, make, and review (please) our recipe for Easy Microwave Lemon Curd.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Bridgid

    I so make lemon curd, the old fashioned way, but am open to trying this! But you really had me at adding whipped cream to it. I made a lemon mousse with lightly sweetened whipped cream & folded the curd in and used it to fill a vanilla cake which was then iced in lemon swiss meringue buttercream. The remaining mousse was divine dolloped into the mouth from a spoon. (too much time to get a cookie!)

    Reply
  2. sandra Alicante

    PJ, I’ve been making it this way for years. I only ever make small amounts because hubby doesn’t like it. Careful not to leave it too long without stirring or you may get traces of egg white showing up. Delicious though! I have a cake recipe that works well with this. Make a Victoria Sandwich mix as usual, and divide between two sandwich tins, whip up some meringue and pile on top of both UNCOOKED layers. Bake as usual until the cake is firm and the meringue cooked. Sandwich cooled cakes with lemon curd and cream (you get meringue layer in middle and on top of cake.

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  3. Melanie

    I have a ton of lemons still left on my backyard tree. I’ve about run out of ideas for what to do with all that goodness. Do you think this curd could be canned? I’ve seen recipes for canned lemon curd but it’s always made the old school way, so I’m wondering if this method would work as well.

    Don’t know, Melanie – but I don’t see why making curd the microwave way would affect the final result and make it unsuitable for canning, if you have a canning recipe that uses those same basic ingredients, and is made the stovetop way… PJH

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  4. rtmartin4554

    What’s the refrigerated shelf life of this? Sounds delicious!

    Well, most homemade lemon curds have about a 3-week life in the fridge; I’d wager this one is similar. Still, it’s so fast and easy to make, why not make it just before you want to use it, then eat it up before you have to start worrying about shelf life? Heck, you could even make a half recipe… PJH

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  5. HMB

    Wow, is this timely. I was going to make lemon curd today the old-fashioned way because I brought in a whole bunch of lemons yesterday off the tree. I’ll have to try this!

    Reply
  6. rtmartin4554

    What is the shelf life?

    Don’t know – I just made it yesterday. :) I’d assume, like other fresh lemon curds, it’s about 3 weeks or so; the large amount of sugar acts as a preservative (think jam), but unlike jam, it has eggs and butter as well…

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  7. marcin

    I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been experimenting with lemon curds–homemade and store bought–since I got my Maryann pan (spelling?) that bakes small cakes with a “well” in them. By next summer, I want to perfect a small cake for fresh strawberries and lemon curd. And after reading this, I will definitely fold it into some whipped cream first.

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  8. marcin

    And a quick question: What exactly is the difference between the Meyer lemons and the regular lemons? What would the result be if I substituted Meyer for regular lemons?

    Meyer lemons have an edible skin – it’s not mouth-puckeringly sour like the skin of standard lemons. I believe their juice tastes about the same; so as this recipe uses only juice, substitute away, Marcin – PJH

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    1. Lynne

      Meyer lemons aren’t actually lemons, but a type of sour orange. I personally have no use for them, as their juice is rather insipid compared with “real” lemons, but some people find Meyer lemon juice just fine in things that call for lemon juice. Personally, I find it just doesn’t have enough “snap” for me.

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      Lynne, Meyer lemons are hard to come by here in northern New England, but when I find them, I dice them, skin and all, for a wonderful radicchio/parsley/feta/red onion salad. Beyond that, I agree with you – I like standard lemons for their juice. PJH

  9. wingboy

    Would adding a little lemon oil, in place of the lemon zest, intensify the flavor? Or would the oil keep it from setting up? And, does curd need to be citrus? How about ginger curd? mango? vanilla? cranberry?

    WB, I’m sure the lemon oil would be just fine – or Fiori di Sicilia, which would add that touch of vanilla. I think you need the acid of the lemon to help set the eggs and make it thicken; but I’ve seen raspberry curd, so it doesn’t have to be citrus. Just not sure it would work without some acidic ingredient (e.g., vanilla might be tough, but cranberry would probably work). Interesting thought… PJH

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  10. Janet M

    I saw the recipe this morning, and I just made some this afternoon. It really is that easy! I’m making lemon tarts with fresh blueberries. Thanks!

    Yummmmmmm…. Janet, that’s a great use for this simple treat. Thanks for the inspiration! PJH

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  11. Cindy Leigh

    So glad to see this. I brought some lemon curd home from England a few years ago. Loved it on scones and was sorry when the jar was empty. I will make this for sure!

    Cindy, you’ll be amazed how easy it is – and much less expensive to boot! Good luck – PJH

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  12. Margy

    Mmmm, I love lemon curd, but it always seemed too much work to make at home. I love it mixed into homemade yogurt. Definitely going to try this. Why stop at lemon–bet this would work with lime, orange, or any citrus fruit?

    Margy, should work fine with any citrus fruit. How about clementines? YUM… :) PJH

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  13. Gwen

    May I suggest, if you’d like the lemon flavor of the zest without the stringy bits, put the zest in your food processor with a cup or so of the sugar and process until there is nothing but sugar texture. I usually just use a vegetable peeler to take the outside layer off the lemon (orange, whatever) and rough chop it before I dump it in the processor with sugar.

    Gwen, good idea – I’ll try that next time. PJH

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  14. Maureen

    Genius! I can’t wait to try this; extra lemons have now been added to the shopping list. I’m thinking of a gingerbread trifle made with lemon curd and whipped cream…

    I’m with you, Maureen – love that ginger/lemon flavor combo! PJH

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  15. SheenaC

    I am definitely intrigued. I have shied away from making lemon curd because when I made it some years ago, it took a while and resulted in a metallic-like taste. I have no idea what went wrong, but if you have insight, please share. It seems to be an issue, as several folks online complained of the same thing. Anyway, this recipe has motivated me to try lemon curd again, so thank you!

    Sheena, the metallic taste might have come from making lemon curd in an aluminum pan on the stovetop, due to the acidic lemon juice reacting with the aluminum in the pan. The microwave method should take care of that. Another possibility is using bottled rather than fresh-squeezed lemon juice. – PJH

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  16. Debi

    I’d like to make this non dairy. Any other changes necessary if I sub margarine for butter? Thanks!

    I think that’ll work, Debi – no guarantees, as I haven’t tried it, but it sounds reasonable. PJH

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  17. deede

    I’ve never made lemon curd in the microwave, but I do make coconut pie filling and chocolate pie filling in the microwave using the same method.
    It’s so nice to complete in 10 minutes what it would generally take me 30 minutes (or more) over the stove!

    Thanks for the idea, Deede – I’m absolutely going to try that next time I do a chocolate cream pie… PJH

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  18. Rocky-cat

    Since it’s getting to be that time of the year – I frequently make hamentaschen with a lime curd filling and they taste wonderful. I think I just found my shortcut. Now I’m wondering about pomegranate curd. I have this bottle of pomegranate juice in the fridge that no one wants to drink. I guess we’ll be finding out what pomegranate hamentaschen taste like.

    Interesting…. let us know how it turns out, OK? PJH

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  19. estrellas

    Thank you so much for posting this! I already have a humongous stack of recipes to try, but one like this that simplifies my baking will be put on TOP of the pile :-) And lemon is just the thing to brighten any winter day. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  20. Bridgid

    @ marcin – Meyer lemons DO taste much different than “regular” lemons. They are much sweeter – less “puckery”, almost a cross between a lemon & an orange. I use them to make my lemon meringue pie.

    Reply
  21. marcin

    Thank you so much, Bridgid. I have always wondered. So now I have to try the Meyer lemons. I’m daydreaming about a package of puff pastry with a lemon curd filling. All for myself! :) The holidays are over and it’s just me and the fridge! :)

    Reply
  22. Dee

    This sounds amazing and doable, too. Could you please tell me how long this would last, assuming it’s not eaten first?

    Not sure, Dee, but the usual shelf life of homemade lemon curd is about 3 weeks… if, as you say, it lasts that long! :) PJH

    Reply
    1. Pamela Capraru

      Freeze it in 8 oz. plastic tubs with lids and stack them in your freezer. That way, you always have it on hand for filling a cake, or layering with whipped cream or sweetened greek yogurt and berries in champagne flutes for an easy, fancy dessert. It lasts well, and it tastes delicious right off a spoon while still partially frozen.

  23. sbuchanan

    Thanks for a wonderful sounding recipe PJ. In the past I’ve made a lemon curd pie – the pie filling is very liquid and as the pie bakes the ‘curd’ thickens – it is really pucker power but oh, so good. Meyer Lemons are the answer. Another way to use the lemon curd is to make meringue, as if for lemon meringue pie, and fold the lemon curd into the meringue. I would serve this in a glass parfait dish and my children really loved it and didn’t realize they were eating meringue as the texture was more souffle like.

    Excellent ideas – thanks! PJH

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  24. HMB

    Wow, that WAS easy … and tasty!

    I have Meyers and Eurekas in my backyard, and I will add that besides being sweeter, Meyers have a more floral aroma than Eurekas. Meyers are a cross between lemons and mandarins, and they have that very thin peel like mandarin oranges.

    @Sheena — Interesting. I also often note a metallic taste, even when I am cooking lemon curd the “old-fashioned” way in an enamel-lined pan and stirring with a wooden spoon. So there’s no reacting with aluminum in that case; must be something else. Hope somebody out there can enlighten us!

    Thanks for the update. I wonder if the metallic taste can come from adding the grated peel? Peel can sometimes have a bitter flavor that might seem metallic-like… They’re always saying to “avoid the bitter pith,” although truthfully the white part just tastes bland to me. Still, there must be a bitter element somewhere in the peel… PJH

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  25. ohiosister53

    Ooooh, just in time for Meyer lemons in the store right now! I like the less thick consistency…one reason I don’t buy the jarred stuff. This would be great on some homemade gingerbread cake. Making it this weekend!

    I know, Meyers are back in the stores, perfect for those of us who don’t happen to have a tree in the backyard! :) PJH

    Reply
  26. TrishaT

    This looks really fun. I have a bag of Meyer lemons in the fridge.

    Which cookies would you spread them on? I am also intrigued by the lemon braided bread, but I am leaning more towards a dessert. Any cake suggestions? Thanks!
    Lemon curd would be wonderful on so many cookies including vanilla dreams, very lemon cookies, and it would also be a great cake filling. I can definitely imagine it between layers of our tender white cake. ~Amy

    Reply
    1. Dorothy Wheat

      This would be so delicious in a jelly roll. Dust with powdered sugar with a drop of lemon oil added to it.

  27. Margy

    So I did try this with clementines, had a stray lemon and added it also, with finely grated lemon and clementine zest. Took six minutes to reach 187deg on my new Thermapen (my Christmas gift from my sister–love it!). I did take a few tablespoons out to quick chill in the freezer to check the consistency. YUM! Not as thick as commercial, but delicious. It made enough to fill two sterilized 1 cup canning jars for the fridge, with enough left over to eat now. I did a little informal survey of some commercial curds–they all contained some sort of thickening agent (xanthum gum, agar, pectin, locust bean gum, tapioca starch, etc). This seems to be basically a kind of stirred custard using citrus juice instead of milk, but without the painful need to stand over the stove stirring (I’m all about the shortcuts).
    Congratulations on the Patriots win. I am mourning my Ravens–so close, yet so far (sniff, sob, dramatic beating of breast)!

    Margy, interesting twist – bet it’s delicious! As for the Ravens – they had the WORST-LUCK 15 seconds of football I ever saw, between the dropped pass and missed FG. Being a Red Sox fan for 45 years, I can truthfully say – I feel your pain… ;) PJH

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  28. mikkianderson

    Here is a tip for you PJ, if you want to use lemon zest but don’t want to strain or have strings; put the sugar and lemon zest in the food processor for 3-5 minutes.

    This has 2 benefits 1. zest is ground to a pulp, literally! 2. sugar is ground finer so the resulting curd is smoother. I usually let the sugar grind while I am juicing so no extra prep/cook time.

    This also is a great infused sugar for tea. Zest of 3 lemons, 1.5 C. sugar, grind 3-5 minutes use right away or dry and store in air tight container.

    Darn, now I’m wishing I hadn’t composted all those “spent” lemons! I am totally going to make lemon sugar next time. Thanks, Mikki – PJH

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  29. daphnewoman

    I’ve been using this method for years – love the microwave for this kind of cooking. The main trick is not to just leave the micro running – watch and stir often. Also, if I don’t need so much I put some in the freezer. Just get it out and put it in the refrig for a day or so and you’re set to go. Yummmmmy!

    Thanks for the freezer tip and the hints, Daphne – much appreciated! PJH

    Reply
  30. maccourt

    Boy oh boy, where do all these people live who are going out the back door and picking lemons off a tree!? I have a foot of snow out my back door and I’m lucky if I can find a decent lemon in the store.

    I had a foot of snow in my backyard Sunday – by Tuesday it was gone. YEAH! Why did I bother to shovel? Love the January thaw… :) PJH

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  31. omaria

    This is for Melanie. I tried to can lemon curd last year. My jars were half empty and all the curd had gone into the water. THEN I read up on it and it said you cannot can anything with eggs in it. So freezing it is .

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  32. SheenaC

    @HMB and PJH: I’ve never put peel in my curd,so I have no idea what went wrong. Perhaps I just overcooked? I’m excited to try this recipe to see if I can finally enjoy a home-made curd. My Meyer lemons will definitely be harvested this weekend. Thank you both for your comments :).

    Good luck, Sheena – let us know how it comes out. PJH

    Reply
  33. nthompson

    Haha thank you for this!!! I’ve always struggled with the “coat the back of a spoon” directive … This looks amazingly delicious, but I don’t know what to put it on! I’ve never had the luxury of fresh lemon curd in the house, so I’m not sure what to do with it. Do I need to make some scones, too?
    Yes! This is a calling for scones. You may use it to flavor whipped cream, butter cream or pastry cream. You could also fill a tart shell with the curd followed by fresh fruit or spread the curd in between cake layers. I like to just eat it with a spoon, personally. Elisabeth

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  34. "Denise at Shadylane"

    One of my fondest childhood memories is eating the “left-over” lemon curd my mother made. I remember her stirring for what seemed like forever so never tried it myself. I’m adding this to my list of “treats for me” and love the idea of blueberry tarts. On another note… I chop crystalized ginger and put it in the food processor with sugar to use when rolling ginger cookie dough. Tiny bits of ginger remain and give the cookies an extra “pop”. Plus, it looks really pretty on the cookies.
    This sounds heavenly. Ginger and lemon is over the top good! Elisabeth

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  35. HappyLymeCook

    I have only made curd the old fashioned way, and since I don’t own a microwave, cannot immediately try this out.

    for the other poster, tho — I have made lemon, lime, and clementine curd – all very good. grapefruit curd seems very interesting, too.

    the canning books say you can can curd (!!) but it needs to be kept in the fridge, even unopened. it will keep for 3 months that way – but who can keep this for 3 months without eating it?

    also, I have added curd to buttercream frosting for the outside of a cake, while putting curd on the layers in between. yummy!

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  36. bobs1joy

    I am definitely going to try this! I don’t mind making it on the stove, but if this turns out well, then why bother?! : )
    Will you-all be adding this to your recipes (for easier printing)? :D
    I am not sure about that but will put in a request to our web team. Elisabeth

    Sure, I can add it to our recipes… PJH

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  37. Belle Rita

    Don’t use bottled lemon juice unless you are using pure lemon juice. The stuff that comes in the green bottles is reconstituted and it isn’t the same. Meyer lemons are less acidic and I think jucier. Supposedly they are a combination of oranges and lemons. I make a lemon curd on top of the stove that calls for a double boiler, but I don’t use one and just stand there and stir constantly. Doesn’t take even 10 minutes.
    You are brave. I learned my lesson on the stove top. I was making a mega batch and was not as careful as I should have been (multi-tasking got the best of me). My curd ended up with little bits of scorched curd throughout. It had a nice smoky taste! Well, smoky, but not nice! Elisabeth

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  38. tobybowen

    I also loathe finding stringy bits of peel in smooth things and will try the lemon sugar option for this – thanks for those suggesting that! For recipes with less sugar, would the new lemon powder you’re carrying work as a substitute for peel? If so, in what proportions?

    Thanks for the great recipe!
    You could try adding about 1-2 t. of lemon powder for starters. Experiment! Elisabeth

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  39. Jan

    Was wondering if Splenda would work in place of sugar? Us diabetics LOVE lemon curd also, but so much sugar!
    I would not use Splenda exclusively. Try using half Splenda and have granulated sugar. Let us know how it goes, Jan. Elisabeth

    Reply
    1. Debra

      There is a great lemon curd recipe using Swerve over on alldayidreamaboutfood.com. She is diabetic and posts mostly low carb recipes for all kinds of things.

      I just made this curd and it certainly never ‘mounded,’ although it has thickened up somewhat. Not sure what happened as I followed instructions to the letter. Anyone have any ideas? It does taste great but I guess I’ll just let it sit for a bit and see what happens.

  40. Becca

    I am a working mom and I have no time to cook for my kids. This seem a very easy to make. I will definitely try this…thanks!

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  41. Cyn

    This sounds so good! I’ve got a Duncan Hines Tiara pan, AKA Mary Ann pan (remember the Tiara dessert mixes from the 1980s?) and I’ve been wanting to try a cake filled with lemon curd. A question — could I cook this mixture on the stove, using a glass bowl as the top portion of a double boiler setup? Yes, I realize the microwave would be more convenient! I just sort of like cooking with the stove…call me weird. :-)
    I love that pan. The curd will be perfect! Yes, you may use a glass bowl. Elisabeth

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  42. HMB

    @Sheena
    I don’t always put in the peel (depending on if I’m in a hurry or what I’m doing with the curd), so I don’t think that’s it either. Maybe it has to do with how long the lemons have been on the tree or something like that — maybe there is something in the lemons that some people can taste when the concentration hits a certain threshhold. All I know is sometimes I taste it, and sometimes I don’t.
    I am a texture gal, so I love the zest. The curd will create quite a punch without it. But, if you want more, the addition of lemon powder or lemon oil to suit your taste buds would be fine, too. Elisabeth

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  43. Paula Lovett

    I can hardly wait to try this recipe. I have a Meyer Lemmon tree in my yard. I know that Meyer Lemons are a cross between a lemon and a tangerine. I am going out to pick some and make curd. My friends are going to be happy I found this recipe (:
    Meyer lemons are a treasure. Your curd will be sweeter! That is not a bad thing. Just not as much zing. Elisabeth

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  44. Elaine Cammisa

    I can’t wait to try this with the Meyer lemons I have in the fridge. As far as the thickening goes, how about adding airflow ClearJel before it refrigerating?

    Sure, Elaine, give it a try – I’d mix it with some of the sugar first, otherwise it’ll clump, and go ahead and cook it right along with the rest of the ingredients. Let us know how it comes out – PJH

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  45. anna mid-maine

    oh my….wow….this is so good….and so easy….the most time consuming part was zesting the lemons. I freeze the zest to use in other baked goods. I microwaved it for 45-second intervals 10 times, wrote 1 thru 10 on a piece of paper, crossing off each number when I put the bowl back in, could never remember otherwise!! Thank you, thank you, I love this.

    Glad it worked well for you, Anna – I want to try this with tangerine juice next… PJH

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  46. PatriciaSeasons

    I am making this …for sure.

    From your great magazine… or in your own vast knowledge, what is the definite temperature of butter when making real butter cream? Everything I read is descriptive, not degrees.
    I just recently learned that room temp butter was 70 degrees and you find out by sticking the instant read thermometer in the cube. Duh! And for years I pushed my finger in the cube and said, “maybe this would be right”. I have yet to get butter for butter cream just right.

    Patricia: here’s the good news. There is no one, single temperature that’s right for buttercream. You might want to check out the blog on Italian Buttercream here ; I show all the things you can do to try and break one. I’ve put cold butter from the refrigerator into hot meringue to bring its temperature down, then switched to soft butter to finish the frosting. If all the butter you have for the frosting is soft and at room temperature, you’ll want to make sure the meringue is around 80 to 85 degrees before you start adding it to the mixing bowl. Susan

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  47. ammodery

    Okay! That’s IT! You are all making me salivate with this talk of lemon curd. I’m going to the grocery store to see if I can find some Meyer lemons, and if not, the regular kind will do! I’ve just got to have some of this stuff for the leftover ginger cookies!!

    Reply
  48. valerie46

    I’m English, have lived here for 30 years and always make my own lemon curd since it’s nicer and so much cheaper than the imported version (sorry Your Majesty!)

    I did try canning it once, but it separated. I still used it, just gave it a good stir, but it was extremely runny – more like a sauce.

    There’s nothing quite a like a traditional English Victoria Sponge cake, sandwiched with lemon buttercream and fresh lemon curd. Oooo – I’m off to round up the ingredients!!!

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  49. amazonium

    I can’t wait to try this method- I made a big batch today and I always cook it in a double boiler whilst stir, stir, strirring! Also I do put the rind into the sugar and whiz it in the food processor- I like the extra tang that it gives without adding more juice- does that make sense? Also, to the person who asked what to do with an abundance of lemons- I zest them first, extract the juice, and it can be stored in the frig for a couple of weeks. I have also frozen it in small quantities to be used at will. Hope this helps.

    Yes, pulverizing the peel with sugar makes a lovely lemon sugar – don’t know why I didn’t do that, but I surely will next time! When I have a lot of lemons, I juice them, add sugar to the juice, and use the resulting syrup to make lemonade, one glass at a time. SOOO good… PJH

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  50. Elaine Cammisa

    Just noticed in my comment that my iphone auto-corrected my wording from “a little ClearJel” to “airflow ClearJel.” Anyway I will try cooking it with the ClearJel and see how it goes!

    Reply
  51. edandclaire

    Oooohhhhhh…….I am SOOO jealous of all you folks who have Meyer lemons in your stores or growing in your backyards!! But, can’t wait to try this recipe with the plain old lemons I am forced to PURCHASE! ♥

    Reply
  52. "elianna m"

    So I have been craving lemon _anything_ ever since seeing this. But I need lemons… :) Western New York might be enjoying “spring” – but we don’t quite have those lemons in the backyard!
    Can’t wait to try this. Thinking sugar-cookie base, lemon spread on top… :)

    And since you’ll have some egg whites around, a little meringue on top? Susan

    Reply
  53. Ingrid

    Can this be done on an Induction cook top instead of the microwave?

    Sure, it can. The cooking method will be somewhere in between the traditional and PJ’s microwave method. Whisk everything together, but put it on a saucepan that works on your induction burner instead of in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Inductions are pretty quick, so you’ll want to stay with it. As soon as the curd thickens, pour it out of the pan into another container so the heat from the pan doesn’t continue to cook the mixture. Susan

    Reply
  54. Horiba

    Can I replace lemon with key lime to make key lime curd? And if I mix the curd with whipped cream,that would be delicious keylime pie. I should try that! Did anyone try that?

    No reason key lime juice shouldn’t work, like PJ said. Make pie while the limes are plentiful! Susan

    Reply
  55. gaitedgirl

    O.M.G. PJ, you are the best EVER!!! I’ve got some clementines that are just begging to be used in this recipe! And this gives me an excuse to make scones to go with it (like I need an excuse). My best friend is going to go positively bonkers when I bring her some! And she loves lemon curd so I’ll have to make some of the original recipe for her! Thanks so much PJ!!!!! (And thanks Modern Baking!)

    Thanks for your enthusiasm, GG! Don’t you love it when you chance across something like this? Let us know how the clementine curd comes out, OK? :) PJH

    Reply
  56. weaverchick

    I’ve made a lemon lavender curd in the traditional manner for years. I use lavender-infused sugar (regular sugar stored with organic lavender for several days, then strained) and both lavender and meyers lemon zest in the curd. The whole mess is strained after cooking. I just made a batch using this method and noticed that the lavender component is reduced to a bare hint. I’m thinking that because the cooking time is so much less, the lavender volatilizes less. Anyone have any ideas?
    It may have to do with how old the lavender sugar is; the volatile compounds in it may be slowly dissipating over time. You could increase the amount of lavender you’re putting in before straining it back out. Since microwaves cook by agitating the molecules in the food from the inside out, I suspect you may be losing more of the lavender’s oils than you realize using this method. Does the inside of the microwave smell of lavender when you open it? It would also be interesting to see if cooking the curd with a loose covering of waxed paper makes a difference. Susan

    Reply
  57. jencoym

    I made the lemon curd yesterday- delicious and it only took 5 min in my microwave. Then I whipped 1 cup of heavy cream and mixed that with it and put it in a graham cracker crust- into the freezer overnight and my family and I enjoyed a lemon icebox pie! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Just what I was planning to do with it – you beat me to the pie! Thanks for letting us know how it came out – PJH

    Reply
  58. dianaw46

    Can’t wait to have my cooking students make this. Although in a post above it does say you can freeze it will the consistency be different upon thawing? Will there be any separation after thawing? Just trying to be ready for any eventuality.

    I haven’t tried freezing it myself yet, Diana. Readers, can someone who’s frozen lemon curd chime in here? Thanks- PJH

    Reply
  59. SheenaC

    I made the curd today, and it was a success! It’s the only curd that’s ever worked for me, and the best part is that I didn’t have to baby it over s hot stove. There was no metallic taste – hurrah! Thanks, PJ!!

    Excellent, Sheena, so glad to hear it! Thanks for reporting back – PJH

    Reply
  60. cathy3925

    OMG! My husband just gained 10 lbs. He loves lemon curd, but I don’t make it often because of the stirring and time involved. I can’t wait to try this. Also, thanks for the heads up about “Modern Baking.” It looks like a great magazine.

    Reply
  61. Bridget from Refined Vintage

    This has to be one of the simplest lemon curd recipes ever, Thank you for sharing! And to the others who commented about making chocolate fillings as well. Who knew?? Thank you!

    Reply
  62. PeggyC

    I’ve been making microwave lemon curd for years! It’s a wonderful, near-foolproof method. I add a couple of extra yolks to mine, however, for richness and texture. As well, I zest my lemons with a vegetable peeler, so that it comes off in large strips, and then remove them from the curd after cooking. That way you get the flavor, but no ‘bits’ in the curd!
    I’m with you on the no-bits-in-the-curd rule. I don’t like pulp in the OJ either! ~Amy

    Reply
  63. maccourt

    I received a box in the mail yesterday from my brother who lives in FL – fruit from his trees, including Meyer lemons! Made this curd last night, and I’m embarassed to say there is none left 24 hours later. It’s THAT good. It’s especially good mixed into plain, drained yogurt which I also made last night. A keeper recipe, but one that I obviously can’t make often (2 eggs, a cup of sugar and a stick of butter – my poor arteries!)

    Reply
  64. DonChaCha

    This is so delicious and easy! I made it yesterday and enjoyed it this morning on toasted homemade bread. It’s really tangy, I think, because I cut the amount of sugar from 1cup to 3/4cup and added a pinch of salt.

    Reply
  65. Marc

    Another way to get some of the lemon zest essence into the curd without stringiness would be to steep finely grated lemon zest in the juice for a little while, then strain to remove the zest bits.

    The sugar+zest+food processor idea from Gwen, mikkianderson, Amazonium and others above is a great one and I’m going to try that when I make this lemon curd recipe over the weekend.

    Reply
  66. Randy

    OH. MY. GOD. Soooooo good. I halved the recipe and made it in my largest microwave-safe bowl; no spillovers. I zested one of my lemons, then combined the zest with part of the sugar in my mortar and pestle, and ground the zest into a paste before adding it back to the sugar and continuing with the recipe. This stuff is OUTRAGEOUSLY good. I’m going to experiment with substituting half the lemon juice with lime (I think all lime would be too tart) and with orange (I think all orange would be too sweet). Maybe even grapefruit.

    All sound good, Randy… it’s a versatile recipe, for sure. PJH

    Reply
  67. quinn

    I just tried makng this, and after 3 hours cooling it still isn’t thick. I cooked it for 12 minutes, but maybe that wasn’t enough with my microwave. Can I safely recook it, either in the micro or stovetop? I hate to waste the ingredients, and it smells lovely! But should I be concerned about the eggs?
    Thanks for your help!

    Sorry, Quinn, without knowing how hot it got the first go-around, I wouldn’t feel comfortable advising you on the safety of the eggs at this point. Sounds to me like your microwave might not get very hot. Or, maybe you didn’t use large eggs? You might want to call our baking hotline, 802-649-3717; they can talk you through this, find out what happened. PJH

    Reply
  68. quinn

    Thanks, PJ, you must be right about my micorwave, but I didn’t have a thermometer to check. The eggs were very large, organic and very fresh…right out of my Poultry Palace that morning. I thought I saw that “spoon coating” thing, but apparently I was in too much of a hurry to eat lemon curd! Oh well, live and learn :) I’ll definitely try again – thanks for your help!

    Reply
  69. Margy

    So I decided to try an experiment. I mixed everything as directed and threw it into my Zo on the jam setting, and let it go until it coated the spoon and reached 185-190deg, the stopped the cycle poured it into a container and refrigerated overnight. I was afraid it would curdle, but it actually worked! Took about 30-40min, but needed very little babysitting. Love that Zo! Now I have te teach it how to do laundry and fold the clothes!

    Great tip, Margy – I’m definitely trying it in my Zo next time. Thanks! PJH

    Reply
  70. judyL

    If you want it a little thicker, something I use a lot is very small amounts of unflavored gelatin, and depending on what it is a teeny amount of guar gum for creamy texture. I heat the liquid used in the recipe and dissolve it in there and then proceed with the recipe…. also since I have a diabetic husband i use XYLITOL ONLY – never sugar, and have had wonderful results… Cant wait to make this one…I love Lemon anything. I had to learn to cook for being a celiac BEFORE anyone knew what it was…

    Reply
  71. Jeanette

    I’ve been making lemon curd (the old fashioned way) for over 50 years since growing up in England. For those who make it the old fashioned way, be sure and cook it the top of a double boiler, water about 1 inch deep in the bottom, also be sure to use a wooden spoon. This is the way I have always made it but I’m turning over a new leaf, going to try it in the micro-wave. Delicious on scones, English muffins, toast or just eating it out of the jar…..

    Thanks for the tips, Jeanette – and good for you, being willing to try something new. If your tried-and-true method works, great, then you’ll have to ways to make lemon curd, right? Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  72. jtee4short

    Wow, here I was thinking I was going to have to hunt down lemon curd at a specialty store! This sounds so easy I can’t wait to try it and use it for the Braided Lemon Bread. It will be the first time I try either recipe but having read the blogs and everyone’s feedback I am positive I can do it!

    I’m positive you can do it, too – just take it step by step, and I’m sure you’ll reach a happy conclusion… PJH

    Reply
  73. srizilla

    this was awesome PJ–i was very clearly overcooking my stovetop attempts previously as the texture is completely different. so much easier, no extra whites to have to purpose! thanks so much for coming up w this!

    i was wondering how mixing some curd in would impact how long the italian buttercream(made w meringue powder) would remain stable, especially at room temperature. i knew i could use it but wasn’t sure if that would affect the shelf-life of an iced cake, whether it would be more likely to weep (which is what happened to my lemon curd whipped cream in the fridge after 1-2 days) and whether the cake would then require refrigeration. i was hoping to do the cake the day before but can probably manage it the day of if it’s a concern since a butter cake doesn’t fare as well in the fridge. plus, it’s a two tiered cake and i doubt it would fit in my fridge. do you have any thoughts on that?\

    Hi. Lemon Curd will weaken the stability of the buttercream. It will make it softer and “airier”. And, it will soften quicker if the room is warm. I recommend chilling the cake after completion. The icing and the cake will “slump” if you leave it out of the fridge for 24 hours. Especially if the weight of 2 or more tiers is involved.

    As for construction, with this style of cake, the tiers should be fully chilled, individually, on card board bases before attempting to stack them, AND dowels must be used to structurally support of any upper layers. I suggest you make this a 2 stage project and apply the final decoration after the tiers are assembled on the day of the event. Good luck with your project. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  74. srizilla

    thanks so much–i’ll hold off on icing the cake for sure then. maybe i should hold off on mixing the curd into the buttercream too until the day of, have everything ready to go but not mix them together or ice the cake until the day of the event. i was planning on the dowels but wasn’t planning on a plate between the layers as the top layer was only planned as a 6 inch layer (though i was considering a 9 inch). in this case the cake will just be iced in buttercream w a fondant ribbon w fresh flowers.

    issue will be i’m supposed to make the same flavor combination for a half sheet cake for a friend w fondant decorations on top which will take me much longer to complete. certainly the cake w the fondant would be iced less heavily–little more than a crumb coat but less than a full portion of icing–so there would be less “slumping” involved, but i won’t be able to do it the day of and get all the fondant decorations done. hm. don’t know if anyone i know has access to a fridge that can accommodate a half sheet cake. <=)

    Can you make the fondant decorations ahead of time, and just set them on the cake right before? I’m no cake expert, as you know, but I’ve seen people do this… PJH

    Reply
  75. Penny

    This is SO good. I did use the lemon rind then put the curd through a sieve while it was still hot. Mmmmmmm – lemony!

    Reply
  76. schatzi1951

    I had an overload of lemon marmalade I needed to use or throw out – added eggs and melted butter to it in the food processor, popped it in the microwave and *voila* LEMON CURD! Time to bake scones!

    Wow – brilliant! Thanks for sharing this twist – PJH

    Reply
  77. patricia

    PJH, about how long did it take for it to take for it to completely cool

    Gosh, Patricia, I can’t remember. A couple of hours at least, I’d guess. If you’re wondering about it setting, let it rest in the fridge over night before you judge whether it worked for you, OK? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  78. MsGO

    This was phenomenal and fast! No more conventional curd making for me. It took 3 1/2 minutes in my microwave and it was done. I used it to make an icebox cake. I used store bought lemon wafers in place of the traditional chocolate wafers the recipe calls for. I added a curd layer and I also blended some of the curd into the whipped cream. I even made a lemon flavored simple syrup to dunk the cookies in as I assembled the layers. I need to join a twelve step program for my lemon addiction! By tomorrow afternoon I’ll be ready for my treat. Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to try some of the other variations mentioned by previous posters!

    So glad we’ve been able to add fuel to your “lemon fire,” Ms.GO! It’s really a nice technique, isn’t it? Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  79. lauried

    Oh my goodness, this is delicious! I never thought I could make something like this, because a) I have an aversion to any recipe calling for a double burner and b) I don’t have the patience for extended stirring.
    I plan to make the lemon bliss cake as a layer cake (hoping it works!) and using the curd as the filling. I’m going to add some coconut somewhere since I’m craving that combination. Maybe some shredded on top or in the cake batter. Any thoughts?

    This cake should work fine as a layer cake! As for the coconut, it can certainly be placed on the cake or in the batter or into the filling!-Jon

    Reply
  80. gardenguy

    i use my fine microplane to zest or grate small volumes. the resulting “snow” virtually melts into any liquid.

    I have a few different microplanes in my own kitchen, each with their own purpose. I ADORE my fine zester for that exact reason: the resulting fine flakes virtually disappear in my sauces/cakes/glazes. Amazing! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  81. BABZ

    I love homemade lemon curd. It’s tart and sweet, bursting with bright lemon flavor…very unlike even the best jarred curd. I always finely grate the zest of a lemon, and add a little lemon essential oil to bring out even more lemon flavor. I have always made this on a stovetop, so I can’t wait to try it in the microwave. It’s like magic….. ;) I think I know what I am doing this weekend….

    Reply
  82. Jeannie

    Made this after seeing the post on King Arthur’s Facebook page. It’s A+mazing! I will be making this again and again. I did use my fine grater and used the rind. Lemon curd is not difficult to make, but it is time consuming. Thank you so much for a quick and tasty, tried and true recipe King Arthur.

    I made a rendition using key lime juice and fresh zest and also had A+mazing results! Might have to try blood orange or adding a squeak of ginger to my lemon curd next. Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply
  83. Lois

    Thanks for a great recipe. I was dehydrating apples today and I dip them in lemon juice before dehydrating. I always hate to throw away the juice and usually add it to drink. It was nice to stumble across this on pinterest and have a different way to use up the leftovers. I made a batch and its currently cooling in the fridge. It tasted so good.

    Fantastic, Lois! That is simply brilliant! Glad you could turn your “lemons into lemonade”…er, lemon curd, that is! ;) Kim@KAF

    Reply
  84. Jeanette

    Have tried this new method and it really does work. I won’t be doing it the old fashioned way from here on. Delish. and so time saving.

    This is one of those things the microwave is SO handy for, Jeanette. BTW, have you tried our microwave jam? YUMMMMM… PJH

    Reply
  85. duonyte

    I do what someone else mentioned – whir the lemon zest along with the sugar, using my immersion blender – to maximize the lemon flavor, reduce the size of the zest pieces. I do intend to try this method, but also want to recommend this method, in the slow cooker – takes longer but very little work and it makes a great lemon curd. A bunch of the ladies at the office are now using this method, http://www.food.com/recipe/the-national-trust-heritage-lemon-curd-crock-pot-or-traditional-275052

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for sharing. One of the things I love about coming to work is talking about and sharing recipes. Sounds like you have that, too! Elisabeth

  86. Marilia

    Tks so much for sharing this!! I needed a lemon curd to fill macaroons and the store ones were just to expensive! I was going to do the traditional cooking method for this until I found this recipe. I just finish it (in 5 minutes) and came out perfectly. No mess, no stirring forever… Just perfect! Tks tks tks!!!

    Reply
  87. Nikki

    I am so excited to try this out! As a gardener in CA with a bevy of Meyer lemons that finally perfectly ripened on my tree and more coming along I wanted to experiment with lemony thing I love, and curd is one of them! And perfect to go with all the strawberries that are just starting to ripen in my garden (oh yes, be jealous of our fall and winter crops). I am going to try the zest with the sugar because the Meyers are not particularly sour and maybe throw in the juice of one Eureka to pucker it up, but I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself… now which bread/cake/cookie/muffin to partake in with this?
    Thanks again

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      You are definitely lucky, with your own fresh fruits this time of year! We had snow today… Anyway, best of luck and I hope it comes out well for you. PJH

  88. Nikki

    Oh man! This recipe is awesome! As I said I was excited to make it and I just did. So great!

    I did what I said I would do and I used the trick of keeping a few spoons in the freezer to test the thickness of how it would be when it was cool- and it was perfect (backed up with the handy-dandy thermapen too).

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  89. Lis

    So glad I tried this out! Truly easy and delicious, and a few extra minutes in the microwave yeilds a thicker result. Word to the wise: try not to use any metal anywhere in the process. I have an aluminum reamer (for juicing the lemons) and I used a metal strainer. I did get a slightly metallic tang in the final product, which makes me think this is just finicky–like Kombucha. Don’t use any metal, anywhere, for the creamiest, purest flavor.

    If anyone has had success doubling this recipe, please post your thoughts!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You could use pasteurized eggs, but it would still be safest to refrigerate the lemon curd if you wanted to store it for more than a day. ~Jaydl@KAF

  90. Cristina

    I am so glad I came across this recipe. I just made a version of it but used blackberry pulp and a bit of orange juice instead of lemon and it is soooooooooo good! The best part is that it was so easy to make. I wrote all about it in my blog http://www.lameninasweets.com. Thank you so much for a great recipe! I’m going to make some homemade scones now and tuck into them both while watching Downton Abbey, lol. I should probably make some tea to go with that huh? ; )

    Reply
  91. luvpyrpom

    I had some leftover lemons from all the zesting for the holiday cookies. Ran across this recipe and made it. Added a little bit of Clear Jel as I had used margarine instead of butter. The curd was wonderful and I ended up making a couple of vanilla cakes in my Maryann cake pans. Topped it off with fresh blueberries. Extremely yummy! Definitely a keeper!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      I just made lemon poppy seed muffins. Thanks for the reminder that I can whip this up to go with them. BTW, my daughter’s birth name is Shannon and we called her Shanny for years. LOVE your email addy. :) ~ MJ

  92. sharon

    I need to make a lemon merengue pie and have yet to find a filling that I like. Would this lemon curd work for a pie?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      It definitely would work, Sharon – make sure your crust is fully baked first, as you don’t want to bake the curd, other than the time it spends in the oven while the meringue is browning, which should be brief. Good luck – PJH

  93. Luisa

    I can’t wait to try this recipe, as I just love lemon meringue pie ( no one else in my family is very fond of it) …love all the suggestions especially the one with the folded whipping cream without the pie shell like enjoying a parfait by adding strawberries or raspberries in between or on top and the very best part is the no bake!!!…I might make some scones while I’m waiting for the curd to set!!! Yummy, yum,yum!!
    Thanks sooo very much!!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The no bake option for a super dessert is great for those hot days of summer that are sure to come! Elisabeth@KAF

  94. Kimberly

    Making lemon curd was much easier than I thought! Thank you for providing an easy recipe that turned out perfectly!

    Reply
  95. Nancy S. Gray

    Well it’s taken me long enough to try. So I did and it’s just great and I’ll be making lime and orange too! Thanks for making this so easy.
    NSG

    Reply

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