Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Microwave Lemon Curd #Recipe by Leslie Karst

I think the first time I tasted lemon curd was in England in 1972, when my family was living in Oxford the year my father was on sabbatical. The name is a bit of a turn-off, I admit. But when you learn what its ingredients are—egg yolks, lemon juice, sugar, and butter—it becomes easy to just overlook the “curd” bit.

As soon as I tried it I was addicted. The rich, custardy texture along with the tartness of the lemons makes for the perfect spread for buttered toast. But it’s not cheap, so I don’t tend to keep it on hand on a daily basis. When a friend gave me a big bag of Myer lemons from her tree, however, I decided to try making a batch of my own. I'd recently been given a recipe for lemon curd that you make in the microwave, and here was my chance to try it out. It’s remarkably simple.

an equal number of egg yolks and lemons goes into the curd


Microwave Lemon Curd
(yield: about 1 cup)

½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
½ cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 oz. (½ stick) salted butter, cut into pieces

(I doubled the recipe, which makes enough for a 10-inch pie or tart.)

First, separate the eggs (only the yolks are used in lemon curd, but you can save the whites for a meringue or to add into a fluffy omelette).

Next, juice your lemons:

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need:

Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk, and then beat in the sugar until it’s well-incorporated (use a large, microwave-proof bowl):

Next, pour in the lemon juice and mix well. It will look something like this:

Put the bowl in the microwave,

and cook on high at 30 second intervals, whisking the curd in between each one:

And as I said before, be sure to use a large bowl, with lots of room for the lemon curd to expand as it boils, or it will overflow, as mine did about half-way through the process:

For the amounts given in this recipe, it should take about 4-5 minutes. I doubled the recipe, however, and it took 11 minutes. (The time will vary, depending on the power of your microwave oven.) You’ll know it’s done when it becomes thick and custardy, with lots of bubbles, and it starts to turn a golden color. Here’s what mine looked like when I stopped cooking it:

Finish it off by whisking in the butter, and stirring until it’s completely melted and incorporated:

Since I was using unsalted butter, I added a little salt at the end:

Let it cool a bit, then pour into jars. Once cool, refrigerate until thickened--several hours or overnight.

I was worried that the curd wouldn’t set up, since it seemed a little thin, even after I’d let it cool for a few minutes in the refrigerator. But the next morning when I took it out of the fridge to spread on my toast, I was thrilled to see that it had set up to the perfect consistency:

I can’t think of a better breakfast:

🍋  🌿  🐄

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website
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WHAT A DEAL! For the entire month of January, Leslie's two Lefty Award-nominated books, MURDER FROM SCRATCH and DEATH AL FRESCO are Kindle Deals of the Month, on sale for only $1.99! Wow! 

Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:
“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

Ellery Queen Magazine (featured pick)

All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.



  1. Beautiful! I wonder if this would work with limes?

    1. I see no reason why not, Lucy! Great idea!

    2. I've seen this in stores, Lucy. Right next to the lemon curd jars.

  2. I'm constantly coming across recipes that call for or recommend lemon curd, but I never knew what it was exactly. And now I even know how to make it! Thanks, Leslie!

  3. I absolutely LOVE lemon curd and could just eat it straight from the jar. I can't wait to try out this recipe, Leslie.

  4. Great recipe for an easier version of this wonderful condiment, Leslie. Thank you.

    How long do you think it will keep in the fridge? And do you think it would freeze well?

    1. It should keep well in the fridge for many months. Not sure about freezing, though, as I think it might come out curdled upon defrosting.

      "You can preserve lemon curd by canning using a hot water bath or by freezing. Freezing does not compromise the texture of the curd once thawed. The color, flavor and texture stay true for at least a year. With canning, color changes may start to occur after about six months. By this time of year, my freezer has a little room, so freezing extra curd is definitely on my to do list!"

  5. Clever and easy.
    1-Why do I see such a variety in the sizes of what are supposed to be Meyers lemons? Some are sized like regular lemons and some are tiny and require many of them to get a little juice.
    2-What, besides toast, are some of the ways you use this yummy stuff?

    1. The lemons you see in the photo are from my tree, and come in all sizes (just like children, lol). I like to mix a spoonful or two of lemon curd into yogurt as a breakfast treat, and it's great for a cake or pie filling, as well!

  6. I’ve got to try this! I have Meyer lemons from my brother’s tree.

  7. I didn't know it could be made in the MW, so thanks for the recipe, Leslie! Love the stuff, and have used it in individual trifles with berries, also in crepes and once filled little pastry cups to make mini tarts with whipped cream. I also appreciate your tip and "oopsie" mistake picture, of the overflow, so will try to avoid that!

    1. Oooo... it would go great in a trifle! And yes, gotta love the "oopsie" moments and photos!

  8. You have a lemon tree! Oh boy. This is a terrific recipe, Leslie. I love lemon curd (despite the name) and will definitely try this method. Thank you!

  9. I don't remember a time that we didn't have lemon curd in our home my granny tought me how to make stovetop as a child, I'm definitely going to try your version in the microwave.
    Stay well stay safe stay vigilant stay cheery Kat