Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lemon Curd for the Easily Distracted

Microwave Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is a beautiful thing. Tart, sweet, smooth and just a little bit buttery. And it’s highly versatile, perfect for filling a tart crust, slathering on scones or melting into a warm bowl of steel cut oats.

There is no mystery to making lemon curd, and therefore no reason to stray toward store bought versions. The more transparent and gelatinous a jarred lemon curd appears, the worse it will taste—overly sweet, bitter and sticky.

It used to be that making lemon curd required you to stand over a double boiler coaxing the gently simmering mixture to thicken. In truth, I am easily distracted. A microwave solves the problem. Here is one version, but feel free to use your own favorite recipe—just use the microwave instead of a double boiler on the stove. The proportions in the following recipe are easily reduced by thirds to accommodate how much citrus you have on hand, thereby satisfying a lemon curd fix in mere minutes.

Lemon Curd
adapted from

1 c citrus juice (I used lemon, orange and grapefruit)
1 c sugar
3 eggs
finely grated zest from 3 lemons
1/2 c butter, melted

Whisk ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave, stirring with a wooden spoon every 60 seconds or so. Eventually, the mixture thickens. When it coats the back of the wooden spoon, it’s done. It is really, really hot, so restrain yourself from stealing a taste until it cools a bit.

I used some of the cooled citrus curd to marble in a muffin batter. A few days later, it was eaten with fresh scones, and another morning it went into the oats. If you have any sweet tart dough waiting in the refrigerator, lemon curd would be lovely spooned into a baked crust. Of course, the easiest way to enjoy lemon curd is directly from a spoon.

More lemon curd recipes:
Improved Lemon Curd from David Lebovitz
Meyer Lemon Curd from Poor Girl Eats Well
Tangy Lemon Curd (Honey Sweetened and Dairy Free) from The Nourishing Gourmet
Lemon Curd Ice Cream from Baking Bites
Lemon Layer Cake from Smitten Kitchen

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