Homemade microwave lemon curd is fresh, zesty and so easy to make when compared to the traditional version. This grown up recipe adds a twist with a dash of gin for an extra layer of flavour.
Hot buttered toast shining with zesty yellow lemon curd is a real treat, especially at tea time, and here we’ve made things a bit more grown up with our easy microwave gin lemon curd. The juniper flavours of the gin work well with the lemon; unsurprising, as lemon is such a classic garnish for gin drinks, a similar idea to whisky marmalade. The secret to lemon curd is not to over sweeten it; we far prefer a spread with a noticeably (but not overpoweringly) acid edge rather than an over sweet, over set commercial spread.
Lemon curd became popular during the Victorian age – something to do with plentiful supplies of sugar the country house orangery where citrus fruit could be grown. Unlike jam curd doesn’t really keep that well without a fridge so you do need to make it in smaller quantities. It can be frozen, but given that it’s so easy to make with a microwave, it’s probably easier to just whip up a small batch as and when you feel the craving for homemade lemon curd.
If you don’t want the gin then just leave it out, adding a little more lemon juice, or maybe for an extra lemony treat add a little limoncello in its place!
Fruit curds are one of those things that seem a lot more difficult to make before you’ve had a go. But making them in the microwave makes the process far easier. No bain-marie, no need to watch and stir constantly. Simply bung the ingredients into a bowl, zap it for a few minutes, take it out, stir, and if needed zap it again. If, once cooled, it’s not set to your satisfaction, pop it back for another go.
As with making a traditional egg custard the curd thickens slowly during cooking but will only achieve its final consistency when cool (although unlike a custard this microwave lemon curd uses whole eggs rather than just the yolks). You can test during the cooking process by seeing how it coats the back of a spoon or spatula; if you clear a stripe down the back of the spoon with your finger, when the curd is ready it will stay clear and not be quickly re-covered with runny curd.
Once made, transfer the curd into clean jars that have been sterilized in a hot oven for a few minutes. If using Kilner jars with rubber seals, boil the seals in plenty of water. Let the filled jars cool, and then keep in the fridge. The curd will keep for up to a month; if it lasts that long, or freeze it.
- 115 g unsalted butter
- zest of 3 lemons (finely grated)
- 240 ml lemon juice
- 260 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbs gin
Zest the lemons before you cut them in half to juice them.
Place all the ingredients, apart from the gin, into a microwave safe bowl and cook on full power for 6 minutes.
Cooking timings will vary - see the notes below.
Whisk thoroughly after every minute of cooking time until the curd has thickened - and will thickly coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in the gin and cook for a further minute or two until thick.
Strain through a sieve into small sterilized jars. Seal.
- Timings will vary, depending on the power of your microwave, type of bowl and the starting temperature of your ingredients, and how much gin you add. Keep going. Zap and stir. The lemon curd will eventually set.
- The curd will keep in the fridge for up to one month or freeze well.
- It is much easier to zest the lemons before you juice them.
- To get more juice from the lemons roll them on the worktop before squeezing, under the heel of your hand with a medium pressure.
- Freeze the lemon rinds to use in your morning hot lemon water.
As well as being delicious on toast or scones (as well as straight from the pot by the spoonful) this microwave lemon curd is also excellent used to fill a cake, mixed into yogurt, swirled into no churn lemon curd ice cream or as a filling for my lemon fork biscuits.