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.
Microwave Lemon Curd
Hot buttered toast shining with zesty yellow lemon curd is a real treat, especially at tea time. 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. It’s so much better than an over-sweet, over-set commercial version.
Lemon curd became popular during the Victorian age. Perhaps this was something to do with plentiful supplies of sugar and the country house orangery where citrus fruit could at last be grown locally. Unlike jam, curd doesn’t keep indefinitely, so you do need to make it in smaller quantities and keep it in the fridge. It can be frozen, of course. It’s so easy to make with a microwave, however, that it’s probably easier to just whip up a small batch whenever you want homemade lemon curd.
If you don’t want the gin then just leave it out. Add a little more lemon juice instead, or maybe for an extra lemony treat, try a little limoncello in its place!
Fruit curds are one of those things that can sound intimidating, but they are easy to make. Using the microwave makes the process far easier. No bain-marie, no need to watch and stir constantly, and this recipe uses whole eggs so there is no messing about separating them. Simply bung the ingredients into a bowl and zap it for a few minutes. Then take it out, stir, and if needed zap it again. If the cooled curd does not set to your satisfaction, pop it back for another go.
As with a traditional egg custard, the curd thickens slowly during cooking and will only achieve its final consistency when cool. You can test during the cooking process by checking how it coats the back of a spoon or spatula. Clear a stripe down the back of the spoon with your finger. If the curd is ready, the strip 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 you can freeze it.
I featured this recipe in a newsletter in August 2020 and had this lovely email a few days later!
“I’ve just made your lemon curd with gin which has turned out brilliantly! I would never have thought of adding gin but it mellows the lemon so nicely and it’s really delicious!” – Hazel B
Microwave Lemon Curd with Gin
- 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.
- This recipe is 4 Weight Watchers Smart Points per portion
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.