Oh microwave lemon curd, let me count the ways… How can something so magical come from just four ingredients two of which we have in our own backyard. I love you, deeply and truly, like Mindy loves cake, like Scout loves Peter Rabbit, like I love wine. And I don’t even care if I’m not sure if you are called butter or curd.
I asked my friends on Facebook if they call this ‘lemon curd’ or ‘lemon butter’ and the results were exactly fifty-fifty, with one person saying that they thought that butter and curd were two different things, so I don’t really know what to call this recipe. But in my world this has always been lemon curd and I have such lovely memories of making it with my mum when I was little.
I think it was actually the first thing I ever learned to cook, to this day every time I get lemon juice in a cut I think of that feeling on zesting my knuckle, good times.
I don’t really know why, but I have always done this in the microwave, it’s not very cool, I’m sure you can do it in a thermomix or on an induction cook top in Jamie Oliver cookware but this is me, and I like to give a hat tip to early nineties suburban Australian cooking every so often.
Yield 3 cups
- one cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- half a cup of sugar
- one teaspoon of lemon zest
- 125 grams of butter
- three big free range eggs
- Melt the butter in a microwaveable bowl, if it gets too hot, let it cool slightly because you don't want it to cook the eggs when you put them in.
- Add the juice, zest and sugar.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and give them a little whisk. It's good to make a habit of cracking the eggs in something different first so if you get a bad egg it (like Veruka Salt) doesn't ruin the rest of your ingredients, and so you don't end up with shell in your mixture. Now it's time to combine the lot and give it a really good whisk.
- Pop the bowl in the microwave for a minute, take it out and whisk nice and hard, put it back in for another minute, take it out and whisk again. Check if the mixture is thick enough by dipping in a spoon and seeing if it coats the back evenly. If it doesn't then pop it back in for 30 seconds at a time, repeating the whisk and cook thing until it thickens enough to coat the spoon. It will get thicker in the fridge too so don't worry too much. it should look nice and creamy like the picture below.
- Make a cup of tea while it cools then slather it on anything you can find and munch. Or pop it in fancy little jars - you can get cool ones here - and make them for hostess or teacher gifts. I don't know how long it lasts for, it barely makes a day in our house but refrigerated you would get at least two weeks. And you can freeze it too.
If your microwave is a really powerful one (they are all so different) then just do thirty seconds from the start. It's better to have to repeat the step more times than to have lumpy curd. If you do want to do it on the stove top just pop it in a pot and stir continuously over medium heat.