If you're a lemon dessert lover, you should absolutely save this recipe! This microwave lemon curd can be used in so many ways. It's great between layers of cake, spread on top of cheesecake, or even as a dip for cookies and graham crackers. The best part is, it's made in less than 5 minutes!
I've confessed this to you before, but I'll say it again: I'll take a lemon dessert over a chocolate dessert any day.
The fun thing about loving lemon so much and being a recipe developer is that when I do make a chocolate dessert to share with you, it's gonna be GOOD. Mind-blowing, even. I promise.
My small-batch brownies for two are killer, my chocolate gooey butter cookies will make you weak in the knees, and my mini chocolate cake for two will be on semi-weekly rotation at your house after just one bite.
What I'm trying to say is, when I make something with chocolate, it's freaking fantastic, because honestly, I'd rather be eating this microwave lemon curd. If a chocolate dessert can tempt me away from the lemon curd, it's a winner.
How to Make Microwave Lemon Curd
I'm very picky about lemon curd, because most of it is overly egg-y tasting, do you know what I mean? Any kind of canned/ packaged/ pre-made lemon curd always tastes like eggs to me. If I wanted lemony scrambled eggs, I'd make that. But I don't, and you probably don't either.
We want a smooth, creamy luscious sauce that is sweet with a lemon pucker at the end. It should be bright and tangy yet silky and creamy. So, if you want really good lemon curd, you have to make it yourself.
- Granulated Sugar. This recipe for microwave lemon curd makes a small batch that fits in a pint jar, so we only need ⅓ cup of white granulated sugar.
- Egg. One large egg, beaten.
- Fresh Lemons. We need the juice of 3 large lemons that equals ⅓ cup of fresh juice. Please do not substitute bottled juice. Also, we need the lemon zest from the lemons! The key to an amazing lemon curd is fresh lemon zest.
- Butter. Three tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted.
- Salt. A small pinch of salt balances the flavors here.
- Microplane - Here's the exact the microplane grater that I used in the video, because freshly grated lemon zest is the key to great lemon curd.
- Microwave-Safe Bowls - These are the exact bowls I cook and bake with all the time. They're microwave and dishwasher safe; I love them.
In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, lemon juice, butter and salt. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stop, stir, and then microwave another minute.
Whisk the lemon curd very well after the 2 minutes in the microwave, and then place it back in the microwave for a final 30 seconds.
After 2 minutes and 30 seconds, begin testing the lemon curd by quickly dipping a spoon into it, and running your finger through it. If the line holds, the lemon curd is done. If the curd runs and fills the line you just made, try another 30 seconds in the microwave and test again. The curd will thicken a lot as it cools.
Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a jar with a lid or small bowl (press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd if you're storing in a bowl). Place in the fridge, and use within 7 days.
Best Tips and Tricks for Microwave Lemon Curd:
I have a newer model microwave that took 2 ½ minutes on HIGH to make this lemon curd, but I also shared in the video the best way to know when your lemon curd is done--your microwave might take more or less time to set. Check the comments below from others who have made the recipe to see how long it took in their microwave!
Yes, it will thicken quite a bit as it cools. Please keep this in mind!
To Make on the Stove:
If you want to make this on the stove instead of the microwave, just put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat while constantly stirring until it starts to thicken. Do the same spoon trick--coat the back of the spoon with the hot mixture and run your finger through the middle. If the line holds, it's set! Then, place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours to thicken.
This dessert keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week. Lemon curd should always be stored in the fridge since it contains eggs.
You can freeze lemon curd successfully if it's in a freezer safe storage container. Leave about a half-inch of head space for expansion as it freezes. It will keep for at least 6 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, whisk again and serve.
This recipe makes 1 cup of lemon curd. You can double it to fill a 9-inch pie crust with room for meringue on top.
Best Ways to Eat Lemon Curd:
- Spread some on homemade graham crackers.
- Drizzled over my mini angel food cake in a loaf pan.
- Poured over small-batch cheesecake in a loaf pan.
- Decorate my 6 inch cheesecake with a thin layer of it.
- I use this microwave lemon curd over my lemon cheesecake bars.
Microwave Lemon Curd
Microwave lemon curd made in just 5 minutes with 1 egg.
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients very well.
- Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stop, stir, and then microwave another minute.
- Stir the lemon curd after 2 minutes, and then place it back in the microwave for a final 30 seconds.
- After 2 minutes and 30 seconds, begin testing the lemon curd by quickly dipping a spoon into it, and running your finger through it. If the line holds, the lemon curd is done. If the curd runs and fills the line you just made, try another 30 seconds in the microwave and test again. The curd will thicken considerably as it cools.
- Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a jar with a lid or small bowl (cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd if you're using this method).
- Place in the fridge, and use within 7 days.
To Make on the Stove: Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat over medium-low heat while constantly stirring until it starts to thicken. Do the same spoon trick--coat the back of the spoon with the hot mixture and run your finger through the middle. If the line holds, it's set! Then, place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours to thicken.
How to store lemon curd: It keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week.
To freeze: Place in a freezer safe storage container, leaving a half-inch of head space for expansion. It will keep for at least 6 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, whisk again and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g
Thank you for this amazing and simole recipe.
So dreaded making it on the stovetop.
I also baje a lot of your sized down cakes. All turn out excellent .
Love your site
Danielle da Silva Fernandes says
I just loved It!
Can I use this lemon curd to do the key lime pie? I want to make the key lime pie, but I just don't be a big fan of things made with condensed milk because here in Brazil we eat condensed milk to much, everytime, and I can't see that anymore lol
I was wondering if the measurement of that lemon curd recipe that it's enough for a pie, and if I need to do the microwave process before add to the pie and bake it, or if I could put the lemon curd "crude" in the pie and bake it after.
Christina Lane says
Ohhhh that's a great idea, Danielle! I haven't tried it, but it should work. Lemon curd doesn't set as firmly as key lime pie, though. Let me know how it goes :)
I made this according to the recipe. It actually boiled over in my microwave during the 2nd one-minute interval so had quite a mess, salvaged some, strained it because lots of little eggy pieces were in it, and it tasted good. Thankfully I was just using it on a 6-inch lemon cheesecake so I didn't need much anyway. If I did it again I'd try 1 minute first and then 30 second intervals because perhaps my microwave has more power than recipe's.
Christina Lane says
Oh no, Cece! I'm wondering if you used a smaller measuring cup than I did? Or maybe your microwave runs hot? Is it a newer model? Mine is new.
Hi! It's under the only egg yolk recips, but the recipe states 1 egg? Do I use a whole egg or just egg yolk only? Thank you!
Christina Lane says
1 whole egg, sorry for the confusion!
Kathy Andrews says
Thanks for this really good recipe. For my 1200 watt microwave I took 5 seconds off each timing and it worked perfectly. (And I love lemon zest, so didn't strain it. It's a real hit!)
I have used this recipe twice. First time, lots of egg white clumps which did strain out.
Today I made again, followed your instructions to the letter. Like another reader, mixture boiled before 1 minute. I took it out of microwave and strained out big white clumps. Continued with recipe, it was ready as described. I think that this recipe would be more successful if curd stirred ever 10 seconds in first 1 minute.
This was so easy and delicious, only next time I need to double it because I could eat this amount with a spoon! :) Thanks!
The lemon flaavor is amazing and is easy to make. Just be sure to use an oversized bowl. I just used a large bowl and it bubbled over and made a huge mess so I lost some of the curd. I will definitly make this again!
Made this to go on the cheesecake for 2!
Carol Smith says
OMG, I think this is the best I've ever tasted. Absolutely delicious, creamy, lemony, smooth, mmmmm! A keeper recioe for sure.
Hi! With the whole COVID situation I've started baking like crazy and was so happy to see a way for me to make things that are just big enough for my husband and I. Making your lemon cake this evening, just picked up a 6inch cake pan and it's so cute! Only problem I've had was microwaving the curd as instructed and ending up with a few scrambled egg bits. Luckily was able to still salvage most of it but thought that may happen. My microwave gets super hot so switched over to medium power and that saved it. I would recommend mentioning what wattage you microwave is so readers can keep it in mind when deciding what power level to use. Thanks for your blog! Can't wait for this cake to finish cooling so I can start finishing it. :-)
I made this on the stove because I didn't have a deep enough bowl for the microwave, it is amazing! I didn't need to strain it and I will definitely make this again.
Thank you for this wonderful recipe.