Why is this curd magical, you ask? Because it saved my butt. To me, that’s magic!
A few years ago (when my shop still took retail cupcake orders), my baker and I were plugging away trying to get the cases stocked and orders filled. We suddenly realized, oh $#&@! Some of the cupcakes in one order were supposed to be filled with lemon curd. And, of course, we don’t have any made.
I forget exactly how much time we had before orders were due to be picked up, but from what I remember it wasn’t long. I knew my traditional curd recipe would take way too much time, so I Googled, “quick lemon curd”. What popped up in the search results changed my life. Microwave lemon curd! More than one recipe for it, too. Could it work? Would it be any good? Our backs were up against a wall, so I gave it a try using my recipe (less a few whole eggs to prevent curd explosions). To my relief, It worked perfectly and has now become my standard. 5 minutes to cook and 5 minutes to chill (if you’re inpatient, like me). That is my kind of curd.
This recipe will absolutely work if you prefer to cook your curd over a double boiler. It just won’t be quite as magical.
Magical Microwave Triple Citrus Curd
Juice of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange (less 1 Tbsp if you made the triple citrus pound cake icing), appx. 3/4 of a cup
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter, cubed
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (If you have a bean, even better, but extract will do.)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
- In a large microwave safe bowl whisk together the citrus juices, egg, egg yolks, sugar, butter, and salt. If using a vanilla bean, split the bean in half with a sharp knife and scrape the vanilla flecks into your citrus mixture. If using vanilla extract, hold off on adding it until the very end. Oh, and when I say to use a large bowl, I mean large! The citrus mixture should occupy no more than 1/4 of the bowl. This helps prevent overflow while it’s cooking in the microwave.
- Microwave the citrus mixture on high for 1 minute, then whisk. Repeat 4 or 5 more times, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of yogurt. Using this method, the curd will not be quite as thick as when you cook it over a double boiler, but once chilled it firms up nicely.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract before chilling.
- Store in an airtight container, or in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the curd (prevents a skin from forming), in the fridge for up to three days. If you’re in a hurry (like we were), spread the hot curd in a thin layer on a large plate or cookie sheet. Place in the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes, until it’s chilled to your liking. Scrape into a container or use right away. Curd can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before using.
- For lemon curd, use all lemon juice.
- For lime curd, use 1/2 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice.
- For orange curd, use 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup lemon juice.
This makes a fantastic cake filling, but that’s by no means the only way curd can be enjoyed. So far I’ve eaten my last batch over vanilla ice cream for the most killer creamcicle experience, folded some into whipped cream for a light, mousse-y dessert, and spread it onto the last of my triple citrus pound cake.