Lexington, KY – On a hot summer night (I have always wanted to start an article off that way), I found myself in a quandary. I needed to bake a birthday cake the following day that required a lemon curd (similar to a lemon pudding) filling. It was late and I was in no mood to stand over a hot stove tempering egg yolks and sugar. It was, after all, Sunday night and BBC’s “Masterpiece Mystery” was beckoning me from the living room.
I did a quick online search hoping to find a shortcut for the classic method. That’s when I stumbled across a recipe that defied every rule I had ever learned from Julia Child or Ina Garten about cooking: Microwave Lemon Curd. I hesitated opening the link. Surely a microwave could never give the same results as my tedious stirring and careful temperature control produced? But again, Miss Marple’s British accent was calling, so I decided to give it a chance. The result was nothing short of miraculous. Silky smooth, perfectly creamy and delightfully thick.
After that night I began recalling stories from friends about these so called “microwave desserts.” I had previously scoffed at the idea, but after my lemony success, I was curious to see how other dessert recipes would stand up to the challenge. Because, after all, there will always be hot summer nights when “Murder on the Orient Express” ranks supreme above slaving over a hot stove.
Microwave Lemon Curd
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 – 5 lemons)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth and thoroughly combined. Whisk in lemon juice, lemon zest and butter.
2. Cook in the microwave on full power for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute. This process will take about 3 – 5 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. You will know the lemon curd is done cooking when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
3. Remove from the microwave, and pour into sterile mason jar. Store lemon curd in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.