This recipe proves that, yes, you can cook any citrus curd in the microwave in mere minutes. Best of all, you won’t be stuck with leftover egg whites because you can use whole eggs. The egg will cook enough to be beyond any danger zone; an instant-read thermometer is helpful for monitoring the temperature of the curd.
Tips from the author: This recipe can easily be doubled (a digital scale makes this effortless). A double batch will take a few minutes longer to cook, about 5 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave.
If only a tablespoon of citrus juice is missing, just use water so you don’t have to cut another fruit.
If your honey has hardened, warm it first at 50 percent power in the microwave for 10 to 20 seconds until liquid; allow to cool a bit before using.
To make tart lemon curd and an orange curd (sweeter than the lemon curd), see the variations, below.
Make ahead: The curd can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, and frozen for at least 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
- 2 or 3 Meyer lemons, preferably organic
- 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons mild honey
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, a mild fruity one, such as Trader Joe’s Greek Kalamata
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions: Finely grate the lemons, avoiding the bitter white pith, until you have 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons of zest. Juice the fruits, straining the seeds, until you have 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon juice.
Whisk together the honey and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl, then whisk in the egg, lemon zest, juice and salt until smooth. Don’t worry if the honey hasn’t completely dissolved at this point.
Set your microwave at 50 percent power. Heat the mixture for 1 minute, then stop to whisk and scrape around the sides of the bowl. Repeat, then continue heating and checking every 30 seconds, whisking and scraping in between; the mixture will foam and gradually thicken. The custard is done once it coats the back of a wooden spoon and a path remains when you slide your finger across. This should take about 3 minutes total, depending on the power of your microwave. The temperature of the custard should register at least 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (This is hot enough to cook the egg.)
Let cool in the bowl for about 15 minutes, whisking a few times. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer for a super-smooth silky spread. (Personally, I love the golden bits of zest and skip this step.)
Spoon the curd into an 8-ounce glass jar. Chill, uncovered, until completely cool, then seal the lid.
Variations: To make a tart lemon curd, replace the Meyer lemons in the basic recipe above with 2 medium lemons. Use 1 tablespoon more honey for a total of 3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons at the start.
To make an orange curd, replace the Meyer lemons in the basic recipe above with 1 medium orange plus ½ small orange.
Makes 2 to 3 servings (a scant ¾ cup)
Nutrition (based on 3 servings): calories: 200; total fat: 15 g; saturated fat: 3 g; cholesterol: 60 mg; sodium: 200 mg; carbohydrates: 17 g; dietary fiber: 0 g; sugars: 15 g; protein: 2 g.
From cookbook author Maria Speck