TREAT TUESDAY: Turn Lemons into Luscious Lemon Curd (and Pie!)

A few months ago a friend passed along a recipe to me that I never, ever saw myself making: lemon curd. That is, I didn’t ever see myself making it until my husband decided to get into the art of making limoncello. In case you don’t know, limoncello calls for a whole lot of lemon zest but not any of the lemon juice. So here we were, stuck with all this extra lemon juice just waiting for a purpose other than good old-fashioned lemonade (because even T hasn’t taken to the tart taste of lemonade quite yet).

Oh, and in case you didn’t know, here’s what we learned from zesting a lot of lemons… once you zest any citrus fruit, juice the fruit immediately and freeze the juice in ice cube trays for thawing and use later if you have no use for it immediately. An added bonus is if you know the measurement of the cubes in your trays (ours are exactly 1/8 cup) then you have pre-measured amounts of juice for recipes later. Turns out younever know when the opportunity will arise where you will require that juice and in mass measurements.

Enter delicious lemon curd recipe. Mind you, this recipe still calls for the ever-necessary lemon zest, but you need to use juice, too, and in much bigger amounts than zest. And the best thing about this recipe: YOU CAN DO IT IN THE MICROWAVE! You won’t believe it until you make it yourself, but it’s seriously one of the easiest making, cleanest preparing, and tastiest tasting treats I’ve ever whipped up in 30 minutes or less, let alone in the microwave. And I don’t usually dig the fruit-as-dessert package or micro-baking… that is, until now.

Thanks to my friend again for sharing not just this recipe with me, but for sharing with me what’s become one of my favorite baking blogs: My Baking Addiction. Enjoy!

Microwave Lemon Curd

yield | about 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions

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 jar.

Notes

-Store lemon curd in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

-Recipe adapted from allrecipes.

Bonus: Lemon Meringue Pie

My first lemon meringue pie - easy and delicious thanks to microwave lemon curd!

While My Baking Addiction points out the seemingly endless uses for lemon curd, one essential use remains missing to me anyway: Lemon curd makes a fantastic filling for a lemon meringue pie. I have done this a few times now, and with proper curd consistency, a buttery cookie crust (see below for a quick-and-dirty throw-together I use), a good meringue topping recipe (like the one from Alton Brown), 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, 20 minutes cool-down on the counter-top, and ample refrigeration time several hours before serving (12 hours to overnight is best really), you’ve got yourself one killer pie recipe. See for yourself!

A few tablespoons of melted butter and food-processed shortbread cookies - I like Trefoil Girl Scout cookies myself - comprise the pie crust; press into pie plate and blind-bake for 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes; finally, cool crust at room temperature for 30 minutes before filling with warm lemon zest.

Place your whipped meringue on top of a cooled - but not room-temperature - lemon pie.

After 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven and several hours of fridge time, here's a sliced lemon meringue pie. For my first attempt, not too shabby! Next time: many more hours required prior slicing and serving.

One more of many additional lemon meringue pies I've made since test day. I've since gotten better browning on the meringue because of better timing of my cooling temperatures of the crust and pie filling before baking the meringue.

 

 

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