For Lemon Curd in Less Than 10 Minutes, Use Your Microwave

Recipes for microwave lemon curd have been round because the 1980s. But it took an Instagram put up in 2021 to get me to strive it.

Actually, it was many posts, most of them from the chef David Chang. A dedicated microwave fanatic, he didn’t make curd, however he did reveal different dishes — like kimchi jjigae, mashed potatoes and chawanmushi — that you just wouldn’t count on could possibly be made in a microwave.

“Think of your microwave as an energy efficient steamer,” Mr. Chang wrote about cooking rice.

Of the 1.7 million or so instances I’ve used a microwave, I’d by no means considered it as a steamer. To me, it was a handy strategy to reheat leftovers, soften chocolate and cook dinner scorching canine straight from the freezer — my longtime emergency meal for my daughter.

If it might make a wonderful chawanmushi, what else was it able to?

Adjust the sugar to style: Use a smaller quantity for a puckery curd, and extra for one thing with larger stability.Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

As a lemon lover, I discovered my reply a couple of weeks later, in a put up by Gail Dosik, cookie-maker extraordinaire: lemon curd, whisked collectively in six and a half minutes.

This made good sense, taking part in to the microwave’s power as what the New Yorker author Helen Rosner so astutely described as “a brute-force bain-marie.”

The most fail-safe lemon curd recipes name for cooking the elements in a bain-marie (or double boiler) to allow them to thicken gently, with out curdling. The microwave achieves this sooner, and also you don’t want to face over the range, stirring continuously.

There are dozens of comparable recipes floating round on-line (together with the one from King Arthur Baking Company that Ms. Dosik used), and this one unites parts from the most effective of them. It’s mild and silky, vivid and lemony, and simply candy sufficient.

The technique couldn’t be extra easy: Just whirl the elements in a blender, pour right into a bowl, and microwave for five to 7 minutes, whisking after each minute or so. Using the blender normally eliminates the necessity for straining on the finish, however you may skip it and simply whisk every thing collectively in a bowl earlier than cooking.

Be positive to look at the curd fastidiously. If you discover scorching spots (the place the curd is simmering quickly), scale back the microwave’s energy so the curd can cook dinner extra slowly. Microwaves differ, and a few run hotter than others.

Once you nail the method, you may substitute different citrus, swapping lime or grapefruit for lemon, and flavoring it with makrut lime leaves or Campari.

Curd of all flavors will hold in the fridge for at the very least 5 days, in the event you don’t eat all of it first. But even in the event you do, one other batch is simply six and a half minutes away.

Recipe: The Easiest Lemon Curd

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get common updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe strategies, cooking suggestions and buying recommendation.