Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Curd. Picture: Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky.
This made-in-minutes microwave lemon curd is a total game-changer

I happened to flip through Heidi Gibson's "Muffins & Biscuits" book, which includes a curd recipe done in the microwave. 
Seriously, I wondered? How could such a finicky custard be prepared in the heat of an appliance that can cook things so unevenly?

Well, I am no longer sceptical, and a quick internet search revealed a bounty of microwave curd recipes.
Each batch makes about 3/4 cup. I find that this relatively small amount allows you to whip up a batch often , with whatever citrus you have on hand.

Spread your homemade curd on a slice of toast or in a breakfast croissant; spoon it into yoghurt and on dark chocolate ice cream. 

Lemon and Olive Oil Curd

2 to 3 servings (makes a scant 3/4 cup)

Ingredients
  • 2 or 3 lemons, preferably organic (250 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons (50 grams) mild honey
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) extra-virgin olive oil, a mild fruity one.
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Method:
  1. Finely grate the lemons, avoiding the bitter white pith, until you have 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of zest.
  2. Juice the fruits, straining the seeds until you have 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon juice (90 grams).
  3. Whisk together the honey and oil in a medium microwave-safe bowl, then whisk in the egg, lemon zest, juice and salt until smooth. 
  4. Don't worry if the honey hasn't completely dissolved at this point.
  5. Set your microwave at 50% power.
  6. Heat the mixture for 1 minute, then stop to whisk and scrape around the sides of the bowl. 
  7. Repeat, then continue heating and checking every 30 seconds, whisking and scraping in between; the mixture will foam and gradually thicken. 
  8. 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). 
  9. The temperature of the custard should register at least 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (This is hot enough to cook the egg.)
  10. Let cool in the bowl for about 15 minutes, whisking a few times. 
  11. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh strainer for a super-smooth silky spread. 
  12. Spoon the curd into an 8-ounce glass jar. 
  13. Chill, uncovered, until completely cool, then seal the lid.
VARIATIONS: 

To make a tart lemon curd, replace the lemons in the basic recipe above with 2 medium lemons (250 grams). Use 1 tablespoon more honey for a total of 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons at the start (70 grams).
To make an orange curd, replace the lemons in the basic recipe above with 1 medium orange plus 1/2 small orange (250 grams).

Tips from the author:
  • This recipe can easily be doubled. 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% 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)
  • The curd can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, and frozen for at least 1 month; defrost in the refrigerator overnight.