Cruise food, for the most part, is wonderful. A few years ago, while on a Princess cruise, I sampled delicious fancy sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and scones at an English High Tea. Of course lemon curd is a must for topping the scones at an English tea, and the ship’s version was fabulous—tart, smooth, and buttery. After I got home, I saw a jar of lemon curd at the grocery store, and even though it was expensive, purchased it to let my family taste what I had sampled on the cruise. The lemon curd in the jar was absolutely terrible—a total waste of money! So I started searching through my cookbooks for a recipe for proper lemon curd. Unfortunately, every recipe I tested required the double boiler scenario with 10-15 minutes of constant stirring. Now honestly, who has time for that? Since I have always done puddings and pie fillings in the microwave with good results, I tried lemon curd in the microwave. Success!
The following lemon curd, which takes only three minutes in the microwave, can be used in many ways. It’s great on freshly baked buttered scones, or can be used to fill mini tart shells, either plain or mixed with fresh berries. I use it on lemon swirl cheesecake, and as a filling for lemon cream cake.
Microwave Lemon Curd can be made up to one week ahead and stored in the refrigerator. If I’m in a hurry, I put it in the freezer for a few minutes, which cools it much faster.
Microwave Lemon Curd
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter
1 pinch salt
Whisk the yolks and sugar until well blended. Mix in the lemon juice, butter, and salt. Microwave on high two minutes, then stir. Microwave one more minute; the mixture will bubble and thicken (but don’t let it boil) – it will coat a spoon but will be liquid enough to pour. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd. Cool thoroughly.
Lemon Berry Parfaits
1 batch Basic Microwave Lemon Curd
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 cups lemon cream sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed
1 pint fresh raspberries, or sliced strawberries
lemon peel, strips for garnish
fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Gently fold the lemon curd and the whipped cream together.
Using 1/3 of each of the mixtures, place a layer of sandwich cookies in the bottom of 6 parfait glasses. Top with a layer of the lemon mixture, then berries. Repeat ending up with berries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To serve, garnish with a few strips of lemon peel and some mint for garnish.