Food in Jars Mastery Challenge for January. Lemon Curd with Bonus Lemon Extract

My year got off to an awesome start when I realized that Marisa of Food in Jars was hosting another food preservation challenge. The challenge for the month of January was to create a preserve using citrus. The citrus challenge in 2017 where I attempted to make marmalade didn’t go very well. This year I decided to capture a bit of southern sunshine in a jar of Lemon Curd, instead of revisiting the marmalade disaster.

However, this has been a busy month for me. I usually enjoy the process of slowly and carefully cooking something complicated but this month my time (and energy) is at a premium. I was happy to stumble on this recipe to make Lemon Curd using my microwave.

Microwave Lemon Curd

from Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margret Howard

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Nothing complicated here.


  • 3 lemons
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs


  1. The original recipe called for the zest of one lemon. I don’t like the texture of lemon zest in lemon curd. Instead of zesting the lemons, I peeled them with a potato peeler and set them aside.
Peeling the lemons

2. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze each half over a strainer (or your hand) suspended over a 1 litre (4 cup) microwave safe container.

Squeeze the lemons over a strainer to catch the seeds

3. In a separate, microwave safe container, beat the two eggs.

Beat the eggs

4. In the 1 litre microwave safe container add the butter and the sugar.

5. Microwave uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot.

6. Stirring constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice/butter/sugar mixture into the eggs.

Add the hot mixture of lemon juice, sugar, and butter to the beaten eggs.

7. Microwave on medium (50%) for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds or until the mixture begins to thicken. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE COME TO A BOIL.

8. Pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze.

9. Instead of throwing the lemon peels in the trash, use them to make:

Bonus Lemon Extract

  • Place the left over lemon peels in a clean jar.
  • Cover with cheap vodka
  • Put the lid on the jar.
  • Keep in a cool dark cupboard for at least a month
  • Strain and bottle

The Results:

Sunshine on toast!

This recipe was fast and easy. It made only 1 1/2 cups but this is perfect for me, as I am the only one in my household who will be eating this lovely jar of sunshine. It only keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks allowing me just enough time to finish the jar. The only complaint I have is that I would have preferred a sweeter curd. Next time I make it, I will add more sugar. Over all, this recipe is a winner. I’m glad I gave it a shot.

The Cost:

This is how much I spent to make my jar of tasty lemon curd.

IngredientPrice (2019)AmountTotal
Lemons$1.09 each3$3.18
Sugar$0.14 / 100g ( cup (50g)$0.07
Butter$5.69 / pound (2 cups)1/4 cup$0.71
Eggs$3.69 / dozen2$0.61
Total (about 350ml) :$4.57

Currently, at my little store, lemon curd is on sale for $4.99 for 500ml. It looks like I really didn’t save much money making my own. However, I’m sure that my homemade version is much tastier than store bought and I’m sure it contains fewer questionable ingredients.

Lemon Curd is on sale until February 16 – Hurry in and get yours while supplies last.

I didn’t price out how much it cost to make the Lemon Extract. I used maybe 1/4 cup of vodka left over from my girls’ weekend in September and the lemon peels were saved from the trash (compost). A quick look online at reveals that they sell lemon extract for $3.76 for 43 ml. I estimate that I will get a little more than that. Still, it’s money in my pocket and it cuts down on my food waste.

What I Learnt:

I pretty much only use my microwave to heat up leftovers or my rice bag before I go to bed. I would normally turn my nose up at using my microwave to make something like lemon curd. I’m glad that my limited time and energy encouraged me to try something new. I might even consider using my microwave for other things. 2019 is a brand new year.

Will I Do This Again:

Oh yea. Most certainly but with more sugar. This recipe is a keeper.

Check back next month when the challenge is fermentation.

The labels I used for my jars can be found at


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