*** This recipe was originally posted on The Good Egg blog in February, 2009.
When I heard that my God-daughter, Elsa (not even a year old yet), was a big fan of Meyer lemons, it occurred to me that I had never tried them myself. Elsa does have an unfair advantage over most people I know, as she lives in New York City, and frequents many world-class foodie spots with her food-savvy parents. With that said, I thought it would be a good move to familiarize myself with one of her favourite things. A little unusual to bond with a baby over lemons, but I’m open to trying new things.
Meyer lemons are not an ingredient that you see very often in regular supermarkets, in Canada anyway. Meyer lemons taste like a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. They are quite a bit sweeter than a true lemon, but still sour enough to be identified as being from the lemon family.
It wasn’t until last week that I saw the elusive lemons in person. I bought a bag of them and they were absolutely beautiful to look at. They were a perfect lemon-yellow, with thin, unblemished skin. I would describe them as the super-models of the lemon world. Gorgeous. The picture above gives you the idea, and those had already been hanging around my kitchen for a week or so. The smell of the Meyer lemons was intoxicating. I kept picking them up and smelling them, trying to wrap my head around how beautiful they smelled.
From the minute I saw these lemons, I knew that a lemon curd would be in order. With my parents having just been here, stocking our fridge with farm-fresh Harrow eggs*, I had all the best ingredients to make lemon curd.
*My mom has been buying eggs for me for the last year or so (I do pay her for them – well, sometimes…). I really like the eggs that she finds for me down there, so I get her to pick me up 3 or 4 dozen every time we are going to see each other.
Lemon curd can be used for many things. I like to use it in between layers of a white cake. Or try it with angel food cake and raspberries or on cream scones for an afternoon treat. If this recipe made more, I would have canned the lemon curd in little jars to give away as gifts. But mostly, I like to make several furtive trips to the fridge with a spoon, until all the curd has magically disappeared.
Meyer Lemon Curd
4 large egg yolks
2/3 c. granulated sugar
3 ounces freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 2 or 3 large lemons)
4 T. unsalted butter
Pinch of sea salt
1 t. lemon zest
1. In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks and the sugar until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the the lemon zest, and cook slowly over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, until slightly thickened. Should coat the back of a wooden spoon but still be pourable. Do not let the mixture boil or it will curdle.
2. When the curd has thickened, immediately remove from the heat and pour through a fine strainer. Press through the strainer with the back of a spoon. Stir in the lemon zest and cool. Pour into an airtight container. The curd will keep thickening as it sits and cools. Makes 1 cup.