For awhile there, Meyer lemons ranked as one of those items that featured in all the food magazines and cookbooks, but not on the shelves of stores outside major cities. So when the slightly orange-tinted lemons started popping up here a few years ago, I bought them like crazy, often without really knowing what to do. I’m still guilty of that impulse buying, out of some sense that I need gourmet-foodie cred – I should be someone who swoons over Meyer lemons, right? A Meyer lemon can be used in any way a standard lemon can really, the taste is just a little sweeter and not quite as tart or acidic. I love to use Meyer lemons for making preserved lemons, the staple of Moroccan cooking, because the thinner skins soak up the salt and brine beautifully. But my go to recipe when I go Meyer lemon crazy at the store is simple curd. Its not hard to make, and homemade curd is so much better, with no chemical aftertaste or weird consistency. And Meyer lemons make a not-to-tart curd that is perfect spread directly on toast or English muffins. Lemon curd of any variety makes an amazing filling for cakes, is tasty swirled into Greek yogurt and served with berries. Try crushing up some meringue cookies and stir them together with lemon curd and whipped cream for lemon meringue pie in a bowl. Sandwich lemon curd between homemade ginger cookies or butter cookies for a special treat, or stir a dollop into your favorite bought vanilla ice cream. And of course, a pretty jar of lemon curd makes a lovely hostess gift.
Meyer Lemon Curd
You can use the same recipe with regular lemons.
6 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl and set aside close to the stovetop. In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in the lemon juice and add the butter pieces. Place over medium heat and stir constantly (it’s best to switch to a heatproof spatula here to be able to scrape the sides and reach the edges of the pan). Continue cooking until the curd is thickened, about 6- 8 minutes. Scrape the curd immediately into the strainer set over the bowl. Push the curd through the strainer to remove any cooked egg or lumps. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the curd and refrigerate until cold, at least two hours. Transfer to an airtight container. The curd will keep refrigerated up to a week.
Makes 2 ½ cups