a word on curd

The word “curd” has never sounded very appealing to me. But when the word “lemon” is in front of it, well that’s another story. It’s then that my jaw tightens and my glands begin to salivate anticipating that something tasty is on the horizon.

Lemon curd, with its silky smooth and tart creaminess is hard to resist. Put into a crepe, or between layers of a decadent yellow cake it has outstanding results. It is wonderful on a warm blueberry scone, a waffle hot off the griddle or my preferred vehicle for enjoying lemon curd… a spoon.

I have been a little compulsive lately with Meyer lemons. They are in season right now and I’ve been like a mad scientist in the kitchen using them in this and that.

The fruit of the Meyer lemon is yellow and rounder than a typical lemon we can find in the markets year round (such as the Eureka or Lisbon). It has a slight orange tint when ripe and is sweeter and less acidic in flavor. The flowers of the Meyer lemon are white with a purple base and are quite fragrant. This is the time of year here in Southern California that the citrus trees are loaded down with fruit and the fragrances of the blossoms are intoxicating

Even if you cannot find Meyer lemons in your area, you could use the typical Eureka lemon or whatever is available and add some fresh squeezed orange juice at a ratio of 1 part orange juice to 3 parts lemon juice to get a similar taste to the Meyer. Either way, making your own lemon curd is easy and worth the effort. The results are so much better than what you can buy in a jar.


Lemon Curd

Recipe by Karen Solomon from the book jam it, pickle it, cure it

Prep ahead: You will need clean jars to store your bounty. Make sure they are free of rust and odors and the lids seal tightly. Prepare a label that lists the contents and date prepared.

6 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 12 lemons)

10 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Zest of 2 lemons, removed in large pieces with a vegetable peeler

In a large saucepan, with a whisk, beat the eggs and egg yolk thoroughly, then whisk in the sugar and lemon juice. Stir together until thoroughly combined. The sugar should be completely integrated into the liquids, which will result in a much creamier curd. Place the pot over medium heat and gently warm the mixture. After 3 minutes, add the butter and the zest pieces. Whisk constantly for 7 to 8 minutes, until the butter melts and the mixture becomes very thick.

Pour the curd into a clean glass jar and let it cool at room temperature, uncovered. Remove zest and discard. Serve warm or refrigerate, in a covered glass jar, up to 10 days.

Makes about 2 cups