Meyer Lemon Curd

by Shelby Larsson on March 10, 2011

in All Recipes, Authors, Desserts, Fruit

Meyer Lemon Curd - Eat Boutique

You may have noticed that we have all gone a bit nuts over citrus recently here on Eat Boutique. First it was Maggie’s Meyer Lemon liquor. Then Meagan shows up with these incredible looking Pomander Cupcakes. Can you imagine a better afternoon than hanging out with these two ladies around a kitchen table, sipping a homemade Meyer lemon cocktail and slowly unwrapping an orange, buttermilk and clove cupcake? With all these tart treats jumping off my screen, I just couldn’t resist the urge to add my own citrus creation.

Luckily, the perfect situation presented itself a few cold weekends ago. I was visiting my family up in Maine, doing what I typically do up there: cook, read, sleep, eat, repeat.   My mom, intrigued by Maggie’s Meyer Lemon Liquor, had purchased a half dozen Meyer lemons at the local grocery store so that she could see what all the fuss was about.   I knew immediately that I wanted to try making a batch of lemon curd with the Meyer lemons, and set off to find the perfect recipe.

After searching various websites and food blogs, I grew weary of my computer, cast it aside, and went outside to play on the frozen lake. When I came back inside, cold and sleepy, I snuggled into the couch and heaved my new Dorie Greenspan cookbook onto my stomach, balanced it up against my knees and flipped through those beautiful pages. As I read, I realized that Dorie had a great lemon curd recipe in there the whole time.

Around My French Table might be my new favorite cookbook. The photographs are beautiful and compelling: I want to jump right into each picture and dig deep into the chard-stuffed pork roast, moules marinières, and salted butter break-ups.   The recipes are simple and geared towards unfussy meals at home or with a crowd of friends. The dishes come not just from Paris, but also feature traditional food from the different regions of France: Normandy, Provence, the Alps, and more. Like American food, French food is often influenced by other countries, particularly North African nations (tagine, couscous, b’stilla), Spain (chicken basquaise), and Italy (osso buco). Dorie gives great ideas about how to present, serve and store the food, as well as often offering up a bonne idèe about possible variations.   Most of all, I appreciated how straight-forward and unpretentious these recipes are — French food often gets a bad rap for being over-the-top and complicated, but this is the food that the French cook at home. My kind of food.

Most lemon curd recipes that I’ve ever seen involve only egg yolks — but not Dorie’s. She describes in her head notes that she misread instructions during a cooking class and added four whole eggs to the recipe. Her mistake didn’t destroy the lemon curd, but instead made it a tad lighter in taste and texture, and less fussy, since egg whites can handle more heat.

I used Meyer lemons in this recipe, giving the curd a slightly sweeter and rounder taste than a traditional lemon curd. While you can use regular lemons here, I simply loved the Meyer lemon version and I share a few suggestions for how to use it after the recipe.

Meyer Lemon Curd

Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup *
  • about ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4-5 Meyer lemons)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

* This was the only change I made- my parents’ kitchen didn’t have corn syrup, so I used a tablespoon of agave nectar here, which was a good neutral alternative.

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (off-heat), whisk the sugar and the eggs together until blended. Whisk in the corn syrup (agave nectar) and lemon juice and then drop in the chunks of butter.

Put the saucepan over medium heat and start whisking, taking care to work the whisk into the edges of the pan. If your whisk is too big to clean the edges of the pan, switch to a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula. Keep heating and whisking the mixture without stop. After about 6 to 8 minutes, you’ll notice the curd starting to thicken- it won’t be very thick, but the change is easily perceptible. When the curd is thickened, and most important, you see a bubble or two burble to the surface and then pop immediately, remove the pan from the heat.

Scrape the curd into a heatproof bowl or a canning jar or two. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal, and let the curd cool to room temperature (it will thicken slightly as it cools). Chill before serving. The curd will keep up to three weeks, refrigerated.

A few thoughts on how to use your new handmade Meyer lemon curd:

  • Top your morning piece of toast or English muffin with a bit of your own stock of lemon curd, and you might just feel like you have invited a ray of sunshine to your breakfast table. Want to ramp things up a notch? Bake some biscuits or scones to be vehicles for your lemon curd. Then invite me over to your place, please.
  • Bake yourself up a special treat. Lemon curd is a fantastic filling for a gorgeous tart, mini tartelettes, or for lemon bars. I used this recipe as a guide with my batch of lemon curd, swapping out a bit of the flour for almond meal. It was a great end to a cold weather meal that needed a bit of brightness. I am also imagining using lemon curd as a base for this Blueberry Kuchen come summertime. Lemon and blueberries are one of my all time favorite super-tart combinations. My lips are puckering just thinking about it!
  • Use the lemon curd as a pretty cake layer, inside a crepe, or as a filling in cookie sandwiches. I came across this adorable cookie in my lemon curd research, and I have big plans for it soon.
  • Eat it right from the jar. Sometimes I think lemon curd might be the best when snuck straight from the fridge on the back of a spoon.

Shelby Larsson

Shelby Larsson, writer, editor, resides in Boston, where she wanders across the city, eating and drinking as she goes. She loves New England (with a particular affinity for Maine), architecture, cities, beer, cheese, and adores cooking up a big meal for family and friends. You can read more about Shelby’s eating adventures on her blog, Lady Gouda.

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  • Kimberley

    LOVE all the citrus you are cooking and creating with. I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes from Dorie’s newest book!

  • Shelby

    Kimberley- Thanks so much! We can’t get enough of it right now. Citrus just has a way of fighting off those late-winter blues. I can’t say enough about Around My French Table. I would sleep with that book if I could…

  • http://cheapbeets.wordpress.com/ Molly Parr

    My friend wrote a cookbook which has my favorite lemon bars recipe. Her curd also doesn’t call for separated egg yolks; I think if I had to do that I wouldn’t be as willing to make the bars. I must admit, the corn syrup is throwing me.

  • Shelby

    Molly- glad to hear there are more curds out there that call for the whole egg. What is our friend’s cookbook? We’d love to get some more lemon bar recipes in our arsenal! I wasn’t sure about the corn syrup part either. There is so much information about corn syrup coming from both sides, I’ve pretty much thrown my hands up and avoided the whole thing. The agave nectar was a great alternative in this recipe.

  • http://eatingtherind.wordpress.com Eatingtherind

    Shelbo, I love lemon curd. Great pic of the piece of tart. I’ve been meaning to comment for a few days, but things have been crazy with my new little monster always underfoot. Although I prob won’t be making curd in the next few days, I did buy some Meyer lemons yesterday and made a sort of beurre blanc with them over striped bass. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • Shelby

    Thanks Jess! Glad to hear that you are taking the meyer lemon theme to new levels with the beurre blanc- I will have to try that sometime, and SOON- meyer lemons will be gone before we know it…

  • http://twitter.com/megsimone Meg Simone

    Shelby, you are so inspiring. I’m drooling in my camper van wishing I could whip this up right now. I love your writing! this is the first time a food blog (besides Lady Gouda) has reeled me in. LOVE IT :)

  • Shelby

    Simone! Thank you so much for your kind words. WOW- you really know how to make someone’s day! Hope all is well with you- sounds like you are off on some amazing adventure. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Have fun!

  • Pingback: Early Spring Preserving: Rhubarb Jam & Simple Syrup

  • Jodi Winterton Cobb

    Hi Shelby–I made this curd today! I had left over Meyer lemons from making lemon rolls (think cinnamon rolls but lemon flavored with a lemon glaze. It is delicious!

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