Last month for our Christmas tea, Peggy made two kinds of lemon curds, regular lemon curd and Meyer lemon curd. The taste between the two was remarkable. Regular lemons made bright and fresh tasting curd. Meyer lemons though, made rich, deep, citrusy curd…so different but in my mind, Meyer lemons are perfect for winter.
Using Peggy’s recipe (which is from What’s Cooking America), I made Meyer lemon curd for Naoto’s party and it was a hit. In fact, lemon curd just might be my new party staple. I love serving simple, no-stress foods that my guests don’t see at every other party. And let me tell you, curd is simple…you can even use a microwave!
Meyer Lemon Curd
3-4 Tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (freshly squeezed!)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (unsalted and never margarine!)
Zest and juice the lemons. Five Meyer lemons gave me the proper amount of juice but I was lacking in the zest department…I imagine that the lemon-intensity would be out of this world if I’d had a few extra lemons to zest.Chop up the stick of butter and put it in a dish to melt in the microwave. Mine only took thirty-ish seconds, with a stir in the middle. While the butter melts, crack and lightly beat the three eggs in a microwavable bowl (or Pyrex). Then mix in the sugar, zest and lemon juice. Once the butter is melted, incorporate it into the lemon/egg mixture. (My butter was lukewarm, so I didn’t have to worry about curdling at this point, but be careful of curdling if your butter is blazing hot!)
Next, put the curd in the microwave for one minute intervals, stirring after each minute, for 3-4 minutes. This was mine after the first minute. You can see there was a bit of curdling. (I think my microwave runs a little bit hot.) After this first minute, things are going to look weird and slightly disastrous. Have no fear and keep going. Here was mine after minute two, before stirring. You can tell the mixture is getting thicker.And after stirring.And in the last minute, you can see things thicken a lot. After stirring on minute three, I felt like mine was ready. The curd should be nice and glossy and thick enough to coat your spoon. And it should taste delicious. But what about the curdling? Both times I made this lemon curd, I had plenty of curdling, in spite of the fact that my mixture never boiled in the microwave. It still must have gotten hot enough to cook some of the egg. So I ran mine through a mesh strainer and then it was perfectly smooth and dreamy. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until set. It will thicken up even more as it cools.
At the party, we served the Meyer lemon curd with my homemade ricotta (shared here in Homemaker’s Challenge #1!) on crackers. But really, lemon curd is decadent on a scone or toast…and I have my eye on this recipe for Lemon Bars…yum!
***This post is the long-overdue second in a series of Homemaker’s Challenges: activities that get me (and hopefully you, too!) out of the everyday routine of cooking, cleaning and laundry and into a routine of trying something new and experimental. I’d love it if you’d play along!