Citrus season’s here and, like every year, I’m most excited for Meyer lemons. Unlike most citrus, peak season is pretty much the only season for these slightly sweeter lemons. That’s reason enough to preserve their wonderful flavor for you and all of the foodies on your gift list to enjoy the year through.
Lemon curd is a favorite ways to “preserve” Meyer lemons which are a cross between regular lemons and mandarins. The light custard brings out the natural sweetness in Meyer lemons without too much sugar. Also, since Meyer lemons are lower in acidity, they give a pleasantly sour taste that works especially well for sweets (as opposed to, let’s say, vinaigrettes for which you need high acidity).
The best part: it takes barely any extra work to infuse Meyer lemon curd with whatever ingredient you most love paired with lemon. (See my favorite lemon flavor combos after the jump!).
Meyer lemon curd—whether made plain or with a hint of flavor—can be swirled into yogurt, drizzled on pancakes, filled in crepes, spread on toast, baked in a tart, rolled in sweet bread dough… the possibilities are endless!
Making curd is snap. You whisk a few ingredients together and then cook over very low heat. If you are infusing your curd with another flavor, simply put the ingredient in your pot while the curd cooks. The cooking time is plenty to extract a tasty hint of flavor. My favorite pairings are:
- Thyme Lemon Curd: Add 5-7 sprigs of thyme to your pot while the curd cooks.
- Holiday Spice Lemon Curd: Add 1 cinnamon stick and 3 whole cloves to your pot while the curd cooks.
- Basil Lemon Curd: Add 5-7 large basil leaves to your pot while the curd cooks.
- Gingered Lemon Curd: Add 1-2 teaspoons of finely grated ginger to your pot while the curd cooks.
- Orange-Lemon Curd: Add zest of 1 small orange (or 1/2 a large one) to your pot along with the lemon zest.Once made, curd can be canned in 5 easy steps, just like my Slow Cooker Apple Butter.
If you can keep yourself from eating it all in a few short days, canning your curd pays off for you or whomever is lucky enough to get your little taste sunshine.
Basic Meyer Lemon Curd
makes 1 cup
zest of two lemons
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 c granulated sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1. Wisk together zest, juice, sugar, butter and any other ingredient that you’re using in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until butter melts and sugar dissolves.
2. Make sure that the mixture in the pot is warm, not hot, and that stove heat is low. Add eggs, whisking constantly. Cook for about 10 minutes, continuing to whisk constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful not to boil!
3. Take off heat and strain through a fine meshed sieve into a glass container. Refrigerate until cool; this will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. If you want it to last longer on your shelf, follow these 5 easy jarring steps.