To the best of my knowledge, most food/cooking blogs wait until January to start featuring citrus dishes, presumably for three main reasons. The first would be that for those of us in the Northern hemisphere, the general citrus season is during the winter, even one as unseasonably warm as this year. Second, they’re busy in December focusing on all the festive desserts and rich dishes that occupy the holiday season. Lastly, after all of the aforementioned holiday indulgence, many people seek to atone by pulling a 180 and eating super healthy and going to the gym all the time. Or so I’ve heard.I, personally, am not familiar with the practice, as I’ve never been successful at radically changing my diet and exercise routine. It should be noted, also, that this dish, while fantastically tart and lemon-y, is not a suitable substitute for almond butter on your morning toast if you’re on one of those health kicks. This is just a really good disguise for egg yolks and butter.From there, the uses are infinite: in place of custard, the base for macarons, as a waffle/pancake topping, flavoring whipped cream, or just flat-out eating from the jar.This recipe uses a food processor, but by no means require it- the notes below outline how to do it without one – though I think I’m now a convert. As much as I love zesting lemons, when a recipe calls for a large amount (as opposed to a teaspoon or so), it can be a pain, so the idea of using lemon peel intrigued me. It also lowered both the prep time and amount of dishes/bowls used, so that’s a win/win in my book.To clarify, this does not just yield one tiny jar- I actually made the first batch to give away for the holidays so I split it up accordingly. If you’re keeping it for yourself or another recipe, the total amount was somewhere between 10 and 12 ounces. Also , for the record, I know the date in the photo above was wrong, it drove me crazy but whatever.I wanted to cram in as much lemon zest as possible, hence upping the amount of lemon rind/zest used below. I also dialed down the sugar a bit, as meyer lemons usually require less than standard ones. If you’re on the fence, you can always sample the lemon juice prior to cooking, as I think that’s the best indicator.
You’ll also want to make sure your lemons haven’t been sitting in the fridge too long (I always end up finding a few in the crisper) since the older they are, the harder it’ll be to peel/zest.
Meyer Lemon Curd
Adapted from The Kitchn
2/3 – 3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into pieces
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Peel/zest the lemons, taking as little of the bitter white pith as possible. Cut all the lemons in half, juice them, and measure out 1/2 cup of juice. Save any leftover juice for another use.
- Combine the sugar and lemon peels in the bowl of a food processor and process until the peels are ground very fine, about 30 seconds.
- Add the butter, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt to the bowl. Pulse a few times and then process for 15 seconds or so to incorporate everything. The mixture will looked curdled but that’s OK at this point. (See Recipe Notes, below, for making lemon curd without a food processor.)
- Place your stainer over a clean bowl/ container so that it is ready to use the moment your curd is done cooking.
- Pour mixture into a small saucepan and place over very low heat. Stir frequently, using a heat-proof spatula. Do not leave the mixture unattended, as it is very easy for it to overcook and curdle.
- Cook until the mixture begins to thicken, 12-15 minutes. If you are using a thermometer, cook the curd to 170˚F. You can also test the curd by coating the back of a spoon with the curd and running a finger through it. It should leave a clear, distinct path.
- Once cooked, immediately remove the saucepan from heat and pour the curd through the strainer to catch any peel and coagulated egg. Strain it into a bowl* and allow it to cool a bit before pouring into a jar.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then seal the jar and store in your refrigerator. It will keep for a few weeks, if it lasts that long!
• If you don’t want to use a food processor, remove the lemon peel with a zester or rasp and incorporate all the ingredients into a bowl by hand. You can also use a stand mixer.
• Lemon curd can also be stored in the freezer for several months.
*If your strainer fits over your storage jar, you can simply strain it right into the jar