Meyer Lemon Curd Recipe
Lemon curd (crème au citron in French) is thickened custard made from lemon juice and zest, sugar, butter and egg yolks. I used the fruits from our Meyer lemon tree in the garden and added ginger to conceal the egg yolk flavor.
It's one of my favorite spreads for tea time and breakfast. I also use lemon curd as a filling in crêpes and croissant but you could use it in Meyer lemon bars, cheesecake or a lemon meringue pie. Lemon curd is easy to make, incredibly versatile and delicious. It's also a great way to introduce kids to cooking. I've made it several times with the girls, and they always have a lot of fun. If you're looking to get your kids involved in the kitchen, this lemon curd recipe is a great place to start.
Yields: 1 quart10 egg yolks, at room temperature
1-½ cups superfine sugar (or granulated sugar)
1/3 cup honey
8 Meyer lemons, at room temperature
1 (1-inch) chunk fresh ginger
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1/8 teaspoon salt
Prepping the Meyer lemons: Zest (about 1-½ tablespoons) and squeeze the Meyer lemons. Finely chop the zest (I used a fine mesh Microplane so it wasn't necessary). Reserve the juice (about 1-½ cups).
Making lemon sugar: In a mortar and pestle, grind the lemon zest with the sugar until fragrant. You could also use a food processor.
Freshly grated ginger: Clean the ginger root and remove any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife (or the edge of a spoon). Grate the ginger with a fine mesh Microplane. Gather about 2 teaspoons of grated ginger root.
Making Meyer lemon curd: Using a handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a small stainless steel (or heat-proof) mixing bowl until you get a pale, yellow foam. Add salt.
Prepare a double boiler: Fill a saucepan with water, making sure the water barely covers the bottom of the stainless steel mixing bowl. I always like to add a little kitchen towel on top of the saucepan. The bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of water in your egg mixture. Bring the water to a boil then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Place the stainless steel bowl over the saucepan and, using a handheld mixer, start whisking the egg mixture vigorously for about 3 minutes to thicken the texture of the egg yolks. Add honey. The mixture should fall like a ribbon of sauce when you lift the whisk.
Transfer the egg mixture to a 2-quart saucepan. Add the lemon juice and ginger paste and cook for another 8-10 minutes over low-heat until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly using a silicone spatula. Turn off the heat. Another trick to make sure the lemon curd is ready; is to use a digital thermometer and reach an internal temperature of 160-175°F.
Immediately remove the saucepan from the stove and add the chilled butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking continuously. Once the pieces of butter are melted, repeat until all the butter is used.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve in a bowl to make sure there are no egg solids left.
Place the bowl into an ice bath. When the lemon curd is completely cool, cover with a piece of plastic wrap; make sure the plastic wrap is directly in contact with the lemon curd to keep it from forming a skin. Chill in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to serve, bring the lemon curd back to room temperature.
If you're planning on using the lemon curd as a filling for a tart, add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 3/4 cup of sour cream or crème fraiche for a firmer and more creamy consistency.
I usually add a little salt to most desserts. Salt brings out all the flavors. A pinch of salt will enhance the taste of your sweets.
If you want a stronger lemon flavor, you could add ¼ teaspoon of pure lemon extract to the lemon curd. I didn't because the Meyer lemons were already very fragrant.
Transfer to 2 (1-pint) jars and store in the refrigerator; it will store up to 1-2 weeks. You could also place the lemon curd into sealable plastic bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn.
Make some tuiles aux amandes with the remaining egg whites.February 28, 2010.