Meyer Lemon Curd

When cooking during the winter months, the natural order of things is to decide on a dish and shop for whatever ingredients you might need to make it.  Common sense, right?

Whereas in late spring and summer when the farmer’s markets are in full force I like to buy what looks particularly great and then decide what I can create with my bounty.

But occasionally my impulsive nature wins out at this time of year when I’m in a store and suddenly come across something spectacular like the gorgeous Meyer lemons I spotted at Costco  a couple weeks ago.

Now if you know Costco you know nothing comes in small amounts.

Drawn to a box of 16 fragrant, bright, unblemished Meyer lemons that I had no idea what I was going to do with, I watched almost as an out of body experience while I  placed them in my cart.

Once home, I filled a bowl with them and just placed them on my counter to enjoy.

My kitchen is normally bedecked with bowls of fruit simply because I love the way it looks …art you can eat!

I may be impulsive, but I’m definitely not wasteful, so after several days I began thinking of what I might make with such a large quantity of Meyer lemons, and then it came to me…why not make Meyer Lemon Curd to give as gifts during the holidays?

If you are not familiar with the Meyer lemon it is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.  The flavor blends the tartness of a traditional lemon with the sweetness of an orange, making it a great choice for lemon desserts of all kinds.

The fruit is rounder than a true lemon, the skin is fragrant and thin, and the color is  a deep yellow with a slight orange tint when ripe.

I found a recipe online for Meyer Lemon Curd that came from the December, 1999 issue of Gourmet Magazine.

Lemon curd can be used as a filling for cakes, pies or tarts, or as a delicious spread on toast, scones or muffins. 

It makes a great little gift to take to someone’s home during the holidays, which is what I plan to do with a few of the jars.  And with the rest, maybe a lemon meringue tart…it’s my husband’s favorite!  Here’s the recipe…

Meyer Lemon Curd (Gourmet, December 1999)

(makes about 1 and 2/3 cups)      (recipe can be doubled or tripled easily)

3 to 4 Meyer lemons (about1 pound)

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup.

Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter.  Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking until thickened and smooth and an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 5  minutes.

Force the curd through a fine sieve set into another bowl.  Serve warm or cover surface of curd with wax paper and cool completely.

*Lemon curd keeps,  covered and chilled, 1 week.  Can freeze up to 2 months.

*If substituting regular lemons, increase sugar to 3/4 cup.

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