Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Meyer Lemon Curd
Lemon sunshine in a jar.
That's what this is. And let me tell you, sunshine tastes good!!
I have been hearing the praises of these sunny lemons from the food blogging community for a while now. This is the first year I've sought them out and worked with this gorgeous cousin of the standard lemon. If you haven't encountered a meyer lemon yet, it is slightly smaller than a regular lemon, has a brighter deeper yellow tone (almost an orange yellow glow), a thinner skin and a sweeter tang. Meyer lemons have been described as sunshine, and now that I've had a taste, I completely agree! This is what sunshine would taste like if sunshine was a food.
I bought a bounty of meyer lemons at Costco and went to town. Meyer lemon curd was my first project. I have made lemon curd before but this time I wanted to can my curd. Wow, that sounds wrong. Anyway, I found a recipe over at Food In Jars and it's a keeper. Curd is made with eggs and butter lending to a creamy texture which pairs nicely with the bright lemony tang from the meyers. Think lemon meringue pie filling. Though the lemon curd can be preserved, Marisa recommends consuming it within two months of canning because the consistency degrades after that time (the curd is still safe to eat beyond that). Guess what that means? I have a second jar in the cupboard that I need to get busy with. Again, wrong. Sorry!
This recipe yields a small amount--two half pint jars. I doubled it and shared a jar with my best friend and a jar with my parents, hoarding the other two jars of sunshine for myself and Hubs. We devoured the first jar in no time. And when I say "we" I mean 90% me, 10% Hubby.
Wondering what you can do with lemon curd? Spread it on toast, top ice cream with it, slather it on a cookie, fill a mini tart shell, garnish cheesecake, or just eat it straight out of the jar (I may or may not have done that). So delicious!
I have to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my best friend Crystal for providing the inspiration for the styling of these photos. She treated to me to an awesome tea party inspired birthday gift recently, including those pretty little tea cookies that she made from scratch (cinnamon raisin tea cookies, rose petal shortbread and rosemary cookies) and the beautiful floral table linen pictured above. And that was just the beginning. She also bestowed me with two antique bone china tea cups and saucers that I just love, two types of tea, including a French tea called Mariage that is really amazing and is officially my new favorite tea, a really cool vintage tin with a Currier & Ives floral print on the lid and filled with all those yummy cookies and a cookbook called Tea and Crumpets. I'm all set for a tea party for two! Who wants to join me? I might even break out my last jar of meyer lemon curd!
Meyer Lemon Curd
from Food in Jars originally adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook
Yields 2 half pint jars
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced (you should get a generous 1/2 cup of juice)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) cut in 1 inch pieces
Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a small heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium and stir in lemon juice using a wooden spoon (you don't want to aerate the curd). Stir continuously for 10-15 adjusting heat as necessary so the curd does not boil. The curd should thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon (it should still be pourable). Stir in butter until melted.
Strain the curd using a fine mesh strainer into a glass bowl (to remove any cooked bits of egg). Stir in lemon zest. Ladle curd into prepared sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. If canning, process the jars for 20 minutes in a boiling water canner. Start the time when the water comes to a full rolling boil.
Notes: Marisa points out that So Easy to Preserve recommends processing only in half pint jars or smaller to allow for proper heat infiltration. Recipe can easily be doubled. If not canning, refrigerate curd. Consume within 2 months of making (whether canning or refrigerating).