Meyer Lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. The Meyer lemon has smooth golden skin the color of a fresh egg yolk. It also has a thin edible rind, a high volume of juice and none of the tartness of a regular lemon.
I have a Meyer lemon tree that yields quite a few lemons every year. With this bounty, I try to think of some different ways to use the lemons.
Lemon curd is a spread that’s often found in tarts and pies or as part of the British afternoon tea. Fruit curds are distinctly different from jams or jellies or even preserves since curds are made by cooking the fruit juice with sugar rather than the whole fruit. The result is a creamy spread that can be piped into pastries or just served plain on toast or biscuits.
Lemon curd has to be made with fresh lemons. Do not use imitation lemon juice that comes in a bottle. When choosing lemons look for ones that are fragrant with brightly colored, oily yellow skins. The best ones are firm, plump and heavy for their size.
You can easily buy lemon curd at the supermarket but it only takes about ten minutes to make fresh lemon curd. If you are concerned about making more lemon curd than you can eat, don’t worry; you can freeze fresh lemon curd for up to a year.
A tasty use for Meyer lemons
- Zest of 3 Meyer lemons plus enough juice to measure ½ cup (You may need more Meyer lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Use a potato peeler to remove the zest of 3 Meyer lemons. Be careful to avoid the white pith when removing the peel.
- Squeeze the zested lemons to make a ½ cup juice. Add another lemon if needed.
- Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter. Then beat in the lemon-sugar mixture.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Mix until combined.
- Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, it will smooth out during the cooking process.
- Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and cool. Pour the lemon curd into a covered bowl and refrigerate. You can also divide the curd into smaller containers and freeze them. The curd thaws quickly.