Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer lemon curd — doesn’t that just sound fancy and ridiculously complicated? I know that I once thought that…then I made lemon curd and realized that it’s just one of those dishes that sound hard but are really pretty easy if you have a little faith.

One of the reasons that this curd is so lovely is because it uses Meyer Lemons — those beautiful little lemons that appear only during the winter months. Meyer lemons have a thinner skin, are juicier and are also sweeter then regular lemons; however, if you can’t find them, feel free to use regular lemons, your curd will just be more tarter.

You will already be impressing your friends by making lemon curd, so why not also impress them by knowing a little bit of fancy schmancy pastry terminology? When you cook the curd, you will begin to see it thicken after about 10 minutes but you will know it’s done once it can coat the back of a wooden spoon and hold the track of your finger. This little trick is called “nappe” (pronounced nap-eh)…and it looks like this:

Now one of the reasons that lemon curd is not as hard to make as it sounds is because of a clever little pastry chef tip/scientific fact. Since the curd is made with eggs, one might be worry that cooking it over direct heat would cause the eggs to scramble — no, no! Since there is so much lemon juice in recipe, the eggs won’t curdle, especially because the curd is being cooked at a medium heat and constantly being stirred. So, fear not, be brave and get to making that curd.

Meyer Lemon Curd (adapted from epicurious.com)

1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon juice, about 6 lemons

1⅓ cup granulated sugar

4 eggs

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, combine the lemon juice, sugar and eggs and whisk to combine. Turn the heat to medium, add all the butter and begin to whisk the mixture. This will allow the butter to break up as well as keep the liquid curd moving. Once the butter is melted, switch to a wooden spoon and begin to watch the sides of the pan for the signs of large bubbles. After about 10 minutes, the curd should boil, at this point it should be nappe: thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and hold up a finger track. If not, continue to cook until the curd is nappe.

Once cooked, immediately strain the mixture and place it in a fridge-safe container with a piece of plastic wrap directly covering the surface. Allow to cool for at least 4 hours before eating with a spoon, placing in a tart shell, in between layers of cake or mixing with yogurt for a little something special for breakfast. Enjoy.

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