A few weeks ago my produce buying club had a deal on Meyer Lemons–I took this as a sign. You see for a whole year I had been thinking about making Meyer Lemon curd. Yes, this was clearly meant to be!
It started when a couple of my blogging friends (Karis & Abby) made orange curd. They both did healthier versions, but I decided to go full fat. The diet can wait a little longer! I wanted to keep a jar or two for later, so looked for a recipe suitable for canning which I found at Food in Jars (note that these still should be used within a couple months–not that this is hard).
The lemon curd was really quite easy to make. And it you don’t want to can it, you can halve the recipe, or pop it in the freezer.
While researching this, I learned a few miscellaneous things that I’ll pass along to you. First, canning recipes generally call for using bottled juice to ensure safety since the acidity is standardized. But an enterprising duo did an extensive test of fresh lemons and found that they generally equal or exceed the standards for bottle juice–bottom line, they believe fresh is fine, and a great victory for flavor.
Second, you can freeze leftover egg whites for later use (just don’t forget to label the container with the number of whites). Finally I learned that the order of adding ingredients is important. A team doing an exercise on how to commercialize lemon curd discovered that the emulsion is disrupted if you melt and add the butter at the start rather than at the end–who would have thought!
My other surprise for you is that I have made my very first canning labels (click here for a copy of your own). Normally I write on the lid with a sharpie or use my trusty labeler to type out “strawberry jam.” Or I tell myself “of course I’ll recognize this” which invariably results in a few “mystery” jars.
But for a long time, I have wanted to do something cuter so I picked up a two inch hole punch recently. Since I still needed to buy sticker paper, I took an old grocery bag (from the sadly many times have I forgotten my cloth bags), cut it to 8 1/2 x 11 and ran it through my printer using some labels that I created in Word. I then punched them out, dabbed on some non-toxic school glue, and voila!
So what do you do with lemon curd once you have it? One obvious, and really simple, choice is to serve with something mildly sweet like pound or angel food cake, orange currant bread or scones. Want to spiff up your breakfast? How about adding Meyer lemon curd to yogurt or topping waffles, pancakes or crepes. Finally it is great in desserts. Add it to icings, top a cheesecake, drop a spoonful into a scooped out cupcake or fill some tart shells. Yup, pretty sure it won’t last the two months!
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Meyer Lemon juice, strained (from 3-5 lemons, depending on size)
- 1 stick of butter, cut into chunks
- zest from the juiced lemons
- Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continually for 10-15 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed to ensure that it does not boil. When curd has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, drop in the butter a few chunks at a time and stir until melted.
- Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve over a glass or stainless steel bowl to remove any bits of cooked egg. Whisk in the zest.
- Pour the curd into your prepared 4 or 8 oz jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace (do not use larger jars). If you want to process them for shelf stability, process them in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes (start the time when the water returns to a boil).
- Recipe officially makes 2-8oz jars. I had some extra which went right into the refrigerator for immediate enjoyment.
- Canning recipes are designed for a specific size canning jar which provides for adequate heat penetration. You can generally go to a smaller jar, but using a larger jar may not be safe, even with an increase in processing time. That is why you never see a (professional) salsa recipe canned in a quart jar.