Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com
Meyer Lemon Curd
Servings: Makes 2 cups
What are Meyer Lemons?
The Meyer lemon (pronounced my-ur) is originally from China and thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. It is commonly grown in China potted as an ornamental plant. It became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs, such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, during the California Cuisine revolution.
Meyer lemon trees are around 6 to 10 feet (2–3 meters) tall at maturity, though can be pruned smaller. Its leaves are dark green and shiny, young leaves and shoots are dark purple. The flowers are white with a purple base and fragrant. The fruit is yellow and rounder than a true lemon with a slight orange tint when ripe. It has a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common lemon (Lisbon or Eureka lemons are typical grocery store varieties) and a fragrant edible skin.
Homemade lemon curd lends bright flavor to desserts. These tips will help you prepare a perfect curd every time: Use a double boiler, which provides gentle heat, and stir constantly; this prevents the eggs from cooking too fast. Whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time, letting it melt before adding more. To ensure a silky-smooth texture, pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve.
8 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
Grated zest of 2 lemons
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks/6 oz./170g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
In the top pan of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks and sugar and whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Add the Meyer lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk for 1 minute more. Set the top pan over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking until melted before adding more.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the curd through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing the curd through with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
Makes 2 cups.
Date: May 1, 2007