Meyer lemons … the tree of my childhood! When I was a little girl my Dad had an enormous Meyer Lemon Tree in our garden—I swear it was 10 feet tall! I adored the scent of orange blossoms wafting in the air—only to give way to the gorgeous voluptuous smooth bright happy golden-yellow fruits! There is a particular scent to the Meyer Lemon. It is Citrus with a smooth, sweet, intoxicating finish…. The juice tastes the same! The Meyer lemon skin is thinner than standard lemons. My Dad, Walt, would pick these and bring them in the house by the armloads—my sisters and I would make homemade lemonade, lemon simple syrup for iced tea—my Mom’s relatives would make limoncello. My mother, Liz, was known for her lemon meringue pies! Ahhh ... eventually I learned to make Meyer Lemon Curd and now no other lemon curd will do! I make huge batches every year—I used to smuggle the lemons back to Virginia from California on the plane—but Whole Foods always has them February/March time frame—do yourself a favor and pick some up!
Here in the Napa Valley daffodils are dancing, the lemon trees are heavy with fruit and the mustards are blooming under the vines! It is a glorious green and yellow sight of Springtime! I acquired some wonderful lemons from various neighbors, so it’s Meyer lemon curd time!! I suggest you start by juicing your lemons and seeing the quantity, then proceed to the farmer’s market to gather your eggs! (Save those whites for Nigella’s Pavlova!). Trust me, a state of Nirvana can be reached with Meyer lemon curd on scones with Devon Double cream and a pot of my Ascot tea. Ohmmmmm.
Meyer Lemon Curd
For 3 cups fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice:
6 cups sugar
36 free-range egg yolks
1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, cubed
For 2 cups juice:
4 cups sugar
1 lb+ 1 cube unsalted butter
For 4 cups juice:
8 cups sugar
2 lbs unsalted butter
In large heavy sauce pan (non-reactive), place the egg yolks and the sugar. Using a whisk combine until this is pasty, grainy and yellow.
Slowly whisk in the lemon juice, straining out any small seeds. Again, whisk until smooth.
Now over low heat, stir the curd with a wooden spoon, very patiently for a long, long time…. This batch took me an hour—but I like this in a meditative sort of way. Eventually you will notice tiny bubbles forming around the edges, keep stirring all the while. You will find that the sweet lemony scent intensifies and you are stirring a thickening pudding—stop! You do not wish it to boil—it will scorch and burn. The curd will coat the spoon and fall thickly into the pan.
Remove from heat—and whisk in the cubes of butter until smooth. Pour into hot jars, this thickens as it cools—you’ll thank me as you lick up the happy dribbles that land on your fingers!!
I store in the fridge and give to family, friends and neighbors for Easter.
Next on the list: Scones!!