Friday, March 16, 2012

Meyer Lemon Curd

Do you have any recipes that are bowl licking good? For my husband, that's cake batter. For me? It's this stuff. Not only is it bowl-licking good, it's I-want-to-eat-this-e.v.e.r.y. single-day-of-my-life good.

Except if I did, I would be the size of a house since the main ingredients are eggs yolks, whole eggs, butter, and wait for it...sugar. Yes, there is lemon in there too, a lot of it, but caloric-ally it doesn't hold a candle to butter, egg yolks, and sugar. Fortunately, I have figured out a way around feeling the duty to eat the entire batch of lemon curd because I don't want it to go bad in the refrigerator.

I give it a bath. Now I can make big batches of it and put it up in pint size jars and save it for later. They say a girl can freeze it too, but that makes me a bit nervous. I guess next time I make it, I can set aside some for the freezer and see how it holds up.

So without further ado, here is my favorite lemon curd recipe. (P.S. In the photos, I am actually DOUBLING the recipe, so don't freak out if you don't have 14 eggs yolks in your bowl, too.)

  • 2 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. lemon zest
  • 1 c. lemon juice
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into approx 3/4" pieces
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Wash 4 half-pint jars with warm, soapy water. Rinse and keep hot until ready to fill (I use the sanitizing cycle on my dishwasher for this step).  Start water heating  in the canner. It needs to be no more than 180 degrees F by the time you add the jars of lemon curd. Place rings and lids in small pan and heat.

Separate egg yolks. No, I didn't bump any color profiles in photoshop. The egg yolks really are that deep of an orange-yellow. Gotta love free range hens.

Use a peeler to peel the lemons, making sure not to get any pith. No, I didn't bump the color profile of the lemon peels either. These lemons happened to lean towards their Mandarin orange roots a little more than other Meyer lemons I have encountered. I am totally fine with it, by the way.

Put lemon zest and sugar in food processor.

Pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Just have to show you this little homemade rigging I came up with. The little safety doodad that allows the machine to run broke off a while. I discovered if I just lodge something in there to press the little thingamabob the doodad was protecting down, my food processor works great. Actually better than before because I can lift the lid off while it is running.

Measure the butter. Be sure to use the highest quality butter you can find! Ingredients really do make a difference since this is a fairly simple recipe.  This is one of my favorites.

 Cut the butter into 3/4" pieces.

Squeeze the lemons. If you need more juice, use your favorite lemon juice to make up the difference.

 Here's the brand I use. Love this stuff. Love it. But can you see the difference between the Meyer Lemon juice and this from Eurekas? Crazy, eh?

Start heating the water in the bottom of a double boiler (or a pot with a bowl that fits over the top). The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl/pan, the steam is hot enough to cook the curd.

 On the counter, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together in the top of the double boiler.  Slowly whisk in sugar mixture and salt, blending until well mixed and smooth.  Blend in lemon juice and then add butter pieces.

Place the top on the double boiler. Stir continuously but slowly to prevent mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You want to keep the mixture moving so it doesn't curdle, which is different than making curd. Continue cooking until mixture reaches temperature of 170.

Pull double boiler off of heat and then continue to stir gently for about another five minutes.  (This is the double boiler I use when making a bit double batch like this).

You will know its ready when it coats a spoon and has the consistency of a thin pudding.

Strain the curd to remove the lemon zest. Place strainer over a large stainless steel bowl (don't use glass! The curd is hot and could make it break.)

Press the curd through, then discard the zest.

Laddle into prepared jars. Wipe rims clean and place lids and rings - only tighten lids finger tight!

 Place in canner and process for 25 minutes from the time the water comes to a full boil.

Remove and immediately tighten lids. Let cool.

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