I love winter in Southern California. The weather changes (it’s 78 degrees right now instead of 101 degrees) and the citrus trees are loaded with fruit. I am lucky to have two Meyer lemon trees in my front yard, and those little trees produce an abundance of fruit. Twice a year actually. I love those trees. They are only about 6 feet tall, but give me pounds and pound of lemons each year.
A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and an orange, and originated in China. When you smell them they are redolent of flowers and honey. Their color when fully ripe is almost golden, like a sunset. The skin is very thin, and while the flesh is tart, it is more sweet than a regular lemon. As a child I used to pick them right off the tree and eat them while sitting on my front porch. Now my toddler does the same.
There is a multitude of things you can do with the Meyer lemon. The Los Angeles Times published a great article a couple of years ago called “100 things to do with a Meyer lemon.” I haven’t done them all, but I’m working on it! One of my favorite things to do with my lemons is make lemon curd. The flavor of Meyer lemon curd is so sublime, so intoxicating, so delectable. The best thing is that it’s easy to make, and is a wonderful gift to give to friends.
Organic Meyer Lemon Curd
8 large egg yolks
4 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 cup organic Meyer lemon juice
1 stick (8 TB) cold butter, cut into small pieces
Fill a medium saucepan or double boiler about 1/3 – 1/2 full with water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Have a large bowl of ice water ready to cool the curd.
While the water is coming to a boil, whisk the yolks, eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without falling in. Place the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Whisking frequently, cook the mixture until thick, about 10 minutes. If the mixture seems to be cooking too quickly, remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk briskly, then return to the saucepan. Remember, you are working with eggs, so if it gets too hot you will make lemon scrambled eggs!
When the curd is thickened, place the bowl in the waiting bowl of ice water. Whisk in a few small pieces of butter at a time, waiting until they have melted until adding more. Strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin. Refrigerate until completely cool.
I have been known to eat it my the spoonful, but drizzling it over pound cake, berries, or using it as a cake filing are all great ideas. But I do recommend eating it by the spoonful…