My dear friend Becky (Project Domestication) and I team up every month and share a recipe based on a theme we’ve chosen. This month Becky chose Mother’s Day. (Be sure to check out her Homemade Tartar Sauce recipe.) I thought about sharing some of my mom’s favorite recipes (you can find her Dutch Apple Pie recipe here), but instead I decided to share a recipe I often make as a mother for my children. One of their very favorite things I make for them is Meyer Lemon Curd. I wasn’t introduced to lemon curd until I was in my twenties. And I feel like I was deprived. Greatly deprived. My children are certainly not deprived of lemon curd. I make it frequently for them – it’s their preferred spread for toast or scones, and as a tangy waffle and pancake topping. But most of all, they love it slathered atop buttery cookies as a special treat. It makes me happy to hear the oohs and ahhs from my kids when I cook for them. They’re the entire reason I do what I do.
Meyer lemon season is drawing to a close. I’m fitting in this last recipe before I bid them farewell. Of course regular lemons are just fine for this rich and creamy Meyer lemon curd, too, which is nice because it can and should be made year-round. If you’re someone who hasn’t ever heard of lemon curd before (I know there are a few of you out there!) be prepared for an amazing introduction. A “curd” is basically like a custard, only instead of using milk, lemon juice is used, and there’s a boat load of butter whisked in at the end. The resulting curd is tart, tangy, buttery, sweet, creamy, and decadent all at the same time. It’s absolutely marvelous, in other words.
It’s easy to change things up and use other kinds of citrus, even berries. I often make one using passion fruit juice. SO GOOD.
This recipe is a little different than other recipes. I actually can’t remember where and when I first starting using this…maybe I didn’t have enough egg yolks and I improvised? I cannot for the life of me remember. But it uses whole eggs and egg yolks which makes it a little bit lighter. (Ha!) Along with two sticks of butter. Use the best butter you can find. European butter like Plugra or Kerrygold is really good here. The flavor really shines through. We’ve also used cultured butter with delicious success. Don’t skimp in the lemon zest. It really adds an extra punch of lemon flavor. Rubbing it with the sugar first releases the oils from the zest. Just a little tip. You can always strain it out if you don’t like it in there.
Here are some other curd recipes I’m dying to try:
Vegan Strawberry Curd from Chocolate Moosey
Honey-Sweetened Lemon Curd (Dairy-Free) from Texanerin
Raspberry Curd by Erica Kastner of Buttered Side Up for Good Life Eats
Blueberry Curd by Bakeaholic Mama
Coconut Curd by Country Cleaver
Mango Curd (as a yummy pie filling!) from Eats Well With Others
How about you – do you love lemon curd? (Isn’t it the greatest thing in the history of the world? Yeah, I think so too.)
- 1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (regular lemon juice is fine)
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 16 Tbsp.) COLD unsalted butter, diced
- In a 3 quart stainless steel or other non-reactive pan, combine sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the sugar and zest together to release the oils. It will look wet and sandy and smell fantastic. Whisk in the egg yolks, whole eggs, and salt. Keep whisking until thick and light in color. Whisk in the lemon juice a little at a time.
- Cook over medium high heat, being careful not to let it boil, until thickened. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Whisk the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, into the lemon curd, waiting until each piece has melted and been incorporated before adding more. Whisk a few times more at the end to make sure all butter has been incorporated.
- Use as desired. Store in an airtight container or jar. Keeps about 1-2 weeks.