As I huddle inside and catch up on work at the kitchen table, that little jar of bright yellow spread brings me more happiness than it probably should. It’s my talisman against the cold, a reminder of warmer weather past and yet to come.
|Mixing in the egg yolks|
A consultation of a few dozen sources revealed that proportions for those main ingredients, however, are all over the board for lemon curd. Six of those are presented in the following chart; Jane Grigson, Helen Witty, Emily Luchetti, Marion Cunningham, Alton Brown, and Alice Waters.
|Various lemon curd ingredient ratios|
The last column is my own working ratios for lemon curd. No water, no salt (though the barest amount, a knifepoint, would work), no egg whites. It borrows a technique from 19th century bartending coming back into vogue: creating an oleo saccharum, a sort of “sweet oil” by grinding together citrus zest and sugar. This extracts more flavorful citrus oils than merely zesting the skin into the mix.
Meyer Lemon Curd
2 Tbl lightly packed Meyer lemon zest (from 1-2 fruits)
1 c sugar
5 egg yolks
3 oz Meyer lemon juice
4 oz butter, cut into several small pieces
Make a double boiler by adding 1-2” of water to a medium saucepan. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, in a metal bowl that rests in the top of the saucepan (but does not touch the surface of the water), combine the zest and sugar. Grind them together with a cocktail muddler or a wooden spoon so that the sugar is thoroughly impregnated with the color of the zest.
Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the juice and whisk again until smooth. Place the bowl on the saucepan. Whisk until thickened, 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Allow each piece to melt and become fully incorporated before adding the next. Pour into a clean container refrigerate.