A lemon without its tart edge, subdued by a tangerine sweetness: that is a Meyer lemon. Sometimes, the orangey sweetness is so strong that it’s more like a lemon trying to pose as an orange, ha! Slightly smaller than regular lemons, with a thinner rind, and are a warm yellow that’s pleasing to the eye. In fact, I can’t help but see that warm yellow of Meyer lemons without feeling a twinge of happiness. Before I tried them, I just didn’t understand its significance or how it’s not just any old lemon with a name slapped on it to sound fancy or exotic (despite its origins in China). It’s difficult to describe Meyer lemons to those who have not tried Meyer lemons or eaten something made with them – let alone make them understand how they’re different from regular lemons (like me, until recently) – I’m not the only one who wishes that the Internet had some form of scratch ‘n’ sniff.
I was going to make this, if you remember, when I guest posted on Amy’s blog, but the Meyer lemons sold out before I could get any. However, it was only a day later after my guest post (!) that I saw them again, in netted bags. I got one bag and, about two weeks later, made this lemon curd from Martha Stewart. Most of the photos in this entry were taken on the days that I made the Meyer lemon curd, but I only did photography for the star photos (that generally show off the recipe) today, with very minimal planning ahead of time in terms of how I’d like to present it, etc. It was mostly spur-of-the-moment improvisation and I think they’re a little arty.
This Meyer lemon curd is absolutely the best lemon curd I’ve ever tasted. I’ve made and eaten regular lemon curd, but, oh man, this one just tops it. There is no other. It’s smooth, it’s creamy unlike other lemon curd I’ve had and without the tartness. In fact, it is not overly lemony at all; because it’s made with Meyer lemons, it is a definitely unique flavour that can’t be fully described. It has to be tasted. The consistency is similar to custard and it’s a buttery yellow in colour. I could wax lyrical over these lemons (to the point of getting my own tree) and this curd.
Although lemon curd isn’t usually eaten on its own – it’s not supposed to be, anyway – this one can be easily eaten by the spoonfuls, if you don’t have enough self-restraint to save some for other baking endeavours.
Meyer Lemon Curd
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living and Pierre Herme
Full recipe makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups; half a recipe makes about 1/2 cup, depending on how it’s made (Martha or Pierre Herme’s technique, with or without egg yolks)
After a bit of Googling around, it seems that Martha’s recipe is lifted from a Pierre Herme recipe for something called “lemon cream”, which is described as being like lemon curd, but butter (in our case, coconut oil) is added in the end for a creamier and smoother result. There are little differences except that Pierre Herme’s recipe doesn’t use additional egg yolks or lemon zest and there is more butter used than Martha’s, but both of them use the same amount of lemon juice.
If you leave out the coconut oil at the end, it won’t be as creamy and there will be a more pronounced lemony flavour – but, since made with Meyer lemon juice, lacks the tang or pucker. It’s almost a conditional thing, it seems, because when I was tasting it I was half-expecting that familiar tang but of course it wasn’t there.
6 egg yolks (optional)
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, from about 5 to 6 Meyer lemons
1 tbsp. + 2 tsp. lemon zest, from about 2 Meyer lemons
6 tbsp. coconut oil
Whisk the eggs and egg yolks, if using, together in a saucepan. Add the honey, Meyer lemon juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened enough that it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in the coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, until fully mixed.
Strain the lemon curd into a clean bowl through a fine sieve (if you don’t have a sieve, find something else to improvise; I used a stainless steel food cover) and use a spatula, preferably flexible, to get out as much curd as possible. Throw away any undissolved bits of gelatin or egg. Cover and refrigerate, until ready to use. Enjoy!