Yup, Meyer lemons again! Sorry, they're kind of addictive this time of year. Lemon curd is a tasty, tart topping perfect for dolloping on top of your favorite scone, layering into a trifle or in the middle of a cake, or my personal favorite, lemon bars (recipe coming soon to a favorite food blog near you). If you don't have Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do. I just enjoy the slightly milder tang, and definitely brighter hue, of the Meyer lemon.
I adapted this recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's excellent cookbook Rose's Heavenly Cakes. It's what I flip through when I feel like making 87 components and slapping together a tower of cake-y goodness. The majority of the layer cakes in the book might be a bit tough for beginners, but the chapter on baby cakes (you know I can't resist making individual cute cakes) could be a good place to start. I recommend purchasing a kitchen scale if you don't have one yet. They're relatively inexpensive, they don't have to take up a ton of counter space, and they're invaluable when it comes to having baking successes instead of failures. So I followed the lemon curd recipe by weighing the ingredients by ounces, and found that my eggs must be slightly smaller because I needed 8 egg yolks instead of 7 to reach 4.6 oz (130 grams). Meyer lemons are also often smaller than regular lemons, so I needed to juice 4 Meyer lemons to make 5 oz of juice.
7-8 large egg yolks (4.6 oz or 130 g)
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (8 oz or 225 g)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (3 oz or 85 g)
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice (5 oz or 141 g) -freshly squeezed from about 4 Meyer lemons
3 tsp finely grated Meyer lemon zest (6 g)
Combine the egg yolks, granulated sugar, lemon juice, pinch of salt, and butter in a medium saucepan (all of the ingredients except for the zest, which will be stirred in last after the curd is strained).
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the lemon curd has thickened and coats the spatula, about 10 minutes. The reason you need to cook it over medium-low heat and keep stirring it the whole time is because if it gets too hot and reaches a boil, you're going to end up with a pot of lemony, sugary scrambled eggs that no amount of straining will save. So opt for low heat, please, and don't pick up the phone if Aunt Myrtle calls while you're making the curd, because you know how long-winded she is.
Strain the lemon curd through a fine mesh strainer, to remove any small bits of egg or lemon pulp, then stir in the 3 tsp of fresh Meyer lemon zest. This recipe makes 1 3/4 cups of lemon curd. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks according to the cookbook, but I try to use it within 2.