Many weeks ago, around the time of our last snowfall, I made a batch of bright, happy lemon curd. It was a chilly evening, but the sky was a lovely shade of blue dappled with streaky silver clouds, and the setting sun shone through the windows of our house at just the right angle. On our table sat a bowl full of Meyer lemons, so vibrant in color that they were closer to the shade of a tangerine than the typical pale, lemony yellow. Snow was forecast for the coming days, but it didn’t seem possible when you looked across the room at those orange globes streaked with the sun’s last rays.
The lemon curd was an effort to preserve some of that sunshine, to bottle it up and stash it away on a shelf in our fridge, ready and waiting for the gloomiest of days. 36 hours later, the snow started to fall...and fall and fall. Plump, wet flakes spiraling quickly and quietly from an endlessly gray sky, eventually coating the ground with a heavy, 15-inch blanket of white. After a quick run to the store for groceries and some DVDs, Brian and I settled in for the storm. Out came the lemon curd, with all of its promise of warmer days, ready to spread over almond scones just pulled from the oven. It continued to make appearances over the next week, on all manner of baked goods and even swirled into a bit of Greek yogurt, topped with thawed blackberries leftover from last Summer’s harvest.
Recently, we've had a few rainy, gray days here in Charlottesville. I haven't minded so much, really. The constant thrum of tiny drops hitting metal gutters has been quite soothing, and the misty air feels nice on skin dried from over-usage of our heater these last few months. The temperature has been fairly warm with highs in the 50's, leaving me thankful that it's been rain falling from the sky rather than sleet or snow. I can handle slipping on boots and a light waterproof jacket to dash outside to the car, rather than boots and coat and scarf and hat and gloves. That gets a little old.
I did find myself craving sunshine yesterday afternoon though, and for some reason convinced myself that there must be some of this lemon curd still stashed away at the back of the refrigerator. After much rummaging and removing and rearranging I disappointedly concluded that, in fact, there was no remaining curd to be found. It was a silly thought, anyway, because any that was left would surely have been spoiled after weeks in a forgotten corner of the fridge. But still, I really, really wanted this curd.
And so I jumped onto Bella Eats to track down the recipe, going back through the last few weeks of posts to find the one where I’d shared it with you. And I realized, I never did! How silly of me, when Meyer lemons have been at their peak, when their deep golden flesh calls to you from across the produce department, begging you to take them home so that they can grace your fruit bowl with their beauty. Not that you need an excuse to purchase them, but if you’re looking for one, this is it.
Now go, hurry to the store, buy a bag of plump Meyer lemons before they disappear until next Winter, and make a pot of this lemon curd. We’ve got rainy Spring days ahead, and everybody can use a little sunshine in their fridge.
from Gourmet, December 2003
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- Simmer lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, cornstarch and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
- Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl, then add 1/4 cup of lemon mixture, whisking constantly. Add yolk mixture to remaining lemon mixture on stovetop, then reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill.
The almond scones weren't quite right yet, so I'll share the recipe once I've tweaked it a bit more. In the meantime, if you're craving scones, these citrus scones with cranberries and ginger are quite delicious this time of year...