When life gives you lemons. . . make lemon curd
Two years ago, December 5th, 2018- the anniversary of us purchasing this old home! Most of the plants were overgrown or barely alive when we uncovered this old treasure. The apple tree looked like it had seen better days, the avocado tree drooped in the backyard, and the orange tree was not one to write home about.
However, the one tree that was in full bloom was the Meyer lemon tree on the side yard. The smell of citrus wafted through the cracks of one of the living room windows. It filled the musty room with a sense of excitement and exuberance. When I picked the first lemon, I thought it would just be like any other lemon I had tried in my life. Sour, make my lips pucker, and just admire them from afar. However, when I tried a lick of the lemon, to my surprise it had a hint of sweetness.
This was love at first squeeze. With all of the lemons, and really no time to bake that year, I thought it was a shame to leave them on the tree. My mom offered to make lemon curd. Now, if you have ever tried her lemon curd, you know it’s something you don’t want to share! I honestly just want an 8 oz jar of lemon curd from my mom each year for Christmas.
As we looked at the electrician, painter, the construction workers, and dozens of boxes, I didn’t know how I would be able to pull off Christmas. The only thing I did know is that we had an abundance of lemons. My mom made over 8 jars of lemon curd that holiday season. It was a bright way to not only welcome us into our home but to remind me that although I didn’t have time to do the traditions that I was used to that year, something beautiful and bright still came my way. An unexpected gift that I loved.
Total time 25 minutes plus chilling
Makes 2 half-pint jars
3 tbsp. grated lemon zest
¾ Cup fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
10 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt.
In a heavy 4-quart saucepan combine lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, butter, egg yolks and salt. Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil. Curd will thicken when chilled. Strain curd through a sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of curd.
Enjoy this citrus treat with scones, biscuits, or by the spoonful!