• Lemon Curd

    A beautiful lemon curd or citrus curd of any kind is a lovely pantry staple for me. I love treating it like a fluffy lemon pudding or the perfect topping for your nutty granolas, ice cream, gluten free baking experiment or just a spoon full of sunshine when you need one. Trying to extend the season on these beautiful citrus fruits is no mean trick as the aromatics in the peel that we recognize as uplifting and refreshing vanish literally as they are exposed to the air when cut. Lemon is an indispensable flavor for brightening our foods in any season with their sharp acid and gentle floral tone. But, to improve on something already so divine is where Meyer Lemons come in. They are less acidic and aromatically sweet enough to play with our senses that are in need of a treat, since, despite our cravings for other nutrients, the body only seems to ask with one word, sugar. Lemon Curd is one of those rare places that we can cut the sugar back without sacrificing flavor and wean ourselves out of a sticky relationship to sugar with all of those other proteins and fats that help balance out our metabolism of it. Of course, you can use any citrus in the place of lemon, so please do experiment with your pixie tangerines, sweet limes, blood oranges, grapefruit and even other herbs and spices in addition like rose geranium, rosemary and cardamom that pair perfectly with citrus of any origin. This is effortless gourmet sophistication with all the underpinnings of seasonal preservation techniques to buy more time for us from these precious fruits.

    My love affair with citrus began working in Berkeley with June Taylor at The Still Room. While segmenting pounds and pounds of blood oranges, the natural light in the kitchen really showed off the diversity of color in every juicy droplet of citrus skin. each tiny segment made up of a dozen balloons of colored droplets and the aroma was invigorating. We made many jars of marmalade and syrups and candied what peels were left and everything was sacred. Taking sweet breaks for tea and bread with butter and jam made the long afternoons that much more precious in the quiet and simple company of people that love what they do and cherish the fruits of their labors. It set the stage for a long romance with food that takes time to enjoy though very fleeting in what time it is available to do so.

    This is a simple recipe, intended to happen in 3 simple actions: 1) assemble ingredients into a small saucepan 2) cook over medium heat with a whisk until thickened 3) lavish in lemon! Of course, you can substitute the raw cream for coconut milk, if you are working with chicken eggs, double the yolks and feel free to adjust the sugar to your taste or try maple sugar instead. I suggest using Boondockers Duck Eggs, for their color as much as their flavor and nutrient density. The goldenrod yellow of this curd is sublime!

    Meyer Lemon Curd

    3 Meyer Lemons, zest one and juice them all (about 1/2 cup worth)

    2 Duck Eggs

    1 Duck Yolk

    3 Tbs. raw cream

    1/4 cup maple sugar

    pinch of sea salt

    6 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into thin chunks

    Combine all ingredients in a small heavy bottomed sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly but not vigorously until beginning to shine and thicken, then i like to pull it from the heat and continue to whisk while the residual heat continues to thicken the curd and also cool slightly. I prefer a looser curd as opposed to something that is stiff like a gelatin. Also be aware of the heat, you are using the eggs as an emulsifier but they can curdle if they get too hot.

    If you are wanting to work with the herbal aromatics, i suggest that you infuse your cream with them first by heating it with your herbs, covering it and allowing it to steep, then straining and cooling the cream before you begin. The alternative is to mix a scant teaspoon of fresh herb into your curd or a 1/2 tsp of ground dried spices.

    This recipe makes about 2 cups worth and will keep in the fridge about 10 days.