ready and waiting

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.

Lemon Curd

from Gourmet, December 2003

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. Simmer lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, cornstarch and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
  2. 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.
  3. 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…

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20 responses to “ready and waiting

  1. Can you believe I’ve never tried lemon curd? Sad, I know.

  2. Lemon curd is lovely on top of vanilla bean ice cream. A recipe from my British heritage I am very proud of!

  3. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. This lemon curd looks delicious!

  5. wow! i just found your blog and there is so much delicious food i want to try. and these cakes, yum 🙂 i’ll definitely come back soon!

  6. If the grocery stores hadn’t been ransacked up here in Falls Church, VA, during the blizzard, I would’ve definitely followed your lead! Unfortunately, I had to wait for them to restock until I could make a batch of lemon bars.

    I just discovered your blog this weekend, and you definitely have a new fan! You’ve got a beautiful little corner of the Internet here, and your local links have inspired a return trip to C’ville on my part. Keep up the great work!

  7. Your lemon curd looks fantastic! It’s rare for me to find Meyer lemons, so I’ve never tried them in curd before. I also made a big batch of lemon curd when I was having the winter blues, filled mini cupcakes with it, also incorporated it into ice cream.

  8. Hi there Andrea! My best friend just sent me an email saying “I think you’d really like this blog, check it out” so here I am, and already bowled over by this wonderful looking lemon curd and your photographs. so happy to have found you, looking forward to reading more.

  9. This looks delicious with the scones!

  10. Wow, the colors alone make me want to make it immediately. Especially since southern California has been enjoying 80 degree weather lately!! I have to make this!!

  11. That curd looks incredible! I am a huge fan of Meyer lemons (the sweeter the better) and I’m right with you, curd is one of the best ways to preserve sunshine through the gloomy winter. I can’t wait to see the final scone recipe 🙂

  12. mmm…..this sounds so perfect right now!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello!! Nice to meet you:)

  13. Andrea, your lemon curd looks gorgeous. I’d be tempted to eat it right out of that bowl up top. And did someone say almond scones? I anxiously await the recipe.

  14. Hi Bella! Gee – I really need to make this. I’ve been planning on making lemon curd but haven’t gotten around to it, and now you post a recipe for it. must be a sign 🙂

    this is the first time i’ve checked out your site – lovely!

  15. i just found your blog and it looks amazing!
    Im adding you to my blogroll, hope you dont mind!

    xox Vera

  16. lemon curd – oh yes, please! looks just perfect.

  17. Thank you for the sweet comments, everyone!

    Irene, Maddie, Sarah, Sheena, Heather, BalancingFoodandLife : Thank you all for visiting! Welcome! 🙂

  18. how long will this curd last in the fridge?

  19. Pingback: Veckans favoriter v. 10 – Ack om jag var så här bra — Matgeek på Taffel.se

  20. Kayduh – The lemon curd will last a little over a week, if you can keep it around that long. 🙂

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