You may think you’re going to gift these little half-pint jars of Meyer lemon curd, but who are you kidding? Our money says you’ll be lapping it up straight from the jar.
Just try to resist eating this Meyer lemon curd from the jar with a spoon! Pack the lemon curd into jars for gift giving, but save a jar for yourself and spread it on toasted brioche or warm-from-the-oven cream scones.
As a gift-giving tip, offer all these suggestions on a gift card and include a recipe card. Tie each jar with raffia or ribbon and attach card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including baked blueberry scones, cream biscuits, or even a loaf of poppy seed cake. It’s a perfect hostess gift—ready to be enjoyed at breakfast, at teatime, or for dessert.–Diane Morgan
Why Our Testers Loved This
Along with the testers, David loved that this Meyer lemon curd was “lusciously delicious and smooth” and slightly sweeter than regular lemon curd.
Notes on Ingredients
- Egg yolks–Save your extra egg whites for making meringue cookies.
- Meyer lemon zest–If you don’t want to include the zest in your finished curd, see the FAQ below on how to use it. You can strain it out after cooking.
How to Make This Recipe
- Prepare the jars. Wash them in hot, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher.
- Make the curd. Whisk the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and lemon juice together. Cook in a double boiler until the curd reaches 170°F.
- Strain it through a fine mesh sieve. Whisk in lemon zest and butter. Transfer to the jars and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
What are Meyer lemons?
Meyer lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges. They are smaller, more round, and sweeter than regular lemons, with a thinner, smoother skin.
I prefer a smooth curd. Can I make it without zest?
Yes, you can still impart a distinct and luscious Meyer lemon-y-ness to the curd and end up with impeccably smooth results by adding the zest a little earlier in the process and then straining it out. We propose adding the zest to the sugar before you whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, rubbing the sugar and zest mixture between your fingertips to really permeate and perfume the sugar with a lemony lilt. (Do note, if you strain the curd, your yield will be closer to 3, not 4, half-pint jars.)
How should I serve this?
Slather on toasted bread or shortbread, or dollop on an angel food cake served with fresh strawberries. The lemon curd is also delightful when layered with raspberries and blueberries for a summertime parfait. We also love the contrast of citrus with chocolate in this stunning Meyer lemon tart.
Can I make this with other types of citrus?
Certainly. Keep in mind that the sugar content of citrus varies, so you may need to adjust your sugar accordingly. One reader tried it with navel oranges, and found that the resulting curd tasted just like an orange creamsicle!
Can lemon curd be water bath canned?
Yes, you can process the lemon curd in a hot water bath for 15 minutes, however, you must still store the processed curd in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 months, but once opened, use with in a week.
- The curd can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. It can be frozen for up to 1 year. Thaw overnight in the fridge and use within 1 week.
- To determine if your curd is ready, use an instant-read thermometer. Curd is ready when it reaches 170°F.
- This recipe is suitable for a gluten-free diet.
- To make Meyer lemon mousse, transfer all of the lemon curd to a medium bowl. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream along with 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Using a silicone spatula, fold a glob of the whipped cream into the lemon curd to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Spoon the mousse into parfait glasses, alternating layers with fresh berries of your choice.
More great Meyer lemon recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Meyer Lemon Curd
- Instant-read or a candy or a deep-fry thermometer and 3 or 4 half-pint jars with lids.
- 6 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 6 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
- 2 tablespoons grated Meyer lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces
- Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher and wash the lids by hand.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar. Whisk in the lemon juice. Transfer to a double boiler and cook the curd over barely simmering water, whisking constantly, until the lemon mixture thickens and reaches 170°F (76°C) on an instant-read thermometer. (The mixture will be very foamy on top.)
- Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the curd into a bowl. Immediately whisk in the lemon zest and butter until the mixture is smooth and emulsified.
- Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the sauce into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean, seal the jars, and refrigerate until the lemon curd is thickened chilled through before using, at least 4 hours.
- Make Meyer lemon mousse–Transfer all of the lemon curd to a medium bowl. Whip 2 cups of heavy cream along with 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold a glob of the whipped cream into the lemon curd to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Spoon the mousse into parfait glasses, alternating layers with fresh berries of your choice.
- Storage–Lemon curd can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 year. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
- Substitutions–This can be made with other citrus fruits, but you may need to adjust the amount of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The curd is very delicious, but I think you can get pretty much the same result using regular lemons. Personally, I prefer a very smooth curd, so I’d add the zest during the cooking process and then strain it afterward. (I don’t think you’re compromising the flavor at all if you remove the zest.)
I made the mousse with fresh berries, and it was quite good, although very, very rich—I’d say a step or two away from cloying. Next time, I’ll use a higher proportion of berries to mousse to cut down on the richness of this dessert.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This curd is lusciously delicious and smooth. Being a Meyer lemon curd, it lacks some of the puckery tartness of traditional lemon curds, and that’s a good thing. It’s a bit sweeter, like the flavor of a lemon and a tangerine lovechild.
It did take awhile for the curd to reach 170°, but I like making it in a double boiler—it reduces the chance of any curdling. If you like a perfectly smooth curd, add the zest with the eggs, sugar, and juice, and then strain it.
Me, I was perfectly fine with the tiny bits of bitter zest; it balanced the sweetness of the curd. We had it spooned over brownies. Decadent.