Meyer Lemon Curd

Queen Mary

I, along with it appears many other people, am completely addicted to the Great British Baking Show on Netflix. The only reality show I have ever loved, GBBS (the shorthand in my house) is a soothing balm in a chaotic world. 12 home bakers compete for a championship (award appears to be a large bouquet of wildflowers and a cake plate) all the while supporting their fellow contestants and, generally, keeping good humor. They make cakes and pies, lots of things with white chocolate and cherries, seemingly impossible French pastries and three dimensional bread sculptures. It is heartwarming, suspenseful (WILL THE MOUSSE SET IN TIME?!) and incredibly entertaining.

My husband's birthday falls in early January, and after an indulgent December he requested a lighter birthday dessert - pavlova. Popular in New Zealand and Australia, pavlova is a disk of meringue covered in whipped cream and seasonal fruit. It's the cloud of the dessert world, light and airy, but delightfully tangy if you add one of my favorite British sweet treats - curd.

Given that it is Meyer lemon season here in the Bay Area and my mom's tree is loaded with fruit, I used them for my curd. Meyer lemons are so fragrant and mild they make a delicious lemon curd that also happens to be really good swirled into whipped cream and smeared on meringue. Or mixed into morning yogurt, or sandwiched between buttery cookies, topping vanilla ice cream or spread onto my favorite scones. Luckily this recipe makes plenty to spare.

When looking up a curd recipe I knew I had to go straight to the queen herself - Mary Berry, British baking legend and judge of my beloved GBBS. She did not disappoint, and her method was easier than others I had made. 

This is a perfect bright spot in the winter if you have a sweet tooth.

Meyer Lemon Curd
By, Mary Berry (adapted just slightly)

Mary Berry's recipe is for lemon curd and I adapted it slightly to use Meyer lemons. Since Meyer's are milder and sweeter, I used their zest for the flavor but then used some lemon juice to bring a bit of much-needed tartness to a sweet recipe. Also, the below recipe is by weight and if you don't have a kitchen scale, it is so worth the $30!

100g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g sugar
5 egg yolks (I used the whites to make my pavlova!)
3 meyer lemons (for zest, 1 for juice)
2 lemons (for juice)

Whisk together the butter and sugar by hand in a heatproof bowl until relatively smooth. Add egg yolks and whisk again, then add zest of 3 Meyer lemons, juice of 1 Meyer lemon and juice of 2 regular lemons. 

Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl down not touch the water (test your bowl and pot before you start. You want a pot slightly smaller than your bowl to make a sturdy double boiler.)  Keep whisking the mixture, being sure the water never simmers too strongly and mix until thickened. Remove from heat and eat on everything. Your curd will be good in a jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.