Meyer Lemon Curd
A double boiler, bain marie, or McGyver-style: heat-proof bowl (metal is best, or heat-proof glass; just make sure it’s heat-proof) and a saucepan big enough to hold the bowl over, not in, simmering water.
A container for the finished lemon curd (I prefer a glass bowl)
Enough plastic wrap to cover the container
1/4 pound of butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
5 eggs; you’ll be using only the yolks.
4 to 6 Meyer lemons, depending on size
How to select the lemons: rub the rind and smell the fragrance. Choose the ones that are most Meyer-like (sweeter and more floral than regular lemons).
Cut the butter up into small slices or cubes, and put back into the refrigerator to chill.
Goal: end up with 1/3 of a cup of juice and at least 3 tablespoons of zest. I am for about a 50-50 mix, because I like the texture of the curd with lots of zest; your mileage may vary.
Wash the lemons with soap and warm water; rinse well and pat dry.
Working over a bowl or plate, using a microplane (best) or citrus zester, remove just the outer rind. If you’re not sure how, here’s a short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2phFht2JMA. Measure the zest.
Then, juice the lemons. If you don’t have quite enough, you may add up to 1/2 tablespoon of water. If you have too much juice, set aside for another idea, lemony meringue tarts.
Carefully separate the eggs so there’s no yolk in the whites. Set the whites aside.
Start the water simmering in the saucepan. Check that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl, and whisk briskly for about a minute, until smooth. Try not to incorporate too much air. In a thin, slow stream, whisk in the lemon juice, then the zest. Continue until mixture is smooth.
Place the bowl with the mixture over the simmering water and reduce the heat. Whisk the mixture over the heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (the last time, it took about 9 minutes). Be sure to whisk pretty constantly.
Remove the bowl from over the hot water, but leave the saucepan on the stove (you might need to reheat the mixture a little.)
Whisk in the butter, working one piece at a time. Each piece must be melted in completely before adding the next. This last time, I had to put the mixture back over the hot water for the last few pats of the butter.
When all the butter is melted in, transfer the mixture to your clean container and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down onto the warm surface of the curd. Refrigerate.
It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 14 days, but I’ve never been able to make it last that long.