Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Meyer Lemon Curd and Experiments with Candied Peels

I've posted this recipe before, but it's so easy and good that I want to bring it to your attention again.

I made a batch a couple of days ago and today I made a second batch of it and decided to try using eggs from my chickens. My birds are young and are just starting to lay which means that their eggs are on the small side. I've not adjusted the recipe here, but I did make an adjustment for my small eggs today. Most recipes are standardized to use "large" eggs. When you buy a dozen large eggs they are supposed to weigh a total of about 24 ounces and each individual egg should weigh about 2 ounces. It took 5 eggs from my girls to make just over 8 ounces, or the equivalent of the 4 large eggs called for in the recipe.

Meyer Lemon Curd

1 cup meyer lemon juice
1 cup sugar
peel from 1 meyer lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler
3/4 cup butter
4 large eggs

Put the lemon juice, sugar, lemon peel, and butter in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Cook, stirring with a silicone spatula or a spoon until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts.

Whisk the eggs lightly in a separate bowl, don't over beat, you don't want a lot of air bubbles. Stir in about a cup of the warm lemon mixture to temper the eggs, then stir the egg mixture into the rest of the lemon mixture. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (160 F.). Strain through a seive into a clean bowl and discard the peels.

Ladle into hot, sterilized 1 cup canning jars and cap with scalded new lids and rings. Cool and then refrigerate. Should keep in the refrigerator for at least a couple of weeks if the lids seal properly.

Makes 3 cups.

The only other thing I did differently today was to skip the double boiler method and cook the curd in a saucepan directly over medium low heat. It's quicker that way but also easier to overcook the curd. You need to have the seive and bowl set up next to the stove so that you can pour the curd out of the pan the instant it looks done. It also helps to have made curd at least once so that you know what it looks like when it is cooked enough. I noticed today that it looked done before the thermometer quite got up to temperature.

The different colors of the two batches of curd that I've made is remarkable. The only difference between the two batches is the eggs, the jar on the right was made with very good store bought eggs and the other jars with my girls' eggs.

The yolks of those lovely eggs are more orange than yellow.

I hate to waste the lemon peels, they really are delicious, so I've been experimenting with making candied peels. The recipe I'm tinkering with is in the newest edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

After I juiced the lemons for the curd, I cut the hollow lemons in half again and pulled out the membranes that were attached to the insides of the peels, then I cut the peels in half again.

The recipe calls for blanching the peels twice and then gently cooking them in a syrup. The peels are then left to cool in the syrup overnight, rewarmed and then drained and tossed with granulated sugar. I left the sugar coated peels out on waxed paper at room temperature to dry for 24 hours, turning them once. For the first batch I skipped the blanching process since the meyer lemon peels are not very bitter. The end product did end up with a touch of bitterness so today I blanched the peels once before cooking them in the sugar syrup.

Here's the batch I'm making today simmering in the syrup.

I've found that you have to be careful not to cook the peels too long in the syrup or they become too chewey. And the thinner the peels, the easier it seems to be to over cook them. It would have been nice if the lemons had skins that were a little thicker.

The first batch tastes quite good now that I've dipped the pieces in some some 72%  bittersweet chocolate...


  1. Yum! I love candied citrus peel. And those egg yolks look amazing.
    Even though they look different, do you notice a difference in taste as well?

  2. Thomas, so far as the lemon curd goes I don't think there's really any flavor difference. It would be interesting to do a side by side tasting though.

    I have noticed that the girls' eggs have more body than the store bought ones - the whites don't spread out as much and the yolks seem thicker also. When you beat the egg whites they whip up to a higher volume. I don't know if it's my imagination, but when I cook the girls' eggs over easy, they seem richer.

  3. I think the candied chocolate lemon peels have my name on them! I may just have to try both recipes. I saw big bags of meyer's at the grocery store about a month ago, I am kick myself for not getting them as now they are all gone. I will have to settle for plain ol'lemons. Love the rich locking yolks too!

  4. Dan, Oh I hate it when I miss opportunities like that. Keep your eye out for them next year! The curd is good with regular lemons also, though you might want a touch more sugar since the meyers are sweeter than regular lemons.

  5. I bet your kitchen smelled wonderful from all those lemons!

  6. Oh, those candied peels dipped in chocolate look wonderful! I'm not terribly keen on lemon curd, but I think I may make some just to get the peel!! I'm not surprised your chickens' eggs are so much yellower - it's being able to scratch around in the open ground. We found this when we used to keep chickens.

  7. The curd looks delicious. I'll be trying it with eggs from my chickens (or chooks as they say here!)

  8. So I'm ignorant. I've seen lemon curd but never had it. What do you so with it? Do you use it like jam? Like applesauce? My imagination says it would be really good in lemon thumbprint cookies.

  9. Michelle, The Meyers are particularly sweet scented!

  10. Chaiselongue, The curd will make nice gifts if you don't want to eat it.

    Our chickens don't actually have free run outside because we have so many predators around here. They do have a nice sized enclosure outside their coop though and I take them treats from the garden every day. They're really quite spoiled!

  11. Funkbunny, Chooks, what a great name! I think you'll like the curd made with your chooks' eggs.

  12. Daphne, I like to spread it on toast or scones. It's also a great tart filling. It is probably too moist and perishable for cookies unless you fill the cookies and then eat them right away.

  13. How timely. I was just thinking I'd better hop to with the lemons.

    I'll have to make and post my easy food processor lemon tart recipe, too.

  14. That looks so good. I must make time this weekend to do both with my excess of eggs and Meyer lemons. I was thinking little chopped bits of candied peel would be great in scones or panettone.

  15. Mmmmm. Sounds delicious! When my little Meyer Lemon grows up, I have to try this.

  16. Stefaneener, I can certainly use another lemon recipe, my little tree has lots more fruit!

    I have used home made candied meyer peel in a panettone type bread, it's good!

  17. Town Mouse, the way Meyer Lemon trees grow around here, you won't have long to wait!

  18. I love lemons, so it looks like I best get me a Meyer's lemon tree.

  19. Di, no lemon lover should be without one. :)


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