a sweet treat: how to make meyer lemon curd

Early last summer, or maybe it was late in the spring, I bought a potted Meyer lemon tree. The kids were excited about watching our very own lemons grow. In fact, they drove me crazy for the first week we had the plant. “Are there lemons yet? When will the lemons grow?” Of course, I had the same questions, but with 30-something more years of patience than Maddie and Oliver, I was content to wait.

We watched that little tree grow a tiny bit bigger, sprout beautiful white flowers, and then, after a while, we were rewarded with baby green lemons. By the time the baby lemons appeared, the kids had lost interest but I was enchanted with this little tree. I felt like a child checking the stockings in the days leading up to Christmas to see if by chance, by some remote chance, Santa decided to come early. I checked on my little lemon tree almost daily. I felt each lemon, counted them, and guarded those eight little babies carefully. And of course I watered the tree, and it got lots of sun on my patio.

Before we knew it, we had Meyer lemons. Real Meyer lemons, grown in our own backyard. Eight of them.

That’s it. Just eight.

So what does one do with eight Meyer lemons? I asked this question on Twitter and Facebook and the most popular answer was lemon curd.  I’ve never had lemon curd, but I love lemon tarts and lemon bars. So, lemon curd it was.

I’m not sure there is an easier thing to make than lemon curd. You’ll need a candy thermometer or other instant-read thermometer, but that’s about as high tech as the recipe gets. Lemons, butter, sugar, and eggs…what could be simpler?

The Meyer lemon curd tasted just like the filling of a lemon tart, sweet and bright with just the right amount of tartness. The curd is a great topping for warm biscuits or scones, a cheesecake (and if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see a post about this in the very near future!), or a filling for a tart. And it’s really good just eaten out of the container with a spoon.

But I would never do such a thing. *wink*

Meyer Lemon Curd

From Gourmet, December 1999. Just a note: When I made this, I only needed two Meyer lemons to get the amount of juice & zest the recipe calls for. I would suggest having 3 or 4 on hand, and be happy if you have a couple left over at the end.


3 to 4 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces


Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2 teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure 1/2 cup. Whisk together zest, juice, sugar, and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, whisking, until thickened and smooth and an instant-read thermometer (or a candy thermometer) registers 160°F, about 5 minutes. Force curd through a fine sieve or mesh strainer set into another bowl.

Cover surface of lemon curd completely with wax paper and cool completely; keeps covered & chilled for about 1 week.

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17 Responses to “a sweet treat: how to make meyer lemon curd”

  1. 1

    Beautiful lemon curd! Meyer lemons are such a treat at this time of year. I have long wanted to make my own lemon curd – now I have a great recipe. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year!!

    • 1.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — December 30, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

      Happy New Year, Lisa! You definitely should make your own lemon curd — it’s SO easy.

  2. 2
    Liz the Chef — December 30, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

    Those Meyers are addicting and yes, I frequently find I need fewer lemons for any lemon recipe – they are incredibly juicy! Thanks for a lovely post – and Happy New Year!

    • 2.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — December 30, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

      Happy New Year to you, too, Liz!

  3. 3
    eatgreek.net — December 30, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    mmm it looks so delicious!!!

  4. 4
    Jennifer (Savor) — December 30, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    LOVEEEe that you have a tree. Have you ever used the curd in a savory dish?

    • 4.1
      mj (merry gourmet)
      mj (merry gourmet) — December 30, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

      I never have used it in a savory dish. Do you have any tips?

  5. 5
    PerennialPlate — December 30, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    I love lemon tart, especially when made with meyer lemons…This looks delicious. Thanks for the post.

  6. 6
    Maria at Fresh Eats — December 30, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    Beautiful lemons. Just gorgeous. And lemon curd is simply to die for.

  7. 7
    Katie @The Small Boston Kitchen — December 30, 2010 @ 6:43 pm

    Love it! So beautiful! I am so jealous that you grew your own lemons!

  8. 8
    Kristina @ spabettie — December 30, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

    wow, what fun to have a lemon tree! your photos are STUNNING!

    I love lemon curd, I never even thought it could be that easy to make…


  9. 9
    Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — December 31, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    I have a friend sending me a case of Meyer lemons from their yard so I’ve been paying attention…I will need several lemon ideas too. I’ve bought lemon curd but never made it so this is definitely at the top of my list. And I have no problem with just a spoon.

  10. 10
    Jason Phelps — December 31, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    My question was answered right at the top. Where did you get them? I am on the hunt for some for a couple different purposes, including drinks. Lemon curd sounds pretty awesome as well.

    Happy New Year!


  11. 11
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 5, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    I am so incredibly jealous of that Meyer lemon tree… And, the curd sounds fabulous! I am going to go buy a tree… Or perhaps just some lemons since I would inevitably kill the tree.

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