Lemons, lemons, lemons. I've got so many lemons!I have always loved the smell of lemon, and all citrus for that matter. When I was a young girl, there was a lotion in a tall thin glass bottle that was the scent of lemon. It was $2 a bottle, and I was too young to make my own money so I only remember ever having one bottle of the lemon lotion, but it seemed that some of my friends had it too. It smelled soooo good and I would pour out a dab into my hands and rub them together, inhaling the fresh citrus scent. To this day, whenever I smell a bath or body product with the scent of lemon, I think of that glass bottle of lemon lotion.
My love for lemons has never waned since my childhood. When I chose the plants for my garden, it is not surprising that I selected lots of lemon trees. Meyer lemons, eureka lemons, lemon-limes, pink lemons. They are all so pretty and smell so nice.
But I can only use so many lemons in my cooking so I started looking around for other ways to use my abundance of lemons. I have made lemonade and lemon bread (obvious) and preserved lemons (pretty in the jar but I didn't cook with them much) but I finally discovered my favorite way to use my lemons is Lemon Curd.
Lemon Curd is like a sweet citrus jam butter. It tastes like summer sun on a spoon. I think it is delicious mixed into yogurt, or on toast or with granola. I have even used this recipe, my favorite by the great Ina Garten, to make a lemon tart. It is so delicious, I have been caught eating a straight spoonful, or three. Sweet, light, tart and fresh, a bit of lemon curd can take me right back to the delight of the lemon lotion of my youth.
Lemon Curd (Ina Garten)
3 lemons 1-1/2 cups sugar 1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature 4 extra-large eggs 1/2 cup cup lemon juice 1/8 tsp kosher salt
Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10-15 minutes) stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool, then refrigerate.