It was the first rain of the season, and we were not yet in “all-weather mode.”

Our Homesteading Circle was meeting for foraging, but we were more in a sleepy, warm, let’s-stay-inside mode. It was a perfect day for making lemon curd. Luckily, we already had Meyer Lemons on hand from a previous foraging expedition when it was still sunny and warm.

A few weeks before, Wendy and I had been in pursuit of avocados, checking on several trees on the foraging map. The avocados weren’t ripe, but as we drove back, we passed a tall apple tree with bright red apples hanging over the
fence. We both saw it at the same time, looked at each other and she put on the brakes. The apples looked like they were at the
perfect stage of ripeness and from the amount already on the ground, it didn’t appear that the homeowner wanted them.

Wendy knocked on the front door, with her baby on her back – the presence of the baby always seems to inspire goodwill. They were more than happy for us to harvest the apples for them and invited us into the backyard with our fruit
picker. They mentioned, offhand, that there was a lemon tree back there as well and we could help ourselves to it.

When we saw the lemon tree, I felt like we hit the jackpot – they were Meyers! They were in a range of sizes, from the size of a fist to the size of melons. We picked a full bag of the Meyer lemons and several bags of lovely red apples.

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Lemon Curd

This recipe is especially fragrant if you use Meyer Lemons, but will work with any lemons. It takes an
indecent amount of butter and eggs (yolks only) and requires a double boiler, but don’t be deterred.

It’s amazing – so worth it. The result is bright yellow, a decadent ray of sunlight on a rainy day. It will make two pints.

10 egg yolks
2 cups sugar
8 lemons, zested
2/3 c. lemon juice
2 sticks butter, cut into pats and
placed in freezer until ready.

Add about one inch of water to a medium
saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until
smooth (about one minute) in a medium size metal bowl that will fit
over the saucepan. Add juice and the zest to egg mixture and whisk
smooth.

Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place
bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top
of pan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened,
approximately eight minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats
the back of a spoon.

Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a
piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the
next (we cheated a bit on this instruction and it turned out just
fine). Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of
plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.

Refrigerate for up
to two weeks.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.