Recipe: Tart, Ethereal Meyer Lemon Curd

For this curd, I leave out the butter to make it lighter. To make lemon tarts, fold some whipped crème fraiche into the cooled curd before spreading in a baked pastry shell.

Makes about a cup

    • ½ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
    • ½ cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
    • about 13 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg and 1 egg white
    • one 3-inch by 1-inch strip lemon zest

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over two tablespoons lemon juice. Set aside to soften. In a medium stainless steel bowl, or top of a double boiler, combine the remaining ingredients. Set the bowl over, but not in, simmering water. (Although it may be cooked directly on a low flame in a heavy saucepan, using a bain marie or water bath insures that it won't overcook.)

Whisk constantly until the curd is thick and coats the back of a soup spoon, about five minutes. Stir in the gelatin mixture and cook one minute longer. Strain into a medium bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.

Transfer to a clean, dry jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The curd will keep about one week.

To read about how Sally Schneider got inspired by Meyer lemons' floral tangerine flavors, click here.

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Sally Schneider writes The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog about improvising as a daily practice. Her cookbook The Improvisational Cook is now out in paperback. More

Sally Schneider is the founder of The Improvised Life, a lifestyle blog that inspires you to devise, invent, create, make it up as you go along, from design and cooking to cultivating the creative spirit. It's been called a "zeitgeist-perfect website." She is a regular contributor to public radio's The Splendid Table and the author of the best-selling cookbooks The Improvisational Cook and A New Way to Cook, which was recently named one of the best books of the decade by The Guardian. She has won numerous awards, including four James Beard awards, for her books and magazine writing.

Sally has worked as a journalist, editor, stylist, lecturer, restaurant chef, teacher, and small-space consultant, and once wrangled 600 live snails for the photographer Irving Penn. Her varied work has been the laboratory for the themes she writes and lectures about: improvising as an essential operating principle; cultivating resourcefulness and your inner artist; design, style, and food; and anything that is cost-effective, resourceful, and outside the box.

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