Lemon Curd: A Springtime Treat

It's no secret, to anyone that knows me, that I love lemons. I love lemon juice in a glass of ice cold water in summer, I love lemon slices roasted in a pan with a chicken for supper and I especially love lemon curd on a fruit tart or dolloped onto a crisp meringue. This year I lucked out with a bumper crop of Meyer lemons from two trees that I've been pampering for the last three years. Sadly, I fear the ice storm that hit Mobile in January means I will not have such an abundance of lemons next year (actually, at this point I don't even know if the tree will survive).

Since lemon curd is one of my all-time favorite treats, I decided to use the majority of the lemons I harvested to make homemade lemon curd. I have made lemon curd many times according to different recipes (Martha Stewart has a great one), but my favorite recipe to use when I want to can the curd and store it for later use, or gift giving, can be found in the book Food In Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year Round by Marisa McClellan. This recipe is super easy and doesn't call for too many lemons. I actually canned two batches of curd, doubling the recipe each time, so you could easily use this recipe even if you don't have a bumper crop of homegrown lemons. The small, 4-oz jars are my favorite size to use for this recipe, although 8-oz jars could be used as well.

Since I don't know if I'll be fortunate enough to have any lemons from my own trees next year, I thought I'd photograph (a.k.a. memorialize for all eternity) this year's batch of curd. To make a pretty presentation for serving the curd in meringues or tarts, dry thinly sliced rounds of lemon, sprinkled generously with sugar, in the oven at 200 degrees for approximately two hours, flipping once halfway through. I used a mandolin to get very thin slices of lemon, but you could cut the rounds with a knife as well. If you use a knife to slice your lemons, you may have thicker slices, which will take a bit longer to dry out in the oven. When giving jars of curd for gifts, I like tie scraps of fabric over the metal lids with bakers twine. Always be sure to label the jar and include the expiration date when giving canned goods as gifts. I think these babies are the perfect treat for spring! Enjoy!