What do you do with lemon cream? Why, eat it! By the spoonful, in a tart shell, smeared on a cracker, or plopped on a scone. This particular lemon cream is bright, smooth, and rich and so, so, good that I licked the hand blender. Yes, I did. At horrible risk to my tongue (and reputation). I had swiped a bit with my finger that was threatening to drip and of course, I had to lick my finger. One thing led to another and before I knew it there I was licking. Yup. But at least I unplugged the thing first.
The original recipe (from Tartine) called for a full cup of unsalted butter. I found that to be too rich - a bit too much like eating butter. This comes from a confirmed and unrepentant butter lover (a characteristic all my near and dear can attest to and protest). That recipe also recommended using a double-boiler or bowl over hot water when cooking the 'pudding'. Being a lazy cook I determined to see what would happen if I simply cooked it over a low flame. I am happy to report that the sky did not fall - in fact, the result was lovely, smooth, and silky. I did stir it constantly but that was recommended anyway. Do it however you choose but do it :)
meyer lemon cream
(adapted from Tartine)
makes about 2 cups
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp Meyer* lemon juice (for me this was the juice of 2 1/2 lemons)
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Combine the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a medium stainless steel pot. Whisk to combine. Place the pot over a low flame and stir constantly until the mixture becomes very thick (the whisk should leave a trail in the curd). This will take about 12 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times to release the heat.
Meanwhile, cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces. When the cream has cooled for 10 minutes scrape it into a bowl. Using a hand-held or counter-top blender, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, blending after each addition before adding the next one. The cream becomes very pale yellow, opaque, and quite thick.
Use immediately or refrigerate in a covered container.
*I used Meyer lemons because I had some and love the spicy, floral note of the juice but regular lemons would work just as well.