I made my first trip to a Trader Joe's a couple of weeks ago. And let me just say - I'm in love. I was so happy at one point in the store, I swear I teared up. So many amazing, and affordable, foodie must haves! It's a good thing one is opening up about a mile away from me or I would be on the road every other week to get a fix for this new addiction.
One of the items that I squealed when I found (there was much squealing) was a bag of Meyer lemons. Meyer lemon recipes blow up the food blogosphere this time of year and I couldn't wait to get my hands on some. Now that I had them, what was I going to do with them? Ice cream and pudding made the short list but in the end I decided on a curd. I love their versatility. And sneaking a spoonful every time I open the refrigerator.
My friend Tracey, of Tracey's Culinary Adventures, had recently posted a recipe for Meyer Lemon Curd that looked divine. If you haven't done so already, check out her blog as she posts the most incredible food and is such a kind and generous person. This curd recipe is great because it doesn't involve fussing with separating eggs and having a bunch of egg whites lying around. The Meyer lemon flavor is a little less acidic and little sweeter than regular lemons. Kind of like the love child of a lemon and an orange.
With the curd made it was time to figure out a vehicle for it. I ended up going the easy route by making cupcakes. I love pound cake and its sturdy texture makes it the perfect base for dolloping curds. These mini pound cakes were delicious. I loved the addition of cream cheese here and plan on keeping this recipe in my files as it is a great all-around pound cake recipe.
The cupcakes had barely cooled and the curd had barely chilled before I was putting them together. I couldn't wait to see if I had made the right choice with my first foray with Meyer lemons. As I took a bite, the tanginess of curd gave way to the sweet, moist texture of the cake. A perfect pairing of texture and flavor. Now, not only am I in love with Trader Joe's, but Meyer lemons too.
Sour Cream Pound Cakes with Meyer Lemon Curd
Sour Cream Pound Cakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour (15 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce container sour cream
Meyer lemon curd (see recipe below)
Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, alternately with sour cream, beating until blended. Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes for mini-muffins and 20-24 minutes for regular muffins or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Once cupcakes have cooled, add a dollop to each cupcake and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Meyer Lemon Curd
via Tracey's Culinary Adventures
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the lemon juice, zest, sugar, and eggs together until well combined. Add the butter and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the curd has thickened and registers 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a second heatproof bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and store in the refrigerator. The curd will keep for a week.