When life gives you lemons, make lemon curd.
Okay so that’s not how the saying goes, but I think it should. Lemon curd is much more versatile than lemonade. It’s a spread, it’s a filling, it’s a topping- it’s a dessert in and of itself!
I feel like that illustrates life better- any person can make simple “lemonade” out of a life obstacle, but getting creative makes life so much sweeter. Take the COVID-19 quarantine right now: “lemonade” in that case would be simply continuing to carry on with your daily routine, albeit it more boring as you’re stuck home. Now “lemon curd” would be using this free time to let your creativity run wild. Start that fun project you’ve been postponing. Learn the High School Musical dance. Start a blog, like I did! Don’t settle for the same old lemonade.
Illustrations aside, lemon curd is one of my favorite things ever. I love anything lemon, whether its savory or sweet. The more tart it is, the better. So this recipe is on the tart side, but if you prefer sweeter, that’s no problem. Just add a tablespoon more of sugar until you reach your desired sweetness.
This recipe is also dairy-free! Most curd recipes call for up to a stick of butter. Due to a butter shortage from the quarantine and a dairy intolerance in my family, I set my sights on making a butter-free recipe, but one that still achieves the same decadence as traditional curd. I think I succeeded. The trick is the method. By whisking the egg yolks and sugar together first, it creates a thick, buttery mixture. This forms the base of the curd. Adding the lemon juice beforehand would cause the egg yolks to separate. We want a congealed smooth end product, of course.
As per usual, I’ll keep my intros short. Enjoy!
Tʜɪs ʙᴀsɪᴄ ʟᴇᴍᴏɴ ᴄᴜʀᴅ ɪs ᴇᴀsʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴀɪʀʏ-ғʀᴇᴇ! Pᴇʀғᴇᴄᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴀɴʏ ʟᴇᴍᴏɴʏ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍs ʏᴏᴜʀ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ᴅᴇsɪʀᴇs!
Yɪᴇʟᴅ : 1/2 ᴄᴜᴘ
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1-2 lemons squeezed), room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more if desired.
- 3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar first until creamy. Place over low heat and whisk lemon juice in gently. Mixture will start off thin and drippy.
- Continue to heat. Some foamy air bubbles may appear at the surface. That’s okay.
- As mixture starts to bubble, add cornstarch through a strainer, gently whisking, one tablespoon at a time.
- Continue to whisk as mixture thickens. When thick enough to coat the whisk, remove from heat and let cool. The curd will continue to thicken.
- When completely cooled, pour through the strainer into a glass container. Store in refrigerator.
- Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
- Store in refrigerator at least two hours before using, and up to one week.
- Use on pancakes, as macaron filling, in between cake layers, or in meringue pie! The options are endless!