Have you ever noticed that kids don’t seem to like lemon-flavored things? I didn’t as a wee lass, and my favorite little (who’s eleven now) won’t even eat a sugar cookie if it has lemon zest in it. It’s a funny thing, because when you fast forward to grown up me, I simply can’t get enough of the stuff. Lemon sorbet, lemon pound cake, lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon in my cocktails. It’s simply my favorite! Maybe in weaning myself off chocolate, I found sour to be a way to get my dessert fix without dying in the clutches of cloying.
Lemon curd might be my favorite way to enjoy my obsession. I’ll spread it on gluten-free toast or muffins, fill tarts and layer cakes with it, or mix it with fluffy coconut whipped cream and dollop it atop fresh berries.
The thing about lemon curd is people freak out about the fat content. While I no longer demonize fat (you can read all about why here), I’m always game for healthifying a recipe if it’s still going to taste great. And this recipe does just that. It’s basic lemon curd, except it uses whole eggs instead of just yolks to keep it copacetic for the folks in the world who still crunch the nutritional numbers. And it also makes use of an all-natural sweetener, maple sugar–which is my favorite replacement for table sugar in recipes with light-colored ingredients and delicate flavors.
And I even took it a step further: I found a vegan variation! Made egg and butter-free, obviously, but maintaining the pudding-esque consistency like a champ, and tasting every bit as good as the carnivore variation. I’ve included both recipes here so that no matter what your preference, you can do this deliciousness STAT!
- 1/2 cup maple sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Place sugar and eggs in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended.
- Gradually beat in rind and juice. Spoon mixture into a heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat.
- Add butter to pan; cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly (do not boil).
- Spoon mixture into a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly.
- 1 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cup maple sugar
- 2 T lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 T coconut milk
- 3 T [url href=”http://” target=”_blank”]cornstarch[/url] dissolved in 3 T cold water
- 2 T dairy-free margarine, divided
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest and salt, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
- After the sugar is dissolved, add the corn starch mixture and the coconut milk.
- Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles gently, about 8 minutes.
- Add the margarine, and continuing to stir constantly, cook for several minutes more or until mixture resembles thick pudding.
- Transfer the mixture to a heat proof dish, cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator.
- Chill 2 hours before serving.