Among her many sterling qualities, I admire my mother in-law for her ability to make lemon curds and custards to perfection; an ability that I am miles behind. I may have griped about my custard failures before but no matter how many recipes I follow to the T, the results are inevitably disappointing. That is why I don’t make lemon meringue pie often. The first time I made that pie, it was a hot lemony mess. With attempts to emulate my mother in-law and please hubby, I dejectedly presented this pie to him. Being forgiving and understanding, he gently explained to me that lemon curds are hard to master for novices and that my mother in-law has many years of experience making lemon meringue pies. Luckily, I prepared a backup dessert of cookies for emergencies like these so all wasn’t loss. As frustrating as that experience was, I wasn’t deterred from making lemon curds and custards and I have. I am famous and even notorious for being relentless once I set my mind on something. There is no limitation with my perseverance. I can understand why people may sometimes have a problem with that. Sometimes I successfully master the right consistency and on other days it is a liquidity disaster.
Lemon curd is generally made with eggs and butter. I wanted to explore other low-fat egg-free alternatives. I had cross-referenced several recipes and found one that worked for me. My intention was to make hubby a vegan lemon blueberry tart for dessert. You can guess which was a failure. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the lemon curd. I don’t want to talk about the other components of the tart. I find the vegan rendition to be a lot easier for me to make. I’ve learned the hard way that cooking this recipe slowly while stirring constantly is key for a perfect vegan lemon curd. Unlike the traditional recipe which call for a heavy use of egg yolks and a frightening amount of butter, this healthier and egg-free rendition offers a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors therefore making this recipe a perfect dairy free dessert idea for you to save in your repertoire. This recipe not only shows that lemon curd can be made vegan but the flavors are just as refreshing; if not more so.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup of unrefined cane sugar
- 3/4 cup of non dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons of margarine divided
- 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Yellow food coloring (optional)
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 milk, stirring well to combine. Stirring constantly, cook until the mixture begins to thicken and the first few bubbles appear on the surface, about 8 minutes. Add the dairy-free soy margarine, and cook, stirring constantly, for several minutes more, or until the mixture resembles a 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 to chill. Chill lemon curd for 2 hours in the refrigerator before using.
Yields 1 1/2 to 2 cups