Vegan Lemon Curd
I love lemon curd: the texture, the bright lemon burst of flavor, the way it’s not too sweet (like jam) but so spreadable on biscuits and ryvita… oatcakes… toast… even pumpernickel or Vollkornbrot. Before I ever moved to England (in 1972), some family friends had just come back from a two-year sojourn; we asked if there might be anything we could bring back for them, and as one, the five of them exclaimed, “Digestive biscuits and lemon curd!”
As readers may know, I’m attempting to eat more veganish and with fewer processed foods, so even through Trader Joe’s offers a pretty good lemon curd, it’s typically made with eggs and refined sugar. I did a search and came up with the following recipe, which (being me) I tweaked a bit. O, lovers of lemon curd, I know you’re out there! Try this and let me know what you think!
Vegan Lemon Curd
When I lived in England, I liked nibbling on Ryvita or Highland oatcakes with butter and lemon curd. Conventional lemon curd is made with butter, eggs, sugar, and lemon juice plus rind – vegetarian and gluten-free, obviously, but nowhere near vegan. This luscious concoction is easy to make, well worth the effort, and tastes like ordinary lemon curd over cream cheese. Gotta’ love that cashew cream! This mixture can also be used for lemon tarts, lemon meringue pie, or Murphy’s Lemon Curd Ice Cream.
1 cup cashew cream: soaked cashews and plant milk as needed for consistency
¼ cup plant milk – I like a mixture of cashew and almond milk, or coconut+almond
¼ cup maple syrup (or agave syrup)
¼ cup lemon juice (three lemons’ worth)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp lemon zest (also three lemons’ worth)
1/8 tsp turmeric (for coloring – it doesn’t add flavor)
Optional: 1 fl oz limoncello
1. First, make the cashew cream: over one cup raw cashews in enough warm water to cover and soak for an hour. Place the cashews in a Nutri-Bullet or food processor, and process at high speed until mixture is perfectly smooth. You’ll probably need to add a bit of plant milk to make it liquid enough. Measure out one cup and set the rest aside for some other recipe. (With the addition of mustard and tomato paste, cashew cream makes a great béchamel!)
2. Unless you have a very fine lemon zester, it’s easiest to chop the lemon rind and pop it in with the cashew cream; process until very smooth.
3. Whisk together the cornstarch and the plant milk until well-blended.
4. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, maple (or agave) syrup, and turmeric. Heat over a low flame; stirring constantly, add the cashew cream and lemon rind.
5. Once hot, add the cornstarch mixture; keep cooking over a low flame, stirring, until the mixture starts to thicken. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Scrape the bottom with a heat-proof spatula from time to time.
6. If using, add the Limoncello at the end.
7. When about the consistency of heavy cream, remove from the heat. While still warm, pour into a clean glass jar; cover and allow to cool.
This lemon curd will last for 2-3 weeks if stored in the fridge.
Here is the .pdf file for Vegan Lemon Curd.