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Dairy-Free Lemon Curd

Although delicious, typical lemon curd includes dairy butter as one of its main ingredients. My version has no dairy and is every bit as sweet and tangy as classic lemon curd.



  • ¼ cup vegan margarine

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 large fresh lemon

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Part 1 Directions:

Wrap the measured-out vegan margarine in plastic wrap or place in a small plastic bag. Place the margarine in the freezer to harden.

Meanwhile, separate the eggs. For this recipe, you will be using the egg yolks. The egg whites can be saved either in the fridge or freezer to be used in another recipe or be made into an egg-white omelet.

Place the egg yolks into the top of a double boiler or into a metal bowl that will fit over a saucepan. Set aside.

In the bottom of a double boiler or in a saucepan, begin heating up some water over high heat. When the water reaches boiling point, turn off the heat and cover the pot.

While that is happening, remove the zest from the lemon using a lemon zester. Afterward, cut the lemon into quarters or eighths and squeeze the juice out into a small bowl. Make sure to remove any seeds from the lemon juice.

Mix the sugar with the lemon zest. To incorporate well, pulse them together in a small blender or coffee grinder.

Now all your ingredients are ready to put together.

Part 2 Directions:

Using a whisk, beat the sugar/lemon zest mixture into the egg yolks until it is smooth and lighter in color. Whisk in the lemon juice a little at a time.

Uncover the heated water. Place the top half of the double boiler or the metal bowl containing the egg yolk mixture over the heated water. Turn the heat back on under the water to medium-low.

Heat the mixture over the hot water, stirring constantly with the whisk. You want the mixture to remain smooth throughout this process. (If the mixture resembles cottage cheese curds, then the egg yolks have cooked too quickly and have spoiled your batch of lemon curd.) Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens, but is still smooth. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

When the mixture is thickened, turn the heat off from under the water. Remove the pan off the heat but keep the mixture over the still-warm water. Continue to whisk until the mixture is noticeably thicker, about another 5 minutes.

Remove the top half of the double boiler or metal bowl and place onto a clean, dry kitchen towel.

Remove the margarine from the freezer. Add the margarine to the lemon mixture, stirring until it is all melted into it and the whole mixture is smooth.

Transfer the lemon curd to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lemon curd can be used to fill cakes and other baked goods but must be completely cooled before doing so. It is also great on toast at breakfast or as a topping on brownies or gingerbread.

Makes about 1 ½ cups of lemon curd. The recipe is easily doubled if desired.

The lemon curd will keep in the fridge for up to a week and up to a month in the freezer.

Tip: Store a ¾ cup portion in the fridge to be used in the first week. Store additional portions in the freezer to be used in subsequent weeks.  

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