Kosher Status: Pareve, Kosher for Passover
Tart and silky, lemon curd makes a versatile accompaniment for everything from scones and berries to cakes or crepes. (It's also a great filling for hamantaschen.) But most traditional recipes get richness from the generous addition of butter, which puts it off limits for kosher meat meals or for those with dairy allergies. (Some recipes suggest using margarine to replace the butter, but the flavor suffers, and the swap can add unsavory trans fats to the mix.) This recipe takes advantage of the natural affinity between citrus and extra virgin olive oil -- there's just enough oil to smooth the sharp tang of the lemon, but it's definitely the bright, sweet citrus flavor that predominates.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 to 4 large lemons)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 large lemon, preferably organic)
- pinch sea or kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. In a medium, heavy bottomed, non-reactive saucepan, whisk together the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, lemon zest, and salt. Place over medium heat and continue to stir with the whisk until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. (Don’t worry if you see bits of cooked egg white – you’ll be straining them out.)
2. Switch to a spoon, and continue to cook the mixture, stirring periodically, until the mixture thickens and tiny bubbles begin to break the surface.
Stirring constantly so that the mixture does not boil, cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Slowly add the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until the oil is fully blended into the curd. Run a finger down the back of the spoon – if a clean line on the spoon remains, the curd is ready. (In total, the curd will take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook.)
3. Place a fine mesh strainer over a clean non-reactive bowl or wide-mouthed glass jar. Pour the curd through the strainer to remove any solids. Allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. The curd will thicken as it cools.
Tip: To speed the cooling and thickening process, use an ice bath: Place ice in a bowl or baking pan that’s slightly larger than the bowl or jar you’ll be using to hold the lemon curd. After straining the curd, nest the bowl or jar inside the bowl with the ice. Add enough cold water to the outer, ice-filled container to reach about halfway up the outside of the container holding the lemon curd. Stir the curd every few minutes to help it thicken and cool. Remove the container from the ice bath, cover, and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.