Olive Oil Lemon Curd
This dairy-free version of lemon curd is lighter than more traditional, butter-enriched versions, but is just as tart and creamy. The olive oil gives it a complex flavor that can range from herbal and grassy to earthy and mellow, depending on the oil. Mound this lemon curd into a tart, use it as a cake filling, pile it onto a Pavlova, or serve it as is, topped with berries or other fruit. It keeps for at least a week in the fridge and freezes well for up to 1 month. And you can even make it in the microwave (see Tip).
Yield: about 2 cups
Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling and 1 hour’s chilling
- 1 cup/240 milliliters freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 6 lemons)
- 1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- ½ cup/120 milliliters extra virgin olive oil
Place the lemon juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolk, lemon zest and salt in a blender, and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the oil until just combined.
Fill a medium saucepan with about an inch of water and bring water to boil over high heat. Transfer lemon mixture to a metal mixing bowl that can nestle into top of the saucepan without touching the water. Reduce heat to medium-low and, using a potholder or towel to protect your hands, whisk constantly until the curd thickens and looks like mayonnaise, 6 to 10 minutes. Do not overcook. (If you have a double boiler, you can use that here instead of the pot and the bowl.)
Remove bowl from the heat and inspect the curd. If you see hard bits of coagulated egg, strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula. (If it looks smooth, you can skip this step.) Transfer curd to a container and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal. Let the curd cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
Tip: To make the curd in the microwave, pour the lemon-olive oil mixture from the blender into a large glass bowl and cook in the microwave, on high power, in 1-minute intervals for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk furiously between intervals, especially at the edges. Reduce power to 70 percent and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes (stirring every minute), until the curd thickens and looks slightly puffed and spongy. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and let the curd cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.
Featured in: Three Hanukkah Desserts That Skip The Fryer by Melissa Clark of the New York Times.