When Charles (Five Euro Food) and then A_Boleyn posted Lemon Curd recipes I thought it was high time I presented a lighter version, which might please all those, who, like me, prefer sharper and more intense lemon desserts. I must have heard of lemon curd for the first time a long time ago, but given the amazing rapidity with which I was able to empty a butter- and sugar-loaded jar, this delightful spread was one of the rarely enjoyed sweet treats. When I finally tested its low-fat version I quickly forgot this was a lightened lemon curd and have never come back to the traditional version. In fact, the drastic reduction of fat has resulted in a more intense, sharper and, I would even say, more elegant flavour. (It was a bit like discovering Alain Ducasse’s half-cream, half-milk Crème Brûlée, which has put me off the 100% fatty cream, traditional version forever).
After several batches I slightly modified the original recipe (adapted from this fantastic Polish baker’s blog). I added a small amount of butter instead of the advised oil (I missed a touch of buttery flavour) and found a foolproof and easy method of getting rid of lumps (see below). I have also made this lemon ultralight, partially substituting the sugar with a special cooking sweetener (I wouldn’t advise however substituting all the sugar with a sweetener: the texture is not the same and it simply tastes worse).
Lemon curd is fantastic on any type of sweet biscuit, on toasted bread, on a slice of yeast cake, challah, but it’s also an excellent tart, pie, cake or cookie/biscuit filling (see for example Thumbprint Almond Cookies). It is of course irresistible on its own, eaten directly from the jar.
TIP: Start with 12 tablespoons sugar and add more, if needed, after the curd has thickened.
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Ingredients (yield: one 300-350 ml jar):
juice from 3 lemons
zest from 1 lemon
12 – 15 tablespoons castor sugar (or 10 tablespoons sugar + 5 tablespoons cooking sweetener which is usually sweeter than sugar)
1 flat tablespoon cornstarch (or potato starch, but cornstarch gives a lighter result)
1 heaped tablespoon butter
Mix everything in a blender, apart from the butter.
Pour into a small pan, add the butter and warm at low heat, constantly stirring, until it thickens.
Taste and add more sugar if needed. Stir well until the sugar/the sweetener dissolves.
Put into a jar, close the lid and let it cool down.
Keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Serve on toast, bread, use it as a pie or a cake filling (it is delicious in the Thumbprint Almond Cookies).