Get ready to make your lemon dreams come true! How to make vegan curd, and today I’m making luscious tangy lemon curd to pair perfectly in my Easy Vegan Lemon Curd Cupcakes! This basic curd recipe can be adapted to make a variety of curds including lemon, lime or orange!
There are so many uses for curd these days you’ll have no problem using up this vegan lemon curd recipe in no time. Besides cupcakes, you can have it inside delicate shortbread cookies, or just straight from the jar! For more ideas on what to do with leftover curd check out my post What to Do with Leftover Lemon Curd: 27 Uses for Vegan Lemon Curd.
Vegan Lemon Curd Recipe – Easy!
If you love lemon then this recipe will knock your socks off. This recipe is even easier than traditional curds and takes only a few minutes from start to finish.
All without the fear of ending up with sweet scrambled eggs! A funny thing happened to me when I started developing this recipe. I had asked my husband, Jerrod, to get me a bag of lemons when he went to the store.
He came home, dropped off the groceries, and then left on another errand. After putting the groceries away I still could not find the lemons I requested, so I gave him a call and this sweet man went back to the store and brought me another bag of lemons.
When he got home he lovingly handed me both the new bag of lemons, and the bag he discovered on the floor next to our refrigerator. Whoops! Well with approximately 20 lemons I was ready to start!
We’ll be having lemon curd for days, and I even promised to make a Lemon Meringue Pie with any leftover lemons (there were a few). Let’s get to the good part!
How to Make Vegan Curd – A Lemon Curd Step By Step
Start by gathering all of your ingredients together. This recipe comes together very quickly and you’ll need to have everything potioned out ready to go!
Make the Lemon Sugar
I used a food processor and to rub the oil from the lemon peel into the sugar. I think this added step really adds fresh lemon flavor to the curd, but you can skip this step if you don’t have a food processor.
In that case I suggest you finely zest a lemon peel and stir it into the sugar, making sure to rub the zest and sugar together with your spoon or your fingers. Sometimes clean hands are the best tools for the job!
Make the Cornstarch Slurry
After you’ve got your sugar/zest mixture ready it’s time to make a cornstarch slurry. A slurry is the term used when you add liquid to cornstarch because it’s not completely liquid, but it’s not completely solid either. It’s a slurry! A cool name for an interesting phenomenon.
We want to mix the cornstarch with a little lemon juice to make sure the cornstarch doesn’t clump up in the curd mixture causing pockets of dry cornstarch that won’t break up properly when heated.
Now Bring Everything Together
Next you’re going to be heating this up all together. Add the remaining ingredients to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk continuously at this temperature for about 5 minutes. After that turn the heat to high and vigorously whisk for 1-2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Don’t worry if it’s still a little thinner than you’d like on the stove top, this curd will thicken up more as it cools.
Remove from Heat, and Enjoy!
After you’ve whisked to a slight thickening, remove from the heat and let sit at room temperature to cool. Your curd is now ready to use in any recipe you choose! I can’t resist having a spoonful or two straight from the pan. This curd keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge. For serving make sure you heat the curd through to loosen it as cooling will thicken the curd even more.
Vegan Lemon Curd – Easy Tips and Tricks
Use Fresh Lemons
First off, make sure you use fresh lemons. This is one area where fresh lemons will give you more Zip for your Do-Dah. Instead of zesting lemons, use a vegetable peeler to peel the outermost layer away. Once you have the peel in larger strips you can simply use a food processor to incorporate the peel into the sugar.
Make a Slurry
Do not skip the slurry step. Making a cornstarch slurry (yes that is the technical term for cornstarch in a small amount of liquid) allows the cornstarch to dissolve a bit and evenly distribute in the saucepan. Skipping this step may result in “clumpage”.
Boiling is Key
Make sure the curd reaches boiling for at least 1 – 2 minutes to activate the corn starch. This should be the very last step in the cooking process. Simply simmer and whisk for the first 5 minutes, turn up the heat and keep whisking! After you have made sure the curd is boiling keep it up for 1-2 minutes and then immediately pull the curd off the heat.
Let cool slightly then strain (optional) and store. It’s boiling hot sugar at this point so be careful! It will burn quickly if not carefully monitored for doneness. You are looking for a very slight thickening of the sauce. If you start to smell a burning you’ve left it too long.
Don’t Substitute the Cornstarch
This is one recipe where I do not recommend substituting arrowroot powder for cornstarch, arrowroot powder breaks down when exposed to high heat.
Use Vegan Butter
I love vegan butter! This recipe specifically calls for vegan butter, and this is because that butter really adds to the flavor of the curd. You could substitute with the oil of your choice, but you’ll be losing the flavor of traditional lemon curd. If you’re adding oil, reduce the oil from 2 to 1.5 tablespoons.
If you want to make your own vegan butter you can find the recipe at Homemade Vegan Butter Recipe. It’s a super quick recipe to whip together! Added bonus of making your own vegan butter, besides costing much less, is that you don’t have to wait for your butter to set up as it goes straight into this melted!
Ready to get baking? Let’s Go!
- The outer peel of 2 lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons), divided
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 small pinch salt
- 1 drop of yellow food coloring (optional)
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
Step 1: Peel the lemon with the vegetable peeler being careful not to get any of the pith (the bitter white interior). Place the lemon peel in the food processor and add the sugar. Pulse until the peel is finely incorporated.
Step 2: In a small bowl make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch into ¼ cup of lemon juice.
Step 3: Turn the stovetop burner on medium heat. Put the lemon peel/sugar mixture into the saucepan and add the slurry, salt, remaining lemon juice, and melted vegan butter.
Step 4 (Optional): Add a small drop of yellow food coloring for effect.
Step 5: Vigorously whisk the saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Raise the temperature to boil and continue to whisk for 1 -2 minutes at this temperature before taking off the heat. You will feel the mixture start to thicken, but don’t worry too much it will thicken more as it cools.
Step 6: Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the remaining lemon peel (optional).
Let it cool and dig in with a spoon or refrigerate for up to 5 days. It will thicken significantly when cooled, just reheat when needed and it will loosen up.
Thank you for stopping by my website and please stay connected as there are more dessert recipes to come! Let me know if you make this dish, and share your pictures on Instagram #veganbakingathome.
Until next time!