Traditional lemon curd calls for the use of egg yolks and a frightening amount of butter, but this recipe is a bit healthier, while still sweet, tart, and satisfying.
Lemon curd can be added to make any dessert citrus-y and sweet. Use your curd to create a dairy-free lemon tart. Lemon curd can also be used as a filling for macarons, adding some zing to the sugary treat. If you love lemon cake, use the curd between cake layers. It can also be added to muffin batter to give a tangy finish to a usual recipe. You can use lemon curd as a spread on crêpes or pancakes as well. The simplest way to enjoy it is on its own with a bit of whipped cream and fresh berries to top it off.
Cooking slowly while stirring constantly is the key for a perfect lemon curd; if you turn up the heat too high or do not stir, your curd will burn on the bottom of the pan and not thicken properly. When allowing your curd to cool, place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface, as this will prevent a skin from forming.
Lemon curd has a short shelf life and will not keep longer than a few days if only covered and refrigerated. Freeze the remaining lemon curd for up to one year. Gradually thaw by transferring the lemon curd from the freezer to the refrigerator for 24 hours before its intended use. After thawing, store in the refrigerator in a covered container and consume within four weeks.
NOTE: This recipe is not a lemon curd canning recipe, which carries special instructions to ensure food safety and freshness.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, and salt, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
After the sugar is dissolved, add the cornstarch mixture and the coconut milk, stirring well to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken and the first few bubbles appear on the surface, about 8 minutes.
Stirring constantly, add the vegan margarine and cook for several minutes more or until the mixture resembles a thick pudding.
Transfer the mixture to a heat-proof dish, cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap, and let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator to chill.
Chill lemon curd for 2 hours in the refrigerator before using.