Every once in a while I make a recipe, say my favorite gluten-free bread, that uses egg whites and then leaves me with egg yolks to use up. There are lots of ideas of how to use up egg yolks: you can make scrambled eggs, use them to make French toast, add them to meat loaf…but the idea that stuck in my head a few weeks ago was lemon curd! Lemon curd is a custard that you would normally find in the middle of a lemon meringue pie (between the whipped whites and the crust) and just happens to be my favorite part of the lemon meringue pie.
Lemon curd is fairly easy to make–I used to make it all the time when I wasn’t dairy free. It tastes great on toast, on top of ice cream, in a miniature pie, on top of plain cookies, and my personal favorite with a spoon. However, it does require butter and I had just used up the last of my earth balance in some cookies I made. I did have some coconut oil that I thought would be a possibility. I decided to experiment even though I was worried about the coconut oil taste showing up in my lemon curd. (Not that it would be a bad thing, I just really like the lemon taste.) Apparently, other than adding the eggs too fast and getting bits of egg mixed into your curd (easily remedied by straining!) there is not a whole lot you can do to mess up lemon curd!
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
1/4 cup citrus juice (I only had one lemon so I used one lime to get the 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (can use regular sugar, but this gave the curd an extra yummy taste. Make your own vanilla sugar by putting split vanilla beans into sugar and mixing it up)
4 egg yolks
3 T coconut oil
Mix the juice, sugar, and eggs together over medium low heat. Add the eggs, stirring frequently to make sure they don’t heat too fast. Add the coconut oil a little at a time and keep stirring. Continue to cook until it thickens (you can see the path of your spoon when you stir–about the consistently of a slightly runny pudding). As soon as it’s thick remove from heat and push it through a fine mesh strainer. This will take care of any accidental egg chunks (yes, they are that gross!) and give you a smoother curd. Tastes wonderful hot, and terrific chilled. Keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but mine never lasts that long!