Don’t you just love fruit curds? Lemon is no doubt the most popular but I adore passionfruit curd and orange curd is rather luscious too. A while ago, I got hold of some beautiful Meyer lemons from the Subiaco Farmers Market and I *had* to make some lemon curd. I used Tenina’s Thermomix recipe for Citrus Curd which went wonderfully well with my Crepe ‘Pasta‘. This time, I had a couple of juicy Navel oranges needing a delicious purpose.
Now, I’m totally up for gastronomic indulgences occasionally as long as it is balanced out with good, clean eating the rest of the time, but sadly, lemon curd falls into the former category. A ‘sometimes’ food. The average recipe for lemon curd involves a sizeable quantity of butter and eggs, not to mention sugar. Essentially, lemon curd is a dessert version of a Hollandaise sauce. You so want to eat it by the spoonful but you probably shouldn’t…
Of course it’s unlikely that anyone would down a cup of curd a day (although you could…) but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try and find a curd recipe that tips the scale over to the healthier side. So I hunted around online for any vegan options for curd, preferrably using olive oil. I was intrigued to find quite a few ways to get a ‘good’ version of citrus curd. Some raised my eyebrows sky high (I get beans in cake, avocado in chocolate icing but PARSNIP in lemon curd???) while others seemed just a bit OTT (a raw lemon curd using dehydrated pith and zest…).
Luckily I found less insane methods (no offence) of making a vegan fruit curd and concocted a hybrid of two recipes (from Desserts With Benefits and Food 52 – both amazing resources!). I used the basic Thermomix method for making curd but the recipe is also easy enough to make on the stovetop as long as you have time to give it the due attention.
This vegan curd isn’t as thick and buttery (duh… and doh) as traditional curds but there’s a lot of flavour and the olive oil gives it a unique taste and lustre. You can use vegan margarine or coconut oil if you prefer as an oil/fat alternative. I might increase the amount of cornstarch next time to get more body into it but that’s a matter of personal taste. The main thing is to use freshly squeezed orange juice because what it lacks in non-vegan richness is made up for by lovely pulpy bits of orange.
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about ⅔ oranges - or make up difference with store bought orange juice)
- ½ tsp orange zest
- 70g sugar (60g or less if you prefer a more tart curd as oranges are pretty sweet)
- 2 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 1tbsp of water
- 3 tbsp of almond milk (or other milk)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I recommend one that isn't too strong in flavour)
- Place orange juice, orange zest and sugar into TMX bowl and heat on 70C at Speed 1 for 2 minutes to dissolve the sugar. If not using the Thermomix, place ingredients into a medium saucepan and stir over low heat to dissolve.
- Add cornflour/water mixture and almond milk and combine with Speed 3 for a few seconds. Place Butterfly in TMX and heat mixture to 80C on Speed 3 for 8 minutes. On stovetop, heat mixture on medium heat and whisk continuously until bubbling, for five minutes.
- While running the Thermomix on Speed 3 and 80C for 3 minutes, trickle the olive oil into the bowl slowly, letting the oil emulsify into the mixture. On stovetop, trickle olive oil slowly into mixture while still whisking.
- Pour mixture into sterilised jars (if wanting to keep for a few weeks) or into a bowl. Mixture will thicken as it cools. Curd should be stored in the fridge but will need a gentle whisk before serving.