Dairy Free Cuajada de Limon
Making your own condiments is so satisfying. They are those little backdrops in recipes you never think to whip up because, well, they are on isle 4 at the grocery store. In addition to these packaged goods having a ridiculously high retail mark-up, they are also often times packed with additives only for the purpose of a long shelf life. Try making some yourself – you will feel like you put in 100%.
Since Meyer lemons have been popping up in produce sections, I’ve decided to take the opportunity to make some lemon curd rather than hitting up a specialty food shop. Meyer lemons are like a cross between a lemon and orange with a beautiful thin, smooth, bright yellow skin and tend to be slightly more sweet than sour. For this curd, I skip the dairy altogether and create a pudding consistency with the addition of guar gum*. This bright yellow treat pairs well with savory and sweet dishes. Serve with a cheese plate and vegetables or alongside cookies or cake for a dessert.
Ingredients & Method (yields 4 oz)
- Rinds of 6 Meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
- 2 cups water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup juice of lemons
- 1 tablespoon guar gum
- bowl of ice water
Bring water to a boil. Peel lemons, making sure to get rid of any white pith. Add rinds to boiling water and blanch until rinds are almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove rinds from boiling water and transfer to ice bath. Juice lemons (amount of juice will depend on size and ripeness of lemons) until ¾ cup juice has yielded. Transfer juice to a small saucepot and add sugar. On medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer, stirring gently to make sure sugar is dissolved (you just made lemon simple syrup!). In a blender, add lemon rinds and a dash of water. With machine running, slowly stream in simple syrup. Add guar gum and blend again. The mixture should be fairly thick and will thicken further once cooled.
*Guar gum is an all-natural ingredient derived from the guar bean. It is a used as a thickening agent as well to give rise to gluten free baked goods.