Swap Butter With Olive Oil For A Silky Smooth Lemon Curd

lemon curd jar with lemons
lemon curd jar with lemons - Olgakr/Getty Images

Lemon-flavored desserts — especially those featuring lemon curd — are popular in many places around the world, and it is no surprise as to why. This thick and velvety curd brings a sweet fruit flavor and mouth-puckering tartness to any baked good, along with the structure and body provided by the eggs and butter. Not all lemon curd recipes require butter, however, and there's another option for those seeking an alternative. All you need instead is one special ingredient: olive oil.

The purpose of butter in a classic lemon curd is twofold. For one, it introduces a bit of richness into an otherwise very acidic dish. For another, it gives the curd its signature glossy finish, which adds to the aesthetic appeal of the curd. Both of these effects, however, simply stem from the butter's fat content. Olive oil and butter have similar amounts of fat per serving, and of the two, olive oil tends to have slightly more. This means that it will be able to deliver the same results while also offering some convenient perks, such as being dairy-free for those who cannot or do not wish to consume dairy and offering a slightly more nuanced flavor for those seeking to add complexity to their curd.

Read more: The 20 Best Olive Oils For Cooking

How To Add Olive Oil To Lemon Curd

pouring spoonful of olive oil
pouring spoonful of olive oil - masa44/Shutterstock

Substituting butter for olive oil is an easy swap to make. Since olive oil has a slightly higher fat content, you will want to use it in a 3-to-4 ratio in place of the butter listed in your preferred lemon curd recipe. Other than this small adjustment, you can add the oil exactly when you would add the butter — toward the very end of cooking when the curd has come together. Any type of olive oil you prefer will work, from grassy and peppery varieties to fruity and earthy ones, as long as you are happy with the resulting flavor.

You can use olive oil lemon curd in virtually any type of recipe that calls for traditional lemon curd in order to elevate the dessert and create additional intrigue for those enjoying it. Many of our own lemon baked good recipes are excellent options to use as a starting point when experimenting with this change. It can serve as a luscious core for our lemon meringue cupcakes, a delightful star in our herby lemon and thyme bars, or a tangy filling between the layers of our lemon poppyseed cake. Given its immense versatility, the only real limit is your imagination.

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