There are two types of people. Those that love lemon desserts and those that don’t. I used to be a lemon dessert hater until I tried Alton Brown’s recipe for lemon curd. I think up until that time, every other lemon dessert I had ever tasted was made from bottled lemon juice and had artificial yellow color. I was going to say that there is a time and place for that, but I literally cannot think of one scenario where bottled lemon juice and yellow food coloring is better than fresh lemons. Sorry not sorry.
So how did pomegranates enter the picture?
During pomegranate season, I like to squeeze as many recipes out of these beautiful fruit as I can, and I thought if lemon curd, raspberry curd, and blackberry curd exist, surely pomegranate curd could be a thing. So naturally, I started by using my favorite Alton Brown lemon curd recipe as a base and went from there.
The first thing I noticed is that the pomegranate curd would still need a little lemon juice in it to make it pop. If you’ve ever tasted straight up pomegranate juice, you know that it can be a little tart and sometimes a bit bitter. It’s beautiful but it needs something else to bring out all of the wonderful essence, so I took out part of the lemon juice in Alton’s recipe and replaced it with pomegranate juice. It worked beautifully and you can taste the pomegranate combined with just enough lemon to enhance the flavor.
Where I go off the rails with Alton’s recipe is in the method. I don’t know that Alton would be pleased (sorry Alton), and I’m sure classically trained chefs would roll their eyes BUT this method works well, uses fewer dishes, and seems overall to be less stressful and take less time. If you’ve never made curd before, it is unbelievably thick, smooth and sweet. Another perk is all of the different desserts you can make using it. Here are some ideas.
Ways to use this pomegranate-lemon curd:
- place in small ramekins, top with whipped cream and garnish with pomegranate arils
- place it in a meringue shell and top with whipped cream, pomegranate arils, raspberries, or blueberries
- use thin layers between layers of gluten free cake
- fill gluten free crepes
- fill gluten free donuts
- fill gluten free puff pastry shells and top with whipped cream
- put a dollop on top of gluten free pancakes or french toast (plus a little whipped cream 🙂 )
inspired by and adapted from Alton Brown’s Lemon Curd
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup pomegranate juice (make sure it’s 100% juice, no sugar added)
- 1 stick of cold butter cut into pats
- Natural red food coloring (optional)
- Whipped cream for topping (typically whipped cream is optional, but here the cream will balance the tart and sweet of the curd and to me has to be part of the dessert)
- 1 fresh pomegranate (for topping)
- In a small saucepan, whisk 5 egg yolks and 1 Cup of sugar for one minute until smooth and pale yellow in color.
- Whisk in 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/4 cup pomegranate juice.
- Cook the mixture over low heat, whisking constantly for 8-10 minutes until the mixture thickens
- Off the heat, whisk in 1 stick of COLD butter cut into pats, one pat at a time, waiting for the first one to melt before adding the next.
- whisk in natural red food color if desired to deepen the color of the curd.
- Place into individual jars to chill or in one larger container depending on how you’d like to use your curd (for idea see above).
Be careful that you are over low heat and whisking constantly with a wire whisk or your curd will not be smooth. If there is an ‘oops’ and it ends up a little chunky, run it through a fine mesh sieve and press through with the back of a spoon as this may correct the problem.
Do not substitute artificial sweeteners or the recipe will not work as intended.
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