By recent request, I have written another post on fruit curds. I have come up with several more recipes since I wrote the original post and they all originate from a common source; a single recipe that pops up in River Cottage Handbook No.2: Preserves by Pam ‘the Jam’ Corbin. This is a truly excellent book (as are all the RC Handbooks), that deserves a post of its own as part of my rather irregular Favourite Cookbooks series.
Anyway, this recipe is the best I’ve come across, it is for lemon and Bramley apple curd – and it is ripe for modification. Apple purée is used, giving a great texture, making a light nicely-set curd that needs less sugar than your typical lemon curd. Below is the original recipe that I have only very slightly tweaked, and then there is a few more: blood orange, spiced orange and pink grapefruit.
Lemon and Bramley Apple Curd
This recipe makes around 1200ml of curd.
500g Bramley apple curd, peeled, cored and chopped
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
125g butter, cubed
350-400g granulated sugar
5 medium eggs
Put the apples and water in a small saucepan, cover and simmer until the apples break down into a purée. When cooked, put them into a large glass mixing bowl with all of the remaining ingredients except the eggs. Mix together – the heat of apples will dissolve the sugar and begin to melt the butter – and place the bowl atop a pan of briskly simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl.
Whisk the eggs well and pass them through a sieve straight into the mixture, stirring them in well. Keep an eye on things and stir the curd frequently until it thickens; it doesn’t require constant stirring, but don’t be going off and dusting the sills. If you want to be scientific about it, eggs thicken at around 80⁰C, but temperatures of 75⁰C and above will thicken the curd sufficiently. Taste and add more sugar if liked – remembering that cold curd will taste much less sweet than hot curd.
Pot in sterilised jars (25 minutes in a 125⁰C oven does the trick), cool and refrigerate. The curd will keep for 5 weeks.
You can pretty much use any fruit juice you like, but you always need a little bit of lemon to add bite as well as to take advantage of its flavour enhancing properties.
Blood orange curd: as above but use the juice and zest of one lemon and two blood oranges.
Spiced orange curd: use the juice and zest of two lemons and two oranges, along with half a teaspoon of mixed spice. When the curd has thickened, add two teaspoons of orange flower water.
Pink grapefruit curd: use the juice and zest one lemon and two pink grapefruits.