May 4, 2012

Fruit Curds

I have been making fruit curds on a regular basis for the past few years and still find the sweet fruit aroma coming out of the saucepan intoxicating. I’ve made citrus varieties, mango, strawberry, and this time, blackberry. Based on the research I did prior to making blackberry curd, I found that my recipes and method are not the norm. There is no butter or double boiler involved and the fruit to sugar ratio is equal or less.

I am continuously finding that the method can vary greatly and yet yield the same result. It can be confusing and intimidating, or liberating and exciting to be faced with so many options of how to prepare something. One of the reasons that I love baking so much is the structure. Baking is precise, the methods tend to be more strict, and while I enjoy conjuring up new treats, I am definitely within my comfort zone. Cooking to me is based more on instinct, being able to throw flavors and ingredients together takes a certain creativity, which in that respect I do not have.

Feel free to try out one of these fruit curds as they are, or mix it up and make some changes to better suit your taste. As I am finding, there is no wrong way as long as it tastes good and works for your needs! My blackberry curd is going to be used in a baked good that I hope lives up to the hype in my head. I’ll post about it in all its glory or misery, stay tuned...

Blackberry Curd
12 oz blackberries
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 t vanilla

In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine blackberries and sugar. Stirring occasionally, cook for 10-15 minutes, until berries have softened and broken down.

Place a strainer over a small bowl and pour berry mixture into strainer. Using a rubber spatula or a ladle, push the fruit juice into the bowl and discard the seeds and pulp. Whisk the eggs into the juice and return entire mixture to saucepan.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curd thickens, about 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Curd will thicken further once completely cooled.

Makes about 1-1/4 C

Lemon Curd
1 C strained, fresh lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1 C sugar
4 eggs
2 T lemon zest
1-1/2 t vanilla

To make lime curd, use 1 C lime juice, about 10 limes. To make orange curd, use 1 C orange juice, about 3-4 oranges.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine lemon juice and sugar. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Slowly stream some of the hot lemon-sugar syrup into the eggs, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan.

Cook over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curd thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, and if necessary, pour curd through a strainer to remove any cooked egg or lumps. Stir in vanilla and zest. Curd will thicken further once completely cool.

Makes about 2 C

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