Blackberry and lemon curd

Homemade curd is not in fact difficult to make, it simply requires your undivided attention for no more the about 8 minutes. I struggle with my attention span as much as most people, but it’s worth it for this. Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by increasing  the heat- you will end up splitting the mixture. For the first few minutes of cooking it feels like nothing is happening, so be weary of your patients. I know how it happens, ‘Ohhhhh I’ll just turn up the heat a teeny weeny bit, sure it wont do any harm…’ Yea yea. Another few minutes and you will have a really beautiful, luscious and sexy blackberry and lemon curd, which lends itself well to any number of things. In the days to come I will post a bread and butter pudding recipe made with this curd. Have it on some toasted sourdough or brioche with a cup of tea, on some fresh scones with clotted cream, with some yogurt and granola. Or, if you are like me, whenever you feel like something deliciously sweet, a few spoonfuls straight out of the jar. Feel free to judge me, I probably deserve it!

Blackberry and Lemon Curd

Yields 450-500g of curd

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 8-10 minutes

Equipment needed: Food processor. Sieve. Spatula. 1 medium glass Pyrex or heatproof bowl. 1 medium sauce pan. Whisk or wooden spoon. 1 sterilised*  500g jar or 2 250g/9oz jars

 

Ingredients:

150g blackberries

grated zest of 2 lemons

50 ml lemon juice (I used 2 small lemons, but how much juice you get from a lemon can vary considerably which is why it is better to measure the quantity)

100g caster sugar

100g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

 

Method:

  1. Puree the blackberries in a food processor. Pass through a sieve, into the glass bowl,  pushing through with the back of a spatula or spoon, only leaving the pips behind. This should give you around 100ml of puree**
  2. Add the grated lemon zest, lemon juice, butter and sugar to the puree.
  3. Bring some water to a gentle simmer in a saucepan, and place the bowl on top, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  4. Stir the curd, using a whisk, for about 8-10 minutes, until it has thickened and feels heavy against the sieve.
  5. When thickened*** remove from the heat and transfer to sterilised jars*, cover with a wax dish, or a small piece of greaseproof paper, cut to size, and seal. This will keep for a couple of weeks in a cool place.

 

Tip:

For a smoother curd, pass it through a sieve to remove the grated lemon zest. I like it both with and without, so this one is up to you!

 

The all important *stars*

*How to sterilise jars

When I sterilise jars, I wash them with soapy water, then rinse them with warm water, making sure they are perfectly clean. I then let them drip dry, upside down on a wire rack, before transferring them to an oven at 140C/275F/Gas 1, or the bottom Aga, for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile I have a saucepan with some simmering water, to which I add the lids so they sterilise too.Try to time this so that when you take them out, the mixture is ready to go into jars. Remove using oven gloves, always avoiding touching the inside of jars so as not to introduce any bacteria. Never pour hot liquid into cold jars as it may cause the glass to crack.

**This requires a bit of elbow grease. All that should be remaining in the sieve are the pips. Make sure to scrape underneath the sieve as well.

***When the butter first melts  have a good look at the consistency of the raw curd. It is very runny and thin. Doing this helps you to have gage how much it is thickening as you cook it.  As it thickens it will become heavy against your whisk or wooden spoon and will become the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

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