I am increasingly becoming a fan of making curds and jams when there is a surplus of fruit. They are surprisingly quick and fun to cook and you are rewarded with jars of deliciousness which way surpass your average shop-bought preserves.
My other favourite makes to prevent waste are compotes and coulis which I store in the freezer ready for an impromptu pudding or fruity sauce (or just to pour straight over ice cream). You will find some of my fruity 'experiments' here :
Berry Compote for Lemon & Berry Trifle
Blackberry & Apple compote for an Oatie Crumble Slice
Fruit Coulis for Strawberry Trifle Cake
Pineapple, Mango & Strawberry Filling or Apple & Raspberry Filling for a crumble tray bake
Roasted Strawberries (used in all sorts of things!)
Chunky Cherry Sauce for black forest trifle
Cherry Sauce to drizzle over Chocolate Torte
Honeyed Raspberry Syrup to ripple through ice cream
Apple & Blackberry Curd
Mixed Berry & Apple Jam
When I was mooching in the fridge a while back, I found a half-used bag of unwaxed lemons and a couple of limes which were calling out for creation before they reached the point of being fit for compost only. It is a while since I made curd and it seemed a fitting purpose for my hopeful-looking citrus fruit. There were a couple of oranges (including a blood orange) loitering in the fruit bowl as well, which sealed the deal!
I actually made the curd just before Easter..... It was wonderful with my Apple, Cherry & Sultana Hot Cross Buns.
Providing you are willing to be endlessly patient with the stirring process (which often feels like it is taking forever), curd is amazingly easy to make. I remember making lemon curd at school when I was about 13 and thinking 'really? Is that all there is to it?'.
Citrus curd (and specifically lemon curd) is probably the mother of all curds. Lusciously creamy, yet tangy and tart, it has an irresistible pull with a versatility to match. Use it in anything from ice creams and fools, to tarts, cheesecakes and even on meats, a jar can find its way into a whole array of dishes. It is also (of course) amazing spread 'neat' on bread and toast. I remember a particular fascination I had as a teenager with coming home from school to an empty house, taking 2 slices of white bread, removing the crusts, slathering with curd as a sandwich and then rolling flat with a rolling pin...... it was a strange but very tempting snack....... doughy lemony bread heaven...... Ok..... I know it was a strange concept, but it made me happy!
Anyway..... This particular curd recipe for me is curd loveliness.... It has a fantastic balance of tart and sweet..... is divinely smooth and creamy...... has a wonderful rich colour..... and no one fruit outweighs or overshadows the others..... You can close your eyes and pick out the individual citrus flavours as the curd washes over your palate. I can (and do) sit with just a small bowl of curd.... on its own.... nothing added.... and savour small spoonfuls, just to get the full impact. It is that good!
It is also amazing swirled into thick Greek yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped pistachios.... Great for breakfast as well as a fresh dessert.
I am sharing this delicious Citrus Curd with the following challenges :
No Waste Food Challenge with Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary. Curds are a lovely way to make fruit go further and this one has done me proud on the citrus front.
Credit Crunch Munch with Utterly Scrummy, Fuss Free Flavours and Fab Food 4 All. Not only did this recipe use up a load of fruit, but it is cheaper and (in my view) tastes way better than shop-bought curds.
Cook Blog Share with Lucy at Supergolden Bakes
Recipe of the Week with Emily at A Mummy Too
Le Coin de Mel on Behalf of Honest Mum.
Citrus Curd (Lemon, Orange & Lime) (makes 4 jars)
300 ml citrus juice (I used 2 lemons, 2 limes & 2 oranges) - use more fruit if you don't get 300 ml
230g unsalted butter
460g caster sugar
4 large eggs - beaten
- Sterilise your jars (and a metal tea strainer) whilst you are making your curd by placing clean jars and their lids into a cold oven on a baking tray and turn to 130 degrees Centigrade. Leave for at least 20 minutes.
- Grate the zest from 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange and juice all the fruit.
- Place the zest, juice, butter and sugar into a large glass bowl and place on top of a saucepan of simmering water.
- Heat, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs until smooth and completely incorporated.
- Return the bowl to sit over the simmering water on low to medium heat and with a wooden or silicone spoon, stir continually whilst heating until the curd is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- When ready, strain the curd through the sterile tea strainer straight into the warm, sterile jars and seal immediately with the lid.
- Allow to cool completely and then store in the fridge.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013-15 unless otherwise indicated