As it’s the weekend again, we did what we do every Saturday, me and my girl. We got into the kitchen and we cooked together. She is only three but she adores helping to prep anything we decide to give a go and I love to watch her exploring cooking methods and trying everything along the way.
A few weeks ago I dusted off a preserves book I have had sat on my shelf for years. I remember attempting this recipe with my then partner and had wonderful funny memories of the handle falling off my pan right when the curd was at its hottest, scolding him, my hands and painting my walls a lovely sticky yellow splodge pattern in the process. Good times. That was a first attempt of course and I am sure if you have a decent pan your first attempt will be a success! The curd worked a treat, what was left of it!
I don’t want to get into the habit of sharing other people’s recipes but this one is tried, tested and tasted and is simply so delicious you must try it, hence why I ma sharing it with you. It’s not at all sharp like standard lemon curd with the addition of Bramley apples making it sweet and mellow. I have made a few slight amendments to the original recipe too as I tend to use what I have got which doesn’t always match the quantities of the original recipe but it still works.
This is my absolute favourite thing to make if I have a quiet moment and doesn’t take too long either. You end up with five jars full, although saying that, it doesn’t last long once you have tried it! I tend to keep two and give three away to family.
Above: My helper x
Use it on toast, with cream and meringues or experiment like we did straight after making lemon curd cupcakes. It’s very versatile and it keeps for 4 weeks unopened in the cupboard.
You can get these jars from Wilko for about £4 for 12 and I ask family to keep returning them once finishing so its only the initial outlay I have paid and you should recycle where you can!
Original recipe taken from River Cottage Handbook No.2-Preserves.
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons (you need 100ml strained juice)(I had 2 medium lemons which only made 90ml juice so use large lemons or you will end up needing another spare!)
450g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped (Weigh them after chopping!)
125g unsalted butter (At room temperature melts quicker)
450g granulated sugar
4-5 large eggs, well beaten (you need 200ml beaten egg)(I used 5 medium eggs as that’s what I had in! It still worked out great!)
Put the chopped apples into a pan with 100ml water and the lemon zest. (I did 100ml as suggested but found the water had evaporated a little quicker than the time needed for the apples to soften enough so towards the end added a further 50ml water to finish cooking without them burning or sticking!)Cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a purée with a wooden spoon or rub through a nylon sieve.(I used metal, use what you have.)
Put the butter, sugar, lemon juice and apple purée into a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.(I don’t have a double boiler, a pan of water and a heat proof bowl is just dandy.)As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture is hot and glossy, pour in the eggs through a sieve, and whisk with a balloon whisk.
If the fruit purée is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will split.(I was terrified about this part but as long as you are simmering the mixture rather than boiling it should be fine, I hae not had a split batch yet!)
One way to guard against this is to check the temperature of the purée with a sugar thermometer it should be no higher than 55-60°C when the egg is added.(My thermometer is broken so I used common sense and did it by eye and it worked for me.)
If your curd does split, take the pan off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.
Stir the mixture over a gentle heat, scraping down the sides of the bowl every few minutes, until thick and creamy.(Dont be tempted to stop sooner if you feel it’s getting no where, it does thicken nicely right at the end, it will still be soft enough to pour so don’t expect a thick-set like a jam.) This will take 9-10 minutes; the temperature should reach 82-84°C on a sugar thermometer.
Immediately pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal.(To sterilise your jars wash them in very hot soapy water and rinse, then put them in a low oven, I use Gas Mark 2, for about 8-10 minutes. Use a funnel to pour in the mixture, there’s no mess or wastage!)
Use within 4 weeks. Once opened, keep in the fridge.
Enjoy finding new ways to use this up. I used my favourite cupcake recipe (see Vanilla Cupcake blog post.) Yum x