I made my first batch of blueberry curd last year. And then my second. My third, fourth, and fifth.
And then I made blackberry curd.
Since last year's curd making frenzy, we have given away jars and eaten the rest.
So when there was not another drop of curd left in our freezer, I tried to make more and realized that while making all of those batches last year, I didn't take a single note.
So, back to the drawing board. It took quite a few misses before I just let my body do what my brain couldn't remember. Success!
This time, I took notes.
Like most of what I share, this is not really a recipe. It is more of a technique and some suggested ingredients. So please, play.
Substitute blackberries for the blue and lime for the lemon. Or, my new favorite, substitute sweet cherries, blood oranges and bump up the vanilla. Or a future experiment: strawberry, lime and sea salt.
My other advice, beyond play, is to make really big batches and freeze it in sterilized jars. To do that, just multiply all of these ingredients by 6 or 10 or 20.
Every good curd starts with a fruit/citrus sauce:
- Blueberries (or any berries/cherries) (2 cups)
- Sugar (.5-1 cup – start with ½ cup and add more if the berries are not sweet enough)
- Lemon juice and zest of half a lemon (when you double, quadruple, septuple - I use less lemon than the math would have you use)
- Salt (pinch)
- I suppose you could even add a touch of vanilla if you had a thing for vanilla; poppy seeds if you want some texture; herbs, pepper, spices or balsamic reductions and so on and so on to fit your fancy. Taste it. Play.
- In saucepan, bring blueberries, sugar, salt and lemon juice/zest to a boil while stirring often. You want the berries bursting - and that happens when the sauce holds a boil while you are stirring.
- (optional) For cherries and other berries that have more flesh, I blend the sauce.
- Strain the mixture to get rid of all blueberry skins and the zest. I push hard to get every last blueberry juicy drop. (This is possibly the most time consuming step)
So - this blueberry sauce can be used as a starting point for so many things: jam, ice cream topping, soup (with mascarpone), as a syrup on pancakes or waffles or to soak into a cake, as an addition or substitute for liquid and sweetness in some baked goods, or you could add whole blueberries for a dessert topping, or for curd.
Curd, you say? Well, okay!
For every pint of sauce, you will need 2 eggs and ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) of unsalted butter (cubed).
- Warm blueberry sauce in the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl resting over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not start with blueberry curd that is over 150 degrees or your curd won't have time to thicken)
- Add butter and stir with rubber spatula until butter is melted and completely incorporated.
- Slowly pour eggs into the blueberry sauce and stir constantly until (1) your spatula/spoon leaves a clear trail (which disappears quickly) in the bottom but not so long that the curd becomes thick and the trail is wide and slow to spread, (2) coats a spoon or (3) an instant read thermometer registers 170 degrees.
- Around 160 degrees, the texture will begin to thicken. Around 165, you will notice that scraping the bottom of the bowl matters.
- Remove bowl/pan from heat and strain curd with a fine mesh strainer.
- Cool your curd by stirring until it no longer gives off any steam - you can set it over a bowl of ice to quicken this step.
- Pour into sterilized jars or cover the surface of the curd (no longer steamy hot) directly with plastic wrap and set the whole thing in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to go.
The curd will hold in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, the freezer for at least 6 months, and the deep freezer for longer than that (just defrost in the refrigerator to use – not the microwave). Regardless of what anyone tells you, the jars should not be sealed in hot water bath or pressure canner. The eggs and butter make this a not so friendly for shelf-stable storage.
- My favorite way to eat curd is spread on bisquits with a little lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- My oldest kiddo's favorite way to eat curd is mixed into yogurt.
- The youngest prefers it straight up on a spoon.
- My husband's favorite way to eat curd is on ice cream.
- We also use curd in layer cakes (remember to refrigerate the cake; it is no longer safe to store at room temperature) and in tarts.
UPDATE: King Arthur shows us a new way to make curd: in the microwave. I'll have to give this a try the next time I want to make a more reasonable amount of curd than my typical batch.
How do you eat curd?