Foolproof Fruit Curd: Blueberry Basil and Classic Lemon

A couple months ago, I made my first fruit curd – a classic lemon curd.  Sadly, I did not take pictures documenting this momentous occasion.  I did, however, remember to take pictures of my second fruit curd ever which I made afterwards:

Blueberry Basil Curd

She’s blueberry basil.  I was dreaming of Berryline’s blueberry basil froyo at the time.

I never really grew up eating fruit curd, but I do remember looking at jars of them in specialty food stores and wondering what they were like.  In recent years, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it, but have always been too chicken to do it.  It seemed like every recipe I read warned of the danger of the eggs scrambling.  Knowing myself, I was certain to end up with scrambled egg curd.  One day as I was perusing curd recipes and looking longingly at their pictures, I happened across a recipe that promised to negate this risk.  The recipe was for a classic lemon curd, which seemed like a good thing to get acquainted with before attempting the blueberry basil one, and…it worked!  No breakfast eggs here!

In this recipe, the eggs are added to the butter and sugar in the beginning, and all the ingredients heat together in the pot from the beginning.  Having established that the method worked, I decided to try making the blueberry basil one using this method.  I have to admit, it was kind of complicated for lil’ ol’ me, so yeah, I’m feeling good .

CLASSIC LEMON CURD
from Elinor Klevens on Fine Cooking

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Directions
1.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min.
2.  Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min.
3.  Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
4.  In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.)
5.  Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon (~170°F on a thermometer).  Don’t let the mixture boil.
6.  Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest.
7.  Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

BLUEBERRY BASIL CURD
Referenced Elinor Klevens on Fine CookingA Kate Offering and Cherry Tea Cakes

Ingredients for blueberry basil sauce

(yields 1/4-1/3 cup of sauce)

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Lemon juice (to taste)
  • small pinch of salt
  • ~15 small fresh basil leaves (will add more next time)

Directions for blueberry basil sauce
1.  Bring blueberries, sugar, salt, basil, and lemon juice to a boil while stirring often.  You want the berries bursting, and that happens when the sauce holds a boil while you are stirring.

Ignore the lemon zest here;  I would not recommend adding it.

2.  Strain the mixture to get rid of all blue skins and zest.blueberry basil sauce

Ingredients for the curd:
(yields ~1/3 cup)

  • 3 Tbps. unsalted butter, RT
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ c. blueberry basil sauce (above)*

* Use more blueberry basil sauce for stronger blueberry/basil flavor if desired. 

Curd Directions

  1. Cream the butter using a mixer
  2. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating well between the first and the second (after adding the second, the butter seems to separate into little bits in mixture).
  3. Add the blueberry sauce and mix well.  Little bits of butter will be suspended in the mixture.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a pot and heat on low-medium heat, stirring constantly.  The mixture will become smooth and opaque as the butter melts.
  5. The curd is ready when  (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) the curd coats a spoon, or 3) a thermometer reads 170 degrees F (Around 160 degrees, the texture will begin to thicken. Around 165 degrees, you will notice that scraping the bottom of the bowl matters).

Coated spoon? Check. Clear, quickly-disappearing trail? Check.

Done!  This curd was so tasty, I actually ate a good amount straight from a spoon.  I did, however, manage to control myself enough to save some to inject into cupcakes for my cousin’s birthday.  I imagine it would be good as a topping or mix-in with a bunch other things like scones, crumpets, ice cream, yogurt, etc.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s