Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple and Lemon Curd for Great Maine Apple Day

As you can see Great Maine Apple Day is coming up pretty sharpish and I have two recipes in store to celebrate this day - today it's Apple and Lemon Curd, a recipe adapted from "Country Harvest - A Celebration of Autumn" by Linda Burgess and Rosamond Richardson - and then Friday I'll post the recipe for Apple Parkin Slice
And so we begin by assembling our small cast of characters, six in all, for the recipe - I collected some windfall apples from our ancient apple trees out the back...they are a bit knarly and lumpy but ended up tasting great in the curd!

THE RECIPE: In weights as that is more reliable (see why here ) and to help you out here is a link to a great conversion site  

1lb of your preferred apples chopped small
5 fl oz water
7oz sugar
2oz butter ( I always use salted - I like that taste in sweet things)
1 teaspoon (more or less according to your taste for it) freshly grated nutmeg
3 egg yolks whisked together
Juice and zest from two lemons (preferably organic when you are using the zest)

1. Put apples and water in a heavy bottomed pan and cook on medium until very soft - this took forever with my windfalls but when I made it with apples from local farmers it went pretty fast.
2. Press the apples through a sieve - you only need to do this if you want it really smooth but I was surprised at the amount of stubborn lumps I got that didn't squush through the sieve - so I would recommend doing this.
3. Return apple squush to pan, add sugar, nutmeg and lemon juice and zest and cook until sugar dissolves.
4. Add a little of the hot apple sauce to the egg yolks and quickly whisk together so eggs don't cook and curdle, then add a little more and do the same - you are tempering the eggs here so as not to end up with scrambled eggs.
5. Add the egg/apple sauce back in to the pan with the remainder of the apples sauce and cook gently until it begins to thicken - keep stirring and do not boil or again you will end up with scrambled egg yuck!! :(
6. Take the sauce of the heat and add the butter bit by bit - stirring and blending between each addition.
7. Allow to cool and do as you will with your lovely Apple and Lemon Curd - apparently this does not keep well so don't plan on bottling and using later - perhaps you'll like this as much as I do and it won't have the chance to stay around. This is also a good reason not to do too large of an amount at once...it needs to be fresh to be good unlike lemon curd which can be bottled and kept.
Happy Curding NOT curdling!
"Created by Mother Nature - Nurtured by Local Farmers" fabric from my Spoonflower shop
And here's the luscious finished curd - tangy, bright and with some tooth - not as smooth as lemon curd but honestly just as good. I used mine in a meringue tart so I could use up the leftover egg whites but also had it on buttered toast - divine!! - and it could easily and charmingly be the filling in a layer cake, or on the top of scones or a side for a roast of some sort - I'm not a meat eater so I'll leave it to your imagination as to which meat it would accompany well - the combination of fruit and meat is big in England so maybe I am remembering tastes of yore from my childhood.

Do let me know how your curd came out!
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