A delicious alternative to lemon curd – for toast, scones, tarts, berries, meringues or whatever you fancy. This recipe is based on one by Marguerite Patten. It uses more sugar than more ‘modern’ recipes, but this means it will last several months as opposed to several weeks. I don’t enjoy agonising over whether to eat something possibly past its safety limit, so prefer to use the extra sugar. And it tastes great.
Recipe: Gooseberry curd
Makes: around four 8oz jars
500g gooseberries (very tart ones are best)
caster sugar (see below for quantity)
unsalted butter, cut into chunks (see below for quantity)
a small pinch of salt
large eggs (see below for quantity)
2 tbsps elderflower cordial, or to taste (optional)
- Place your jars in the oven and heat to 140°C. Leave them there until needed. Also, have a clean bowl, whisk and sieve standing by in case of curdling disaster…
- Don’t bother top and tailing the gooseberries. Put them in a saucepan with the water, partially cover and let simmer for around 10 minutes or until exploded and pulpy. Rub through a sieve to make a puree. Measure your puree. For every 400ml you will need 80g butter, 300g caster sugar and two large eggs.
- Put puree, sugar, butter and salt into a bowl placed on top of a pan of barely simmering water. Whisk until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Try to keep sides of bowl clean.
- Now whisk eggs together and then whisk into the curd. Add cordial if using. Whisk constantly as the mixture heats and thickens. Once thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, it is ready. This may take a little while. It should be smooth, not lumpy. FYI: The curd will pasteurise at 72°C and thicken nicely at 82°C. (If it goes too far and curdles, immediately take off the heat, pour through your reserved clean sieve into your reserved clean bowl and whisk like mad with your reserved clean whisk.)
- Decant curd through a sieve into a jug, and then immediately pour into hot jars right up to the brim and seal. Turn jars upside down for 5 to 10 minutes to sterilise the insides of the lids, then let cool the right way up. Store in a cool, dark place and consume within one month.