Blackcurrant curd is a new one to me. We had a total glut of blackcurrants in our garden this year and I found myself at a bit of a loss about what to do with them all. I’m not a huge fan of blackcurrant jam and there are only so many ways I can work them into my meals! Thankfully I found help in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Fruit Everyday book. I found recipes for blackcurrant liqueur (more about that later) and the most amazing recipe for blackcurrant curd. I am a massive fan of fruit curds. I’ve only ever tried them with citrus fruit (lemon curd anyone? Yum!) and I’ve never tried to make one myself.
Essentially a fruit curd differs from jam in that it incorporates eggs and sometimes butter. This recipe has both and is totally not in keeping with my efforts at being sugar free but I was too taken with the idea of a pot (or two) of lovely blackcurrant curd to care.
Making Blackcurrant Curd
The recipe calls for 500g blackcurrants to make 5 small jars of blackcurrant curd. We had tons of blackcurrants (did I mention we had a total glut this year?) so I used 1kg and doubled everything up accordingly. In retrospect that might have been a bad idea. Double the fruit meant I had double the work in squeezing out my blackcurrants. Blackcurrant seeds are pretty tiny, smaller than I thought. I underestimated the size of the holes in my sieve and ended up with a lot of seeds coming through into my puree.
I really didn’t want to find seeds in my blackcurrant curd so I put my blackcurrant/lemon mix into a jelly bag and decided to squeeze them out. This took a long long time! I was squeezing blackcurrants through my jelly bag for about 45 mins and the place looked like a blood spattered mess by the time I had finished.
How not to make my mistakes!
My mum has advised me that I should have used the jelly bag or a square of muslin over my sieve and pushed it through that with a wooden spoon. Alternatively I should have just pushed it all through my sieve and put the puree through the jelly bag to get rid of the seeds. I clearly wasn’t thinking very clearly at the time but I have definitely learned what not to do for the next time. I have actually bought a better sieve for the next time but that is neither here nor there!
Doubling up the ingredients also meant that I had trouble getting my curd up to the right temperature to set. A bigger bowl has a bigger area for heat to be lost from and I didn’t want to put it on a high heat. Scambled egg curd? No thanks! All in all I had no real mishaps but making my blackcurrant curd did take me a full afternoon when I was expecting it to take an hour or two.
The most delicious blackcurrant curd. I haven't added in times as it took me about 4 hours to make without including time to pick the blackcurrants. However I doubled the recipe and that made everything take a lot longer than it should!
- 500g blackcurrants
- 100ml lemon juice
- 125g butter
- 500g granulated sugar
- 200ml strained beaten egg (approx 4-5 large eggs)
- Sterilise 5 small jars (250-300ml). I like sterilizing my jars in the oven once they have been cleaned. My wee halogen oven has a pre-set sterilizing setting but approx 15mins in a low oven does the trick or run them through the dishwasher on hot if you're looking for a super easy way to sterlise! The jars should still be warm when you fill them.
- Place blackcurrants and lemon juice in a pot and simmer gently for approx 5-10mins until the blackcurrants have collapsed. Rub this mixture through a very fine sieve to remove skins and seeds or squeeze through a jelly bag into a heatproof bowl
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl with the blackcurrant puree and place over a pan of hot water. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
- Take your mix off the heat and let cool down for a minute or two.
- When the mixture has cooled to approx blood temperature (it shouldn't be hot or the eggs will scramble) add your eggs slowly whisking the whole time.
- Return your bowl to the heat and stir until thick and creamy. This will take at least 10 minutes and the mixture should reach 82-84°C on a sugar thermometer.
- Pour your curd into warm jars and seal. Allow them to cool completely.
- Store your curd in the fridge and use within approx 4 weeks.
I used a bit more sugar than was in the original recipe. Only because I didn’t want a tiny bit of sugar in a bag taking up room in my cupboard! There is scope to reduce the sugar a tad but it may make it harder to set. Also I used salted butter instead of the recommended unsalted because that’s what I had in my fridge. My blackcurrant curd is delicious so if you don’t want to buy unsalted butter just for this recipe just use the regular stuff!
I strongly recommend buying a sugar thermometer if you have any plans to try to make this. They are inexpensive (usually less than a tenner) and take a lot of headaches out of trying to get preserves to set. Mine is a much loved piece of kit!
What do you think of my blackcurrant curd? Would you try making it yourself and have you any ideas for using it up? More importantly do you have any other blackcurrant recipes for me to try?!