Blackcurrant Curd: When life Gives You Currants, You Can Forget the Lemons
I am always looking for local foods to replace imports, so finding a substitute for lemon curd that uses local berries was a coup. Tart, juicy blackcurrants make a beautiful jewel-toned honey-sweetened curd. I use white sugar in the first part of the process when you need to cook the egg yolks and the berry puree, but once you've added the butter and cooled the mixture down you can add the honey without heating it above hive temperature. This way you can sweeten to the curd to your taste and still get the benefits of raw honey. I've put 1/3 cup of raw honey in this recipe, but if I'm just making a jar for myself, I'll only use 1/4 cup because I like it puckery. This makes lovely gifts in little mason jars and you can put it on scones, wee tarts, and layer it in mason jar parfaits. Blackcurrant curd will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. If you make it without butter (as I did one day after I discovered Peter had used it all up making banana bread) it's still good, just less curd-ish and more like a coulis.
2 cups black currants, cleaned with most of the twigs taken off
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup raw honey
6 tbs. cold salted butter, cut into cubes
1) Simmer the currants in the water on medium low heat until the berries have burst. I mash them a bit with a wooden spoon. This takes about 8 minutes. You don't need to cook the bejeebers out of it.
2) This is the messy part. Put the berries through a moulé, and then a sieve to get out the seeds. I save the seedy pulp and put it in an ice cube tray and freeze to add to smoothies. Make sure you're not wearing white, because this gets purple.
3) Separate the eggs and put the whites aside for something else: scones, pancakes, etc. Put the purée, egg yolks and sugar in a small pot and cook on the stop top over medium low heat--don't let it boil. This also takes about 8 minutes.
4) Turn off the heat and add the butter and stir until it is melted. Add the honey to taste. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. The curd will keep for 2 weeks.
(The crumbly bits are rolled oats (1/2 c), walnuts (1/2 c.), brown sugar (2 tbs) and olive oil 2 (tbs) whizzed in the food processor. I like to keep crumbly bits in the fridge to sprinkle on breakfast parfaits.)
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