Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe from Pam Corbin's The River Cottage Preserves Handbook: Apple Lemon Curd
Fruit curds are so simple and quick to make. Quintessential and quite the doyenne of the curd clan, lemon curd is unquestionably the all time favourite of these soft, creamy concoctions but I also love this smooth velvety apple curd. It's a marvelous way to use up windfall apples and so during the autumn I like to prepare a good quantity of apple puree and freeze it in 10 ounce portions. I can then easily knock up a batch when the apple season has long gone. --Pam Corbin
Makes 4 8 ounce jars
1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons (you need 7 tablespoons strained juice)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons beaten eggs (4 or 5 large eggs)
Put the chopped apples into a pan with 7 tablespoons of water and the lemon zest. Cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a purée with a wooden spoon or run through a food mill.
Put the lemon juice, butter, sugar, and apple purée into a double boiler or heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture is hot and glossy, pour in the eggs through a sieve, then whisk with a balloon whisk. If the fruit purée is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will curdle. One way to guard against this is to check the temperature of the purée with a candy thermometer – it should be no higher than 130° to 140°F when the egg is added. If your curd does curdle, take the pan off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.
Stir the mixture over low heat, scraping down the sides of the bowl every few minutes, until thick and creamy. This will take 9 to 10 minutes; the temperature should reach 180° to 183°F on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour into warm, sterilized jars and seal. Use within 1 month. Once opened, keep in the fridge.
To make gooseberry curd, replace the apples with gooseberries. If you’d like a traditional, pure lemon curd, leave out the apples, increase the lemon juice to 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 to 5 lemons) and add the grated zest of 2 or 3 more lemons.
“For a touch of the homemade every day, try the River Cottage handbooks.”
—Everyday Food, Favorite New Cookbooks, December 2010
“Be prepared to make space on your cookbook shelf for these practical, passionate guides. . . . Corbin demystifies the preserving process in this authoritative, and beautiful, book.”
“A canning and preserving book for the home cook who likely wouldn't call themselves the ‘canning’ type. . . . Infinitely more engaging than your average American canning book, such as Better Homes & Gardens You Can Can!
—LA Weekly, 6/28/10
"If you think of the best in homemade jams and preservers and the pleasure in eating your own produce, then you are ready for this book."
—Super Chef blog, 6/22/10
“These compact yet comprehensive hardcover volumes, part of a series written by experts in the River Cottage fold, inspire and instruct with their English charm, deploying a chatty hand-holding that nudges you through the process. The head River Cottage baker, Daniel Stevens, who put together THE RIVER COTTAGE BREAD HANDBOOK spends over 40 pages on mastering the basic loaf. His kneading explanation was so clear I didn’t need to constantly refer to the photos; and it taught me some new tricks. . . .This wide-ranging book inspires exploration, and not just because I’ll soon be able to slather my warm Scottish oatcakes, roti and even bagels with my own jam, thanks to THE RIVER COTTAGE PRESERVES HANDBOOK. Here Pam Corbin, who runs the Preserving Days at River Cottage, explains the fundamentals of jam, jelly, chutney, cordials, pickles, sauces and more in a demystifying manner. . . . Recipes for hearty ale chutney, spring rhubarb relish and Hugh’s prizewinning raspberry fridge jam are within delicious reach.”
—NY Times Book Review, Summer Reading Issue, Cookbook Roundup, 6/6/10
“Pam’s approach is . . . encouraging and adventurous. In this inspiring book she will show you the ropes and then give you the reins. I’m absolutely sure you will enjoy the ride.”
—Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, from the Introduction