Bramley Apple Curd

My grandma has a huge apple tree in her garden which produces a copious amount of gnarled but delicious cooking apples. Every time we visit her, she seems to produce another bag of apples and I really enjoy coming up with new ways of using them. My mum is a massive fan of lemon curd so this bramley apple curd seemed like an obvious thing to make. It’s like eating apples and custard, softly sweet, tangy and quite, quite delicious.

I gave my grandma a little jar of the bramley apple curd to say thank you for handing over bags and bags of apples.

Bramley Apple Curd

Makes 5 x 225g jars

Ingredients

450g or 15 and three quarter oz Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped
finely grated zest and juice of two unwaxed lemons (100ml of strained juice)
125g or four and a half oz unsalted butter
450g or 15 and three quarter oz granulated sugar
4 or 5 large eggs, well beaten (200ml of beaten egg)

Method

Start by making the apple puree. Place the chopped apples into a pan with 100ml water and the lemon juice and place the pan over a gentle heat. Once the apples are soft and fluffy, beat them to a puree with a wooden spoon or rub through a plastic sieve.

For the bramley apple curd, place the butter, sugar, lemon juice and apple puree into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of summering water. Once the butter melts and the mixture has become hot and glossy, pour little of the apple mixture over the beaten eggs and whisk with a balloon whisk to temper them and warm them slightly. Add this mixture to the rest of the apple mixture, pouring through a sieve, and whisk. Hopefully this will prevent the egg from splitting, which will also happen if the fruit puree is too hot when the egg is added. If you have a thermometer on hand, the puree should be no higher than 55 to 60°C when the egg is added. If the worst happens and the curd does split, take the pan off the heat and whisk furiously until it becomes smooth again.

Stir the mixture over a gentle heat, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula every few minutes. The bowl should never become so hot that it’s unbearable to hold. After about 9 or 10 minutes, the mixture should have become thick and creamy. Again if you have a thermometer on hand, it should reach 82 to 84°C.

Immediately pour the bramley apple curd into warm, sterilised jar and seal. Use within four weeks and once opened, keep in the fridge. It delicious spread on toast and wonderful sandwiched between layers of sponge.

This recipe is taken from the excellent River Cottage Preserves Book

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