Traditionally ripe and in season in May, the gooseberry is delayed this year due to the bad weather. I got my first punnet last week courtesy of our local farmer’s market.
What you may not know, despite some of my yummy recipes on the blog, is that I have an issue with processing some fats. I know it sounds mad but since I had some surgery last year I’ve been unable to digest foods such as cream, cheese, some yoghurts and food that has been cooked in a lot of fat. Most of the time I just muddle through; I can manage some milk in my tea, on my cereal and butter on my bread, so it’s not a disaster at all but there are days when I crave something full of cream and custard.
Looking at that punnet of gooseberries the first thing that came to mind was a gooseberry fool. In my mind’s eye I was folding whipped cream and custard around a gooseberry puree and eating it all by myself with a huge spoon. I even went so far as to stew the punnet of gooseberries (which weighed 200g uncooked) with 50ml of water for 10 mins until they popped. I then strained the stewed fruit through a sieve.
Once reality hit though I knew that I would be sick for a few days if I ate fool which is one of my all time favourite desserts. So there I was with about 200ml of stewed gooseberries and I really didn’t want to make jam with them. I wanted to make something special. I then remembered that Aoife from The Daily Spud had made gooseberry curd a couple of years back so I figured what the heck, I could give it a go!
The most common type of curd you will find in the supermarket is lemon. Anything other variety and you will sometimes find an artisan preserve maker or homecook that makes them. No matter where I’ve eaten or bought it, curd from a shop bought rarely beats what you can make it at home.
Curd can be served and eaten in any variety of ways; on toast, in a tart, as a sauce over ice cream and more. Personally I love a small (yeah right) smear of curd on a crisp biscuit or on hot toast with a mug of tea.
- 200ml gooseberry puree which has been passed through a sieve (I also passed mine through a muslin cloth to get it smooth)
- 140g caster sugar
- 75g butter
- 3 eggs (of which you’ll use 2 full & 1 egg yolk)
- Large Saucepan
- Large Glass Bowl (which will fit on top of the saucepan leaving about 7cm from the bottom)
- Jars for preserving
- Large Metal Tray for the oven
- Weighing scales and bowl for weighing
- Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the base, but don’t fill it up the level of the bowl when resting in the saucepan. So if you have a 7cm gap, fill it to 6cm.
- Put the saucepan on the hob and turn the ring onto the lowest setting.
- Take the large glass bowl and weigh out the butter. Then place the glass bowl on top of the saucepan with the warm water and wait for the butter to melt completely.
- Meanwhile use the other bowl and weigh out the sugar and gooseberry puree.
- Remove the lids from your jars of choice (this recipe makes about 500ml of jam) and place the jars on the metal tray.
- Put the metal tray into your oven and (from cold) turn the oven on to 150 degrees.
- Once the butter has melted, add the sugar and puree and stir well until the sugar starts to dissolve.
- Now add your eggs. So it’s 2 full eggs and 1 egg yolk, cracked directly into the bowl.
- Stir immediately to prevent the eggs from scrambling – although they shouldn’t if you have the heat on low.
- Now you need time & patience.
- I use a very low heat to prevent any curdling or scrambling but it does take time. Stand over the bowl, stirring every minute or so.
- After about 15 minutes the mixture will have begun to warm through and you will notice the edges of the curd mixture in the bowl is becoming thick.
- Continue stirring for a further 5-10 minutes.
- You will know it is cooked when you dip a teaspoon into the curd and the back of the spoon is coated.
- Carefully remove your jars from the oven and decant the curd.
- This gooseberry curd should last for about a month in the fridge if you keep the jar well sealed but honestly I don’t think ours will last longer than 3 days because it is gorgeous.