Don’t you hate it when your favorite site or publication has a “special takeover issue”, when they change the title and mess with the format purely for the purposes of advertising or to big up their latest feature? I didn’t like it when Whizzer and Chips did a “Chips and Whizzer” edition in 1979, and I don’t like it now. That’s the reason why we’re not temporarily changing the name of the site to “Curds with Knives” because, frankly, otherwise, that’s exactly the sort of thing we’d do. I don’t know if it’s the fact that lemon prices have dipped lately, I know it’s not because we have a glut of eggs (because out of seven chickens, only one of them is laying) but for some reason, we’re getting rather obsessed with making lemon curd and variations thereof.
We have a weekly planning session where we’ll decide what recipes we want to blog over the coming month, and recently it’s morphed into “what different kinds of curd can we make now?”. Here’s the tally so far. One: The original lemony lemon curd, delicious in its pure form, and a tasty addition to zucchini cake. Two: rhubarb curd – the difficult second curd, you might say – absolutely amazing in taste, quite appalling in visual appearance (which is why we shoved it in pastry shells and covered it in fruit and mascarpone). And now, the third in the series: the revenge, Part Trois, blueberry lemon curd.
Emily and I had a wager before we made this. I wanted us each to guess what the color of the final curd would be. Here are our predictions:
My thinking was that, since blueberries were, er, blue, and the original lemon curd was a yellowy orange, we’d end up with green. Emily was pretty sure that the blue would overwhelm the yellow and be more dominant. Turns out, as you’ve already seen from the top picture, we were both wildly wrong, but we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. That is one wild hot flagrantly bright pink. Who knew? (Not we.)
Other than the crazy hue, what’s the verdict? The blueberries, once cooked down, release their sugar complement and cut the acidity of the lemons, so this ends up being a really well-balanced curd that won’t pucker your mouth up. It’s like if blueberry jam and lemon curd had a really attractive and well-behaved love child. We would not be ashamed to use this in any of the curd recipes we have put together, and it goes beautifully just slathered on breakfast toast. Because it was so gorgeous, though, we decided to go all out and use it to fill tartlets. We list our recipe for blueberry lemon curd tartlets separately.
We didn’t mess with our original lemon curd recipe, other than to cook the blueberries down, cool and strain them to remove the skins. The cooling step is important since you don’t want them to shock the eggs and end up with scramble. We wanted to make sure the curd was thick enough to spread as well as to use as a cake filling, so we used a little corn starch in the recipe. You’ll also find that the curd thickens when refrigerated. (Don’t forget, the egg content means that it must be stored in the fridge, and will last around two weeks.)
This might just be the pinkest thing we’ve ever made. Please join us on our next curd making adventure, when we will be exploring the ultraviolet spectrum. Until then, curd your enthusiasm!
Blueberry Lemon Curd
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen
- Zest from 3 lemons finely grated
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick) (room temperature)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs large
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup lemon juice from about 3 to 4 lemons
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, if you want to thicken the curd)
- Add the blueberries. lemon zest and water to a medium (2 quart) heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the blueberries soften and burst, about 5 to 7 minutes. Use a spoon to press berries and break apart berries as they cook.
- Strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, pressing pulp with a spoon. Make sure to scrape the puree on the underside of the strainer into the bowl. Allow puree to cool. Discard any unstrained pulp, reserve the puree and rinse the saucepan and sieve.
- In a large bowl (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugar until fully combined, about 2 min. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating each until incorporated. On low, mix in the lemon juice, blueberry puree, salt and cornstarch. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Don’t walk away or you will have lemony scrambled eggs. The curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl through the rinsed sieve.
- Add curd to storage jars and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Curd will get thicker as it cools. If using in tarts right away, allow to come to room temperature before filling shells.