apple and lemon curd

over the past few months we've been very lucky and have been given several bags of fruit from friends whose gardens are more bountiful than ours.

apples have been particularly welcome as we use one or two each day in our morning smoothie. however, two carrier bags of donated apples (which means i am sharing this with the crispy cook who is hosting grow your own) plus an online supermarket order cock-up which resulted in me being provided with 20 lemons rather than the few thought i had ordered, led me to try this river cottage recipe for apple and lemon curd.

lemon curd is a favourite from my childhood and i love eating it spread on thickly buttered white bread. this lemon and apple curd is very similar to lemon curd (unsurprisingly) but has a lighter texture and more fragrant flavour. sadly it is similar to lemon curd in that it contains large amounts of butter and needs eating within 4-6 weeks of making.

however, three weeks on from having made the curd, we’re on our last jar.

river cottage apple and lemon curd (makes 5 x 225g jars)

450g bramley apples*, peeled, cored and chopped

finely grated zest and juice of 2 unwaxed ­lemons (you need 100ml strained juice)

125g unsalted butter

450g granulated sugar

4–5 large eggs, well beaten (you need 200ml beaten egg)

put the chopped apples into a pan with 100ml water and the lemon zest. cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a puree with a wooden spoon or rub through a nylon sieve.

put the butter, sugar, lemon juice and ­apple puree into a 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, and whisk with a balloon whisk.

if the fruit puree is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will “split”. check the temperature with a sugar thermometer — it should be no higher than 55–60c when the egg is added. if your curd does split, take the pan off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.

stir the mixture over a gentle heat, ­scraping down the sides of the bowl every few minutes, until thick and creamy. this will take 9–10 minutes; the temperature should reach 82–84c on a sugar thermometer. ­immediately pour into jars and seal.

use within four weeks. once opened, keep in the fridge.

* i used eating apples and reduced the sugar by 50g