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Bramley lemon curd

When Pam made preserves for a living, she tried all kinds of curds, from orange to passion fruit, but none of them was ever quite as popular as the good old-fashioned lemon variety. She didn't think she could improve on it until recently, when she came across an old recipe for an appley lemon curd. She tried it out and now prefers it even to a classic straight lemon curd - it's like eating apples and custard: softly sweet, tangy and quite, quite delicious.


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 purée with a wooden spoon or rub through a nylon sieve.

Put the butter, sugar, lemon juice 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, and whisk with a balloon whisk.

If the fruit purée is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will ‘split’.

One way to guard against this is to check the temperature of the purée with a sugar thermometer – it should be no higher than 55-60°C 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–-84°C on a sugar thermometer.

Immediately pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal.

Use within 4 weeks. Once opened, keep in the fridge.


To make gooseberry curd, replace the apples with gooseberries.

If you’'d like to go for a traditional, pure lemon curd, simply leave out the apples, increase the lemon juice to 200ml (4-–5 lemons) and add the grated zest of 2–-3 lemons.

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  • 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)

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Preserves Handbook

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