Okay, so I’m making a very tiny batch of ground cherry curd (which is along the same lines as lemon curd or cranberry curd, fyi).
Ground cherries, fyi, are a member of the tomato family, but they’re sweet and taste really tropical – this is why they get called “Siberian Pineapple” some of the time. Personally, I think they taste like something between a honey-tangerine and a fuyu persimon, but I may be biased due to the colouring. 😉
Our ground cherries came from the big garden harvest we did a couple of weeks ago. The donor family are big on their nightshades, apparently, and I’m ever so glad that they are. 😉
Anyway. Due to the tropical taste, I thought they might be a good substitute for the lemon in lemon curd and figured I’d give it a try.
Here’s the recipe:
Ground Cherry Curd 2013
2 C ground cherries + ¼ C pear cider vinegar + 1 tbsp water
3 tbsp salted butter
½ C sugar
2 tbsp sugar
Husk the ground cherries (you want the orange fruit, not the dry, papery husks)
Combine 2C husked ground cherries with the ¼ pear cider vinegar and the 1 tbsp water in a sauce pan and boil for a few minutes
Using an imersion blender, purree the ground cherries in the remaining liquid (not much, but some)
Return the purree to the heat and let it boil down a little bit – there needs to be a fair amount of pulp in a spoonful (more “bisque” and less “suspension”, if that’s any help). Call it five minutes on a steady boil.
NOTE: Now is a good time to sterilize your jars, because you’re not going to have the opportunity later
When the purree has thickened up a bit, add the three tbsp salted butter and the ½ C sugar to the ground cherry purree, and allow to simmer on very low heat
While the fruit mixture is simmering, combine the two eggs and the remaining 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl and beat the hell out of them. Consistency should be smooth and “lemony”. You want the eggs to be as smooth as possible(!)
Add the egg mixture to the fruit mixture and whisk (you can use a fork) constantly while the mixture thickens (you can raise the heat for this, but be wary of scorching the mixture). You’ll know when it’s thick enough because it will be spattering everywhere and leaving little pit-marks in the surface of the curd
Using a wide mouth funnel, pour the curd into your sterilized jars. I used half-cup jars, and I’m glad I did, as this is a really small recipe. I had just enough curd to fill four half-cup jars. Which probably really means 1.75C, all together.
Cap your jars and process, upside down, in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes
Remove from the water and allow to cool on a wire rack. Listen for the “plunk” as each jar seals. (If they don’t seal, store them in the fridge. You won’t have any trouble using them up within a week or two).
So there you have it. Ground Cherry Curd 2013.
Personally, I find this to be a little on the sweet side – though I’m not about to turn my nose up at all that wonderful, custardy goodness, thankyouverymuch – and would be more likely to use red currants, cranberries (which I’ll likely do anyway), or raspberries instead. That said, this will make a fruity substitute for dulce de leche when we run out of the latter, so I’m not complaining. 😀
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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