mixed berry pie recipe

What to do with all this yummy summer fruit.

This week has been good for making jams and other fruit preserves. I picked blueberries last weekend and am up to my eyeballs now in blueberry jam, blueberry pie filling, hedgerow jam and the like. While taking a break from the canning pot I came upon an old copy of HomeFarmer, for dreamers and realists. It’s a magazine from the UK which is really great for people like me who dream of living on their own homestead.

I found an article on old curd recipes in this edition and have decided that I would make some curds next. I have made orange curd in the past, and it was yummy. Unfortunately, my source of organic citrus has dried up so I need to find a new type of curd.

I found a recipe for mixed berry curd, which has possibilities. Here is that recipe:

Makes 3 small jars of curd.
500 grams of frozen mixed berries
2 eggs from your own free range happy hens
60 grams (that’s 2 oz) unsalted butter
200f (7 oz) caster sugar (I think this is powdered sugar)

Defrost the berries in a saucepan then warm them until they turn mushy.
Push the berries through a sieve unto a large heatproof bowl.
Add the butter and sugar to the sieved berries and balance the bowl over a saucepan of fast simmering water, bain-marie style. The base of the bowl must not touch the water. If you want a thick curd, cook the berries directly in the saucepan.
Stir until the butter and sugar have dissolved, then take off the heat and sieve in the egg, stiffing continuously until it is all mixed in.
Continue to warm over a medium heat, stirring continuously, when the curd starts to thicken. When the curd is thick, glossy and coats the back of a wooden spoon, it is ready. If you’ve been stirring for 30 minutes since adding the egg, then this is as thick as it gets.
Ladle into the jars, twist on the lids and leave to cool.
Place them in the fridge to thicken or keep them in a cool dark cupboard. Use within two months.

Just writing about homemade curd makes my mouth water. Homemade curd is sooooo good you’ll want to find a way to make your own double devonshire cream and scones and have a proper tea.

How do you can your curd? Some say you can’t (thanks USDA) but if you’re willing to take your life into your own hands, then you might want to can it. Believe me, once you’ve tasted the curd, you won’t mind thumbing your nose at the USDA.

Wash and sterilize your jars and lids. Never reuse the lids of your canning jars, but you can reuse the jars and the rings.
Ladle your hot curd into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove any trapped air bubbles with a clean plastic knife. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply rings. Process 4 ounce jars and half pint jars for 10 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure in a dial gauge pressure canner or a 10 pounds pressure in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Aunt J’s Lemon Curd (courtesy of Cooking Light):

1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup fresh lemon juice

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1) Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in medium saucepan.

2) Add juice and eggs. Bring mixture to a boil while whisking constantly.

3) Reduce heat and continue to stir until thickened, about 1 minute.

4) Remove pan from heat; add in butter and lemon rind, and stir until butter is melted.

5) Cover and chill in refrigerator until completely cooled and thickened.

Makes about 1.5 cups.

Approximate nutrition for 1 tbsp serving: 35 calories, 1 g fat, 6g carbs, 0.5 g protein

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