Dairy Free and Egg Free Gooseberry Curd

I’ve picked 18lb gooseberries this year from the bushes we inherited with our new house. They are amazingly overgrown so if anyone can tell me how to prune them I’d be grateful but for now I will enjoy all they have to share.

gooseberry curd

I first discovered gooseberry curd last year and I now think it is the best thing you can make with them.

Traditional recipes state you can only keep it for a month unopened then one week in a fridge once opened. So I tried freezing some in small plastic tubs. My test pot defrosted fine. I recommend putting it into the fridge to defrost and eat within a week.

I’ve experimented with two recipes. I wanted to try and make a curd without using eggs too. This worked well, it has a nice flavour, it doesn’t melt on your hot toast the way traditional curd would do but it’s still worthy of a place at the breakfast table and would be a great filling for a gooseberry tart.

To sterilise your jam jars

Preheat your oven to 140°c/gas mark 1. Wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse in clean water. Place on a tray in the oven for 30 minutes.

1st recipe – Dairy and Egg Free Gooseberry Curd

Enough to fill 3 small jam jars

I’ve used cornflour to thicken this recipe in place of eggs

450g gooseberries
150ml water
150g caster sugar
50g cornflour
50g dairy free margarine. I used Vitalite

You don’t need to top and tail the gooseberries as they will be passed through a sieve.
This recipe will only keep for 5 days stored in the fridge but it can frozen in plastic tubs.

Place the gooseberries and the water into a saucepan and boil until the gooseberries burst – about 10 mins.
Push through a sieve to get as much of the fruit through as you can.
Measure 500ml gooseberry puree into a saucepan, add the sugar and stir until boiling.
Add a little cold water to the cornflour to blend, whisk this into the boiling liquid until thick. Turn off heat.
Stir in the dairy free margarine and strain into sterilised jam jars or plastic tubs for freezing.

This makes a lovely tart filling as it sets well and the sharpness goes well with sweet pastry.

 2nd recipe – Dairy Free Gooseberry Curd  made the traditional way using eggs as the thickener. Recipe from Marguerite Patten’s Jam, Preserves and Chutneys handbook

Enough to fill 3 small jam jars

450g gooseberries
150ml water
375g caster sugar
85g dairy free margarine
5 egg yolks or 3 whole eggs (I prefer to use whole eggs)

You don’t need to top and tail the gooseberries as they will be passed through a sieve.
Place the gooseberries and the water into a saucepan and boil until the gooseberries burst – about 10 mins.
Push through a sieve to get as much of the fruit through as you can.
Measure 500ml gooseberry puree into a heatproof bowl, add the sugar and dairy free margarine.
Place the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with an inch of water on the stove.
Stir the mixture until melted.
Break the eggs into a bowl and lightly mix together.
Whisk a little of the warmed mixture into the eggs then whisk the eggs back into the gooseberry puree.
Keep stirring the mixture over the heat until thick and the mixture coats the back of your spoon. If you have a thermometer it should read 82°c.
Strain into sterilised jam jars or clean plastic tubs to be frozen.
The curd doesn’t set really thick but does spread nicely. I’m going to try adding an extra egg next time.
You can use egg yolks instead of whole eggs if you prefer a richer curd, use 6 yolks in place of 3 whole eggs. I find this too eggy so prefer whole egg.

SAM_2325My son decorated this jar for his teacher.

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