Friday, May 11, 2012

Sam I am- Raspberry Curd

You may be wondering what this title is all about but let me tell you it is NOT about green eggs or ham. This is all about a delicious treat called Raspberry Curd. Now let me state for the record that curd is a gross word. It reminds me of something that would be a side effect of a bad sinus infection. Curd, for those of you new to the cooking world, is a fruit based pudding like filling that is used in cakes and pastries....and any where else you can shove it. It can come in any flavor and the most popular kinds are lemon and lime. I use store bought lime curd as the base for my Key Lime Dip (which is amazing!!!) but I prefer to make mine homemade as much as possible. I made a blueberry curd for my BFF's wedding cake a few years back and it was slathered between layers of cinnamon kissed vanilla cake, cream cheese filling and brown sugar buttercream...and it was to die for! It was a blueberry muffin on steroids. Raspberry curd is a request that one of my clients has whenever I make cakes for her family. It has a bright tart and sweet flavor and pairs perfectly with rich dark chocolate cake brushed with Chambord and silky chocolate buttercream. Curd is easy to make but it demands all of your attention, just for a few minutes. It is worth all of the effort because, in the words of Sam I am, "I would eat it in a box, with a fox, in a chair with a bear, in a boat with a goat" get my drift.
I highly suggest you get your hands on some chocolate cake to eat with this, or smear it on some toast, or dip some graham crackers in it, or eat it with some pound cake and berries. Well, what are you waiting for? Get to cookin'!

Raspberry Curd
1 bag (15 oz I think) frozen raspberries thawed
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter softened
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed (bottled is okay but not my preference) lemon juice
3 Egg yolks - place in a separate larger bowl

First, grab a mesh strainer and place it over a bowl. If you don't have a strainer yet you can get one for a few bucks at any grocery store. They come in super handy for straining everything!! Dump your bag of thawed berries in the strainer and using the back of a wooden spoon, or you hands, mash the berries until you have removed all of the juice. I really like the feeling of smooshing the berries and I think you get the most out of them that way, but I know that might gross some of you out. Pour your juice into a sauce pan, add the sugar, and turn to medium heat.
While this is warming, combine your lemon juice with the corn starch and stir until it is a smooth liquid. If it is too stiff, add just a drop more of juice. Using a whisk, pour your corn starch mixture into the berry juice and whisk thoroughly to combine. Using this method will prevent any lumps from forming.
After about 3 minutes when the mixture is really starting to heat up you will need to get your yolks ready. Now, you don't want to scramble the yolks so you must do as I say. With the whisk in your right hand and your sauce pan in the left, you want to pour in a steady slow stream some of the warmed juice into the egg yolks but you must do this SLOWLY and you must WHISK CONSTANTLY. This is going to help heat up the yolks so you can add them in and they won't scramble on you. You will want to pour about half of the juice in with the eggs. Whisk the juice in thoroughly with the eggs, place the saucepan back on the stove then whisk in the egg mixture into the saucepan. Got that?!?
Continue to cook the mixture for about 4-5 minutes while whisking constantly. Allow it to gently boil for about two minutes and you will see it start to set up. After two minutes, remove it from the heat, dump the butter in and mix just until combined. Pour the curd into a bowl. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place it directly on the curd, not over the bowl, but smashed on the curd. This will prevent that weirdo gross think layer on top. Place in the fridge and allow it to chill to room temp before eating.

See, easy huh? And so worth it!
Enjoy Y'all!

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