Just before Christmas last year a group of engineers came to stay and as a thank you they gave me a collection of foodie goodies, among which was some orange curd. I was a little dubious at first, but when I tried it I discovered it was a revelation.

Then I discovered bergamots.

I’ve adapted the BBC recipe for lemon curd for this bergamot curd recipe, adding extra sugar to compensate for the sour bergamots. Use unwaxed fruit for this as the zest is an important part of the recipe. The recipe got rave reviews on the BBC site, but I think this bergamot version is even better.

 

varieties of curd

The best selection of ready-made curd I have yet found was at the legendary shop, Lewis & Cooper in Northallerton in Yorkshire. They had blackcurrent, passion fruit, lemon and lime, banana, cranberry and orange, mango and lime, ginger and lime, all in addition to the standard lemon and orange. The National Trust passion fruit curd has just won a Great Taste Award.

Making gooseberry, orange or lime curd

You could make orange curd using three oranges instead of the mixed citrus, 170g/¾ cup of golden caster sugar.

You could make lime curd by substituting limes for the bergamots.

Or you could make gooseberry curd by substituting 1 kg of washed gooseberries, cooked in 4 tbsp of water for 15 minutes and then pushed through a nylon sieve.

Honey & Co add a little whisky to their two-parts orange and one-part lemon curd, and use it to fill their doughnuts.

 

Use this curd to make a mean lemon meringue pie…. or a very classy bergamot Bronzefield prison drizzle cake.

 

Did you know that orange curd is very good on carrots?

 

Recipe for bergamot curd

Makes about two jars (650g)

Ingredients

  • 2 bergamots, zest and juice
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 100g/two-fifths of a brick /4 oz butter
  • 250g/1 cup golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs plus one egg yolk, beaten together using a cappuccino whisk or an egg beater

Method

  1. Mix the citrus zest and juice, and the sugar and butter either in a bain marie or in a pyrex (heatproof) bowl over (but not touching) some water simmering in a saucepan below.
  2. Stir (using a wooden or silicon spoon) until the butter has melted
  3. Take the citrus mixture off the heat and, ideally, whisk in the egg mixture using whatever implement you used to beat the eggs
  4. Put the mixture back over a gentle heat and leave to cook, stirring every now and then with the same spoon, for about ten minutes – when it’s done the mixture will be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon
  5. Leave to cool, stirring every now and then to avoid lumps
  6. Store in the fridge in sterilised jars (go to this post to find out how to easily sterilise jars)

 

bergamot curd recipe

Keeps in the fridge in sterilised jars

 

This post is dedicated to Kevin McGill, Ken Wynn, Mike Heddon, Billy Calvert, Jim Moody and the irrepressible Eddie Loryman