I love cherries. Sweet and juicy and the taste of summery sunshine. This easy homemade cherry curd recipe really makes their flavour shine and tastes as good on toast as it does swirled into yogurt as a dessert.
Homemade Cherry Curd
This simple recipe for cherry curd came about after a fun visit to a marchet de nuit. In the summer months the French markets have a plethora of produce to choose from. There were greens and vegetables, fruits, cheeses of every type, meats and pates, wines and artisanal breads and cakes. And there were cherries galore.
The cafes that are filled with chattering shoppers during the day are now crammed with families and friends enjoying an evening outing where music and chat fill the air and mingle with the scents of cooking, fresh breads, cheeses, vanilla pods and cured meats.
Fruits under lights become exciting jewels and the cerise (or cherries) that are so quintessentially French and summery make me want to make something special when I get back home.
Where baking a cherry cloufutis would seem like the properly French thing to do, I decide instead to use cherries to make a cherry curd that I can add to my larder and enjoy for a few weeks instead of just an eat and go experience. That is what I love so much about my Larder Love goodies, they give me time to really savour my foodie treats.
What is cherry curd?
Cherry curd is a fruit spread just like lemon curd. It is not a preserve as such as it doesn’t have a long shelf life. Don’t let that put you off for a moment though. This cherry curd is so tasty you’ll have finished your jar long before it’s two week life expectancy in the fridge is up.
Fruit curds date back to the 1800’s in England where they literally were curds. They started as lemon juice and cream. This of course split into curds and whey. The name lemon curd was born.
Ingredients for cherry curd
Here is another reason for choosing to use cherries today, one of my buys at the brocant was an old cherry stoner, just had to get it into action right away didn’t I.
Anyway just like lemon curd and other homemade fruit curds you will need butter, eggs and sugar. A dash of cherry brandy or kirsch is optional but really adds to all that fabulous cherry flavour.
How to make cherry curd
Curds are super quick and easy to make. You are simply going to melt the butter in a Bain Marie (see below). The cherries have to be stoned then simmered in a small pan till tender. Whizz them in a food processor to produce a soft pulp. Then you add this to the butter along with the sugar and brandy (if using) and whisked eggs.
Keep stirring this mixture till it comes together like a custard. You know homemade curd is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon and doesn’t just drip off. Remember it will set up more as it cools completely in sterilised jars.
Use a Bain Marie/double boiler
What the hell is that? Well quite simply it’s a glass or ceramic bowl (don’t use metal as it can leave a slightly metallic taste in your curd) which just sits on top of a pan of simmering water. The water mustn’t touch the base of the bowl. It’s exactly the same way you melt chocolate. Why use a bain marie? Because this is a gentler way of cooking instead of using direct heat. If you use a pan directly on the stove you could very well end up with cherry scrambled eggs which is not what we are looking for.
Can you make cherry curd in a microwave?
Yes you can. Melt the butter in microwave for 30 seconds. Follow the same steps as the standard recipe for the cherries. Whisk the other ingredients together then add to the butter and stir well. Heat at 1 minute blasts and stir between times till it thickens. Strain through a sieve.
How long does homemade curd keep?
Curds aren’t really preserves at all in the true sense of the word. While they sit alongside jams and jelly in the supermarket they don’t have the same shelf life when made at home. Store cherry curd in the fridge in sealed jars for up to 2 months. However as soon as a jar is opened it must be used up within 2 weeks. It tastes so delicious mine never lasts long anyway!
Can you freeze cherry curd? Yes you can. Just spoon it into freezer proof bags or little plastic boxes or jars (leave about 1cm head space for expansion), label and pop it in the freezer for up to a year. Defrost thoroughly before use.
Uses for homemade cherry curd
On toast for breakfast or with croissants too
Stirred into Greek yogurt or swirled through ice-cream
As a filling for sponge cakes or tarts
Slathered on a scone with cream on top
Stirred into cream cheese with sugar as a cake frosting
New to preserving? Then don’t panic, I can take you from zero to hero in the preserving stakes in no time at all!
Just check out these quick articles to get you started;
You can make curds out of any juicy fruit. From lemons and limes to oranges, pineapple and cherries. Here are some of my favourite fruit curd recipes.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
- 300 g cherries
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp kirsch or cherry brandy (optional)
- 200 g sugar
- 3 eggs
- 100 g unsalted butter
- pinch salt
- Stone the cherries either with a pitter or by poking a drinking straw up through the cherry coming out at the stalk side.
- Heat the cherries with the water and cook till softened. Use a wand blender to blitz them till smooth.
- Heat a small pan of water with a bowl placed on top (water must not touch the base of the bowl) or use a double boiler.
- Pour in the cherry pulp and add sugar, brandy and pinch of salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and then pour them into the cherry mixture and continue to stir.
- Chop the butter into small pieces and add this to the mix and continue to stir.
- Keep stirring till the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
- Spoon into sterilised jars.