Eleanor Townsend

Seasonal blooms and a Blackberry curd recipe

Eleanor Townsend
Seasonal blooms and a Blackberry curd recipe

I Had the great honour of creating this cake for Naomi & Isaac back in June. This was a particularly special occasion, not least because every detail of the wedding was beautiful, elegant and considered. This was, quite by chance, the first wedding to feature the Wedding collective. Florals by Louise, Stunning calligraphy by Kay, Photos by Matt Horan and handmade chocolates By Isaac.

Isaac is a seriously awesome chocolatier and created the most beautiful handcrafted chocolate favours for their guests. The cake sat alongside the chocolates to create an elegant desert table. This cake was a joy to create as being into chocolate and generally awesome foodies (Basically my fave kind of people!) Nay and Isaac chose some beautiful, seasonal flavours, White chocolate sponge with raspberry & rose curd and Lemon sponge with gooseberry & elderflower curd, outstanding choices i'm sure you'll agree.

 I have snaffled a few of Matt's photos here again, you can see more beautiful photos from Isaac & Naomi's day over on Matt's blog

I thought i'd share my curd recipe here as we head into autumn as it's a great way to preserve the season. Now i'm a huge fan of the traditional, classic lemon curd but there are so many ways to create different flavours with just one simple recipe. I've opted for blackberry here which are easily foraged right now, but feel free to try this out with any seasonal fruit of your choice, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, gooseberries, anything goes and remember what grows together goes together. This was particularly prevalent in the choices Nay and Isaac made for their wedding cake flavours. I've also heard tell of chocolate curd, though i'm yet to try this, do let me know if you have.

You will need:

  • 90g Caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 200g fresh blackberries or alternative fruit of your choice
  • optional- a squeeze of lemon juice

I use a baine marie method to make curds, it's possible to make directly on the hob over a low heat by continuously stirring, but I find this method safer as it's less likely to scramble and slightly less involved, just in case of distraction. 

Pour an inch or two of water into a saucepan and bring this to a simmer over a medium heat. Once simmering, turn the heat down and place a heatproof bowl over the pan, make sure the base of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water, pour out a little of the water if necessary. Place the sugar, eggs, yolks and butter into the heatproof bowl, the steam will cook the eggs slowly, as the egg cooks it will thicken, be sure to whisk the mixture regularly to ensure it cooks evenly. 

While the curd mixture is simmering away puree the fruit with a handheld blender then pass the puree through a fine sieve to remove the pips. 

The curd should take around 20-25 minutes to cook, it's ready when the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, alternatively if you have a sugar thermometer the mix is ready when the temperature of the curd reaches 75°C. Remove the curd from the heat, add the fruit puree and stir thoroughly to incorporate. Adding the fruit puree at this stage will retain the colour of the fruit, if added earlier in the process the colour tends to fade. 

The curd can be poured into sterilised jars and stored in the fridge where it should last for several weeks. Alternatively the curd makes a brilliant filling for set fruit tarts. Preheat an oven to 130°C/115°C fan/Gas mark 1/2. Pour the curd into a blind baked pastry case and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the curd is just set and wobbles a little when the tray is tapped.