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 Wild Apple Curd 

Feral and wild apples can be sharp, dry, crisp, sweet, bitter but also truly apple-ish in flavour. Even those trees that are considered ornamental or decorative have very serviceable fruits. I am close to lots of crab apples and feel they are phenomenally underrated as a flavour. If you start to think about their sour apple and slight bitterness as a benefit and not a drawback then you can get on with using them in a totally different way to enhance and lift a whole range of dishes - ajo blanco, gin, fresh fermented vinegars and as a rice wine replacement in sushi rice. This curd is everything though. 

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If you have ever made lemon curd it is just as simple and satisfying as that process and tastes amazing on scones, toast or swirled into some ice cream as in the photo above. This is based on Felicity Cloake’s perfect lemon curd recipe but you could adapt any curd recipe you usually use.

Makes about 1 litre

You will need

  • A medium sized heavy bottomed pan

  • 3 - 4 jars washed and sterilised in a hot oven for 10 minutes - kept warm but not hot

  • Whisk and rubber spatula

  • Blender or food processor

  • Cook time is about 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • About 700g crab apples washed and cored (to be honest on the really little ones I just take the twig out as they tend not to have seeds but if your apples are quite big and have a core then I would take it out)

  • 1 – 2 tablespoons good organic apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or apple verjus

  • 200g white sugar

  • 6 eggs (3 whole eggs and 3 yolks)

  • 100g butter cubed

Blitz your whole apples in a food processor or blender and drain the pulp through a fine sieve or jelly bag. It will go brown straight away but don’t panic – its the eggs that will give it it’s lovely yellow colour. You will need about 200ml of juice in total for the mix. Your apples will produce more than this so I like to measure out about 70% of the juice and use as is and then reduce the remainder down on a low heat to make up to 200ml. This is not an exact science and I encourage experimentation as all apples will be different! Taste the combination and if you think it’s lacking some zip add in the cider vinegar or verjus – you may not need it.

Put the sugar and eggs in the pan and add in the juice and stir all together. Place on a low heat and stir slowly with a spatula until it is like very thick custard. This can take up to 10 minutes.

Take off the heat and add in your butter one cube at a time. I like to use salted butter here. Felicity recommends using a food processor and I do too but if you can’t bear to dirty another container (this is also me) then you can absolutely get a great finish doing this by hand with a wooden spoon. Pour into jars and keep in the fridge.

Crabapple Curd

Never Fail Scones

These scones are the ones I grew up with - super simple made with buttermilk and no additional sugar so the curd really shines. 

Makes about 10

 

You will need

  • Tray for baking - lined with a sheet of baking paper or sprinkled with flour

  • Round cutter or knife

 

Ingredients

  • 400g plain flour

  • 4tsp baking powder

  • 80g room temperature butter (or vegan spread)

  • Pinch of salt

  • 200ml buttermilk (or plant based alternative plus a little lemon juice)

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C

 

Sift together the salt, flour and baking powder. Add the fat and bring together lightly with fingers or a fork until the mix resembles creamy coloured crumbs. Pour over the milk and bring together gently with a knife until just mixed. Turn out on to a floured counter and gently press into a large rectangle around 2 centimetres thick. Cut out your desired shape or just slice into squares. Left over dough can be squished together (don't be tempted to re-roll as it will be tough) to make one extra ugly scone for the chef. Arrange on the tray, optionally brush with a little more milk for a shiny finish and bake for 15 minutes. Eat warm with the curd.

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