Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vegan Strawberry Curd

Curd is an intensely-flavored soft, thick sauce, most commonly made with a lemon, lime, or orange flavor.  Originally curd was spread on scones or bread as an alternative to jam for afternoon tea, but much has changed since it's 19th century use.  While curd is still great spread on scones, bakers of today use curd in endless ways.  Fillings for cakes, tarts, and cupcakes, flavoring for frosting, and additions to coffee cakes and muffins are a few common uses.  In my family, curd is also used for topping pancakes, spreading on English muffins or inside crepes, and adding to vanilla ice cream.

I also suggest that you try curd for advancing your picky eater's diet.  Curd is good for picky eaters because it's texture is in between jam and jelly, but with the same sweet taste.  If you have a picky eater, then you already know how difficult it is to switch and/or change any of the foods he/she will eat, but using sweet food items are easier than almost any other.  I am generalizing, but most picky eaters over the age of 2 will eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Change the type of jelly used in their sandwich, and they may not eat it.  Change to jam, and forget it.  In order to help picky eaters advance their diet, we need to find ways to slightly alter the food they already eat, and curd is a nice middle ground.   I've said this many, many times before, but it's worth repeating; one of the key components to helping your picky eater is to get them to a point where they trust your cooking from scratch.  From the foods you make, there is more room to manipulate ingredients at the pace that your picky eater can handle and slowly advance his/her diet to include more variety, more textures, more quantity, and more quality.

This recipe is for strawberry curd, but it can be changed into a variety of other flavors as well.  In addition, it is a vegan recipe, omitting the eggs and butter that are common in other curds; items that I assure you will not be missed in this recipe.

Vegan Strawberry Curd
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15 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 teaspoon cornstarch

1.  Place strawberries and sugar in bowl of food processor.  Puree until very smooth, time will vary depending on the size of your berries, at least 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula.

2.  In small bowl, mix lime juice and cornstarch.  Add to pureed strawberries and continue to puree until mixture is as smooth as possible, 1-2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula, if necessary.

3.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan.  Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture comes to a boil.  Cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute.  Mixture will thicken.

4.  Strain again, if desired, into a heatproof container and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.  (I found that the second straining was not necessary if a fine sieve was used for the first straining in step 3.)

Recipe slightly adapted from Baking Bites

Other curd recipes you might enjoy:
Lemon Curd by Make Something Happy
Clementine Curd by Verses From My Kitchen
Vanilla-Lavender Lemon Curd by Voodoo & Sauce
Passionfruit Curd by Eden Kitchen
Adam's Lime Curd by One Perfect Bite
Triple Berry Curd by Eat the Love
Orange Curd by Bio Cook
Raspberry Curd by Beantown Baker


Kimberly said...

This looks fantastic! I am saving this to use with all our delicious strawberries!!

Jay said...

sounds refreshing n devourable...perfect clicks dear..
Tasty Appetite