Blackberry Curd

Gabriola Island BlackberriesThe drought in British Colombia made the blackberries more scarce than usual this summer.  In response to the lack of berries I came up with a really good blackberry picking innovation.  I have a leather jacket that I have owned since I was 18.  I was trying it on for fun and the salesman thought I was haggling when I said “No, I’m just looking”, so ended up getting a really good deal on it.   I can’t have nice things, and I destroyed this jacket within five years of buying it.   Twenty plus years in, the leather looks like someone has taken a huge cheese grater to it, it is more grey than black, and after replacing the button at the fullest part of my bust 3 times I have given up.  Somehow though,  the more I abuse it the better it looks.  This summer I abused it by using it as blackberry picking armour.  Wearing my jacket, I could reach all the way into a bramble to get those distant berries without being scratched to pieces.

Next year, In addition to wearing my blackberry armour, I’d like to really get organized.  My entire maternal family will be coming to Gabriola for the family reunion next year.  That means that there will be small children to pick low berries, tall people like my husband and, If I’m not mistaken, some nephews who have grown a lot since I saw them last, and at least one person with a cane (good for hooking and pulling berry laden branches close).Blackberry Curd This curd is the last of this year’s blackberry recipes.   I know, I just wrote about fruit curds in my post about the cooking camp that I taught this summer and the gist of that post was that you don’t need a recipe to make fruit curd.  You don’t….but here is a recipe to make fruit curd.  I offer this recipe partly because blackberry curd is very photogenic, and partly because I had never thought to make blackberry curd before. I reasoned that there may be others out there who spend their Augusts blackberry picking and who would enjoy this idea.  Lastly, I wanted to tell you that you can use coconut oil instead of butter in fruit curd and it is delicious!  My mother cannot eat dairy, so we gave it a try and were thrilled with the result.

Blackberry curd is amazing on pancakes.  If you need a gluten-free pancake recipe try making amaranth pancakes, coconut pancakes or buckwheat pancakes.  It would also be really good between the layers of a lemon cake, or as a filling for a tart.  By the way,  my mum made this died the beautiful napkin used in this photo herself, using berries and turmeric.Blackberry Curd


  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
  1.   Combine the blackberries and sugar in a sauce pan over medium flame.  Cook the fruit, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and the sugar has dissolved.  Puree the fruit.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve  into a large metal bowl. Discard the seeds.
  2. Fill the sauce pan (no need to wash it) about 1/3 full of water and place it over high hear.  Place the bowl in the sauce pan so it is held over the hot water without touching it.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and a pinch of salt into the berry puree.  Work quickly to avoid having lumps of cooked egg in your curd.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir the curd over the boiling water until it starts to thicken up.  This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. When the curd is thick, remove it from the heat and stir the butter or oil in one Tablespoon at a time. Be sure to incorporate each tablespoon fully before adding the next one.  Store the curd in a sealed jar in the fridge and eat it within a week or so.


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