This easy apple curd recipe transforms fresh apples and a few simple ingredients into a smooth, tart, and creamy dessert.
Like many great recipes, apple curd is a rich spread of which texture and taste depend on how you incorporate all these ingredients.
Have you ever heard of apple curd?
Fruit curds are traditionally made with citrus fruits such as lemons, but this apple-flavored version is perfect for autumn during apple season. This variation is similar to apple butter, which is made by simmering apple sauce until it becomes thick and intensely apple flavored.
Cooking up a batch of homemade apple curd does wonder for the soul – not only will it fill your home with a delicious "apple pie" aroma, but you will more than ever enjoy your morning toast.
This apple curd is budget-friendly, especially if you have an abundance of apples in the fall. In addition, it is a great way to preserve and use them in various ways.
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What is Apple Curd?
Apple curd is a sweet fruit spread or topping made with fresh apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and a thickening agent such as eggs. This rich and smooth dessert topping combines tart and sweet flavor with a creamy texture. When you reach the right consistency, you can use it as a spread on toast, muffins, scones, biscuits, or swirled through porridge.
Why You'll Love this recipe?
- This delicious curd is easy to make and requires no specific equipment.
- Great to add a sweet and tard flavor to any dish.
- Many ways to use.
- Creamy and comforting.
- Frugal recipe using apples and other all-natural and healthy ingredients.
- Refined sugar-free, gluten-free.
- Tied with ribbon around the top of the jar makes it a thoughtful gift.
What type of apple to use for your recipe? Since apple curd requires much cooking time, softer apple varieties will be better than crisp apples. Apples like Fuji, Gala, Pink lady apples, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp are all great choices. While tart apples like Granny Smith work well for baking, they may not break down as easily in the cooking process for your apple curd.
Unrefined brown sugar.
I like to use unrefined brown sugar, a type of dark brown sugar that has not been processed or refined. It is made from evaporated cane juice and contains molasses, adding a sweet caramel-like flavor and color to the apple curd.
Eggs add moisture to the curd and help to bind and set the apple purée. I like to use free range.
It gives the cinnamon apple curd its creamy texture. I prefer to use unsalted butter for this recipe.
It adds brightness and helps prevent the eggs from scrambling.l I like to use fresh lemon juice, but a jar is fine too.
Ground cinnamon is traditionally used in many apple recipes and can be combined with other spices like nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom. Altenratively, replace cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice to add warm spice and make a spiced apple spread.
It is optional, but it helps balance out the flavors and makes the lemon flavor pop up. Of course, you can use salted butter instead.
- Large saucepan with lid.
- Sharp knife.
- Large mixing bowl
- Blender or a food processor.
- Jam jars with lids (370 grams each or 13 ounces).
How to make Apple curd
First step: Prepare and cook apples
Peel, core, and dice the apples into small pieces and add the apples to the medium size saucepan. Pour two tablespoons of lemon juice in with the apples and boil over medium heat. Cover the mixture with a lid and bring it to a boil. Once you see a few bubbles, reduce the heat to a low and allow the apples to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the apples are soft and tender.
Second step: Puree apples
When the apple mixture is fully cooked and tender, use an immersion blender to mash them until smooth. You can also use a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove the lid and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. I like to taste it at this stage to decide
on the amount of granulated sugar in this recipe. It depends on the sweetness and apple flavor. The curd will taste sweeter if you use sweet apples like fuji, ambrosia, or gala apples.
Third step: Mix ingredients
While the apple puree is cooling, place brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and stir until the curd is smooth.
Pour the mixture into a blended apple, add butter, and stir. Cook on low to medium heat and mix till the apple curd thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Strain the mixture for a smoother curd if there are any lumpy pieces of eggs. Or skip this step for a slightly more textured curd.
Fourth step: Setting the Curd
Please remove it from the heat and allow the apple curd to cool slightly. The curd will be smooth and silky. Transfer the curd to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Note: We are using whole eggs in this recipe, which can easily get scrambled when you overheat the mixture. To avoid it, cook the apple curd on low heat, stirring constantly. Another way to overcome it is to use just egg yolks.
Tips and tricks
Cut the apples into thin slices. The thinner pieces will cook and soften faster.
If you have apple sauce available or want to take a shortcut to avoid preparing the apples, you can use apple sauce instead of fresh apples.
To make sweeter curd, use apple juice instead of lemon juice.
How to store the apple curd?
Store your delicious apple curd in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Once you open it, use it within seven days.
Alternatively, freeze it for up to 3 months. Then, use it right away once you defrost it.
What to Do with Apple Curd?
This Apple curd tastes like apple pie and caramel and can be used in myriad ways.
- This versatile, creamy topping tastes excellent on desserts, cupcakes, cinnamon tea cakes, caramel apple tarts, or pastries.
- Apple spread works perfectly on waffles or pancakes.
- It is one of my favorite things to eat with a spoon directly from a jar.
- Swirl through porridge or yogurt.
- A tablespoon on top of ice cream would make a perfect dessert for afternoon tea.
- Serve it like in England during tea time with scones and biscuits as an alternative to jams.
- This apple curd can be used as a tart or cake filling.
How else can you make this recipe?
Adding ginger and more lemon juice will turn it into a spicy apple ginger curd.
Make it vegan by replacing the dairy (butter) and the eggs with plant-based ingredients. I made this vegan lemon curd, replacing butter with vegan butter and eggs with coconut milk and cornstarch. The natural fruit pectin in the apples thickens the mixture, too, so it may work even without!
The nice thing about this fruit curd recipe is that you can make it with whatever is in season. Mango, banana, strawberry, or citruses, you name it.
What to do when your curd is not thick?
Remember that curd will thicken more once cooled. Apple curd thickens as it cools off. Sometimes just chilling it in the fridge make it thick. If it doesn't work, you can add the egg yolk and cook it again. Alternatively, longer cooking allows liquid evaporation followed by thickening.
Adding a teaspoon of cornstarch or tapioca starch may be a solution.
How do you know when fruit curd is cooked enough?
Test if your curd is done by dipping a spoon into it and drawing your finger along the back of it. If there is a clear line, the curd has cooked sufficiently and should be removed from the heat. Cover and refrigerate.
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings says
I made this as a little treat for mom and she loved it. She puts it on just about everything. Thanks for the recipe!
I made this along with the help of my husband and we absolutely LOVED it. Really easy to make and so delicious. We used pumpkin pie spice in addition to some cinnamon in the mixture and then some more cinnamon on top.
Wow! I hadn't even heard of apple curd. I was intrigued and gave it a try! It was perfect on some waffles we made for breakfast. I love the flavor brown sugar added.
I used this apple curd on top of cheesecake bars and it was delicious! Will definitely be making it again.
What an incredible recipe! This turned out amazing and was perfect for breakfast!