Sometimes in this world there is a necessity to defrost your freezer. Usually you realise this at a point when you have very little time to do anything about it. This is the exact situation I’ve found myself in of late. The ice build up at the base is ridiculous (it required a kick to open the bottom drawer the other day), yet do I have the time to deal with it? I wish.
There are a couple of big pluses to this situation though – firstly it makes you actually take stock of what’s in the freezer that you’ve bought and forgotten about or are keeping for some mystery special occasion; then you get to eat very well for a couple of weeks, without the headache shopping bill that comes with it; finally it gets those creative juices flowing, as you need to find new and creative ways to use your freezer treasure trove. It’s like Ready Steady Cook: what do you do with salmon fillets, mince, prawns, frozen veg and some leftover cooking wine? (apart from make multiple dinners).
Regardless of barely having time to breath at the moment (OK, perhaps a little dramatic, but almost accurate), I’ve somehow managed to come up with quite a few interesting dishes of late. Thai-spiced salmon was a treat (if so horrible looking I couldn’t get the camera out for fear of cracking the lens), my venison and pheasant casserole went down an absolute treat and I’ve finally got round to making the raspberry curd that I bought the fruit for months ago.
I’m almost tempted to say that the raspberry curd is the best of the bunch (although that stew was rather tasty), even if I did muck it up. Back in the summer I made lemon curd (recipe here) for the first time and vowed that it was the first of many; raspberry has always been high on the list of flavours to make and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
I was lazy though, which is pretty much the main reason for my slight muck up. For speed I decided not to strain the seeds out of the berries, and go for a more… erm… textured curd, as opposed to the traditional smooth sort. I also forgot to drain my raspberries, which having been frozen definitely needed it. The end result is that my curd did not set quite as much as it should have. It tastes fantastic, but requires the use of a spoon. We can’t be perfect all the time, can we? And I’ve learnt my lesson – if it needs draining, it needs it for a reason.
This recipe is based on the one I used for the lemon curd I made in the summer, it comes from the first Great British Bake Off book. It makes approximately three standard jam jars and it can apparently last for up to two weeks in the fridge. Mine is in no danger of lasting that long. If you want your curd smooth, mush the raspberries through a sieve before using them.
165g caster sugar
Defrost and drain the raspberries and put them in a large pyrex bowl, in to this bowl also add the sugar. Cube the butter and add it in too.
Put the bowl over a pan of water which is on a rolling boil – the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Allow the butter and sugar to melt, at this point your raspberries should be falling apart as well, making a bright pink, smooth liquid (well, smooth apart from the seeds). You should not be able to feel any grains of sugar as you stir.
Once it is smooth, take the bowl off the pan and crack the eggs into it one by one. Whisk them in thoroughly then return to a slightly lower heat. Stir the mixture continuously – ensuring it doesn’t boil, or you’ll end up with raspberry scrambled eggs – until it starts to turn opaque and thicken.
To tell when it is ready you should take the wooden spoon out of the bowl and run your finger through the mixture on the back. If the two sides stay apart, leaving a corridor where your finger ran, it is ready and should be taken off the heat; if the two sides rejoin, continue stirring.
Once ready, remove from the heat and decant the liquid into (pre-sterilised) jars. Do it quickly or it will start to set. Set the jars on a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before putting the lids on and moving to the fridge.
Store in the fridge, it’ll last for a fortnight. Unless you eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.