Homemade apple curd is a warm and cozy feeling of fall in a jar. This delicious and easy apple curd recipe has hints of cinnamon and caramel. Apple curd is a rich spread loaded with an apple flavor that is perfect in cakes, on top of crepes, english muffins, toast, and so much more.
Do you smell fall? That's what my husband and I say to each other when we first smell fall. The smell signals summer is finally over, and we can now enjoy our favorite season. A big part of my fall love is all the warm cozy flavors. High on that list are apples and cinnamon.
This year I am taking my love for fall apples to a new level and making an apple curd. This is a great way to use up all those extra apples I gathered from my neighbors. This curd has a touch of cinnamon, bringing together all the great flavors and memories of fall.
I used this as the filling for my caramel apple mille feuille in a jar, which was fall in a jar!! (PS, because it was in a jar it was so much easier to make than traditional mille Feuille!)
What is Apple Curd?
Fruit curds are traditional English spreads for scones or toast. Curd is made with fruit juice, butter, eggs, sugar, and a touch of citrus. The result is a rich, smooth, melt-in-the-mouth delicious confection.
For this homemade apple curd recipe, I used a traditional english curd recipe with apples as the fruit. I added a touch of cinnamon to give this recipe a fall feel. The result is an apple mixture that tastes great on just about everything.
Apples - 1 and ½ cups - I recommend using fresh red apples. I find the crisp apples work the best. Honey crisp and pink lady apples are a good option. Granny Smith apples are very tart and do not taste well in a curd.
Brown Sugar - 1 cup- This recipe can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. If you have both varieties in your pantry, I recommend using dark brown sugar.
Butter - 8 tablespoons - Use unsalted butter softened to room temperature. When baking, it is preferred to use unsalted butter. This allows you, the baker, to control how much salt is added to the recipe. In a pinch, it is ok to use salted butter as long as you taste test before adding additional salt.
Egg Yolks - 2 beaten - This recipe uses standard large eggs. I use the leftover egg whites and make an omelet or scramble them for my dogs.
Ground Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon - Ground cinnamon brings this recipe together. It balances out the sweetness of the apples and provides a flavor dimension. I find a little bit goes a long way. Maple syrup is an excellent substitute.
Lemon - 3 tablespoons - First, I always say this, only use juice from a fresh lemon. I find the citrus helps balance out the entire recipe. If you have a small lemon, you can always add lemon zest to make up the difference.
Water - 2 tablespoons - When cooking the apples, I use a little bit of water to help facilitate the process. Instead of water, you can use apple juice for a little extra apple flavor.
Time needed: 35 minutes.
How to Make Apple Curd - In addition to the 35 minutes of cooking time, you will also need 4 hours for the curd to set.
- Apple Prep
Peel, core, and cut the apples into small pieces. Place the apples and lemon juice in a pot with two tablespoons of water. Cook on low to medium heat with the lid on until the apples are very soft. About 15-20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a masher, puree the apples to a consistent texture. You can use a food processor if you prefer.
Using a double boiler, fill the bottom pan with 1 - 2 inches of water. Place on high heat until the water begins to boil, then turn the heat to low and keep the water at a gentle simmer. Add the apple puree, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the top pot or bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Then add in the eggs. Whisk continuously to avoid curdling.
Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, stirring each tablespoon until fully blended before adding another tablespoon. Continue stirring for 8 - 10 minutes. If you prefer a thicker curd, continue cooking for up to another 5 minutes.
- Finger Test
To test when the curd is done cooking, dip a wooden spoon in the curd, then draw your finger across the back. If there is a path where your finger was, the curd is done. If there is no path, keep cooking. The curd will thicken in the refrigerator.
- Setting the Curd
Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the top and press it gently onto the surface. This will prevent skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. After the curd is set, place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
What Fruits Can I Make Into Curd?
The nice thing about a good fruit curd recipe is that you can make it with whatever fruit is in season. Lemon is the most popular curd flavor, but some other fruits or fruit combinations that make great curd include:
- Passion fruit
- Blood orange
- Black currant
- Mango lime
- Blackberry apple
- Caramel apple
- Coconut lime
- Lemon raspberry
- Caramel apple
If you are looking for more curd recipes, check out my fruit curd board on Pinterest.
Favorite Curd Uses
Curds are most often used as a topping or a filling. Here are a few ideas for using this apple curd recipe. But as always in cooking, the possibilities are endless!
-In a smoothie
-Mixed with oatmeal
-Stir with cream cheese
-Mixed with ice cream
-Stir with yogurt
- Thumbprint cookies
If you taste metallic, it results from how the eggs and lemon react with a metal pan. To avoid this create a double boiler (this is what I do) out of a pot and heat-proof glass. Place the glass bowl on top of the pot. Use caution to ensure the water does not touch the glass bowl.
Follow the recipe using a heavy bottom pan and VERY LOW heat. Continuously whisk to avoid burning the curd or making scrambled eggs.
Fruit, also known as sweet curd, is a condiment served as a topping for scones, muffins, toast, and baked goods. I love fruit curd on toast so much I usually have some in my refrigerator for just breakfast!
Refrigerator - Place apple curd in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Freezer - Place cooled curd in a freezer bag and remove all the air. Lay freezer bags flat in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, move the freezer bag/s to the refrigerator for 24 hours to thaw. After thawing, store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Canning - Use the water bath method to can curds. Follow the guidelines from the National Center for Home Food Preservation whenever canning.
Easy Apple Curd Recipe
- Small or medium saucepan
- Masher or stick blender
- Double boiler or equivalent
- Sieve (optional)
- 1 and ½ cup apples peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces (187g) *Use crisp apples
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup brown sugar (213g)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (2g)
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 8 tablespoons butter (112g)
- Apple Prep: Peel, core, and chop apples into small pieces. Place the apples and lemon juice in a small or medium saucepan with water. On low to medium heat, cook with the lid on until the apples are very soft. About 15-20 minutes. Using a stick blender or a masher, puree the apples to a consistent texture.1 and ½ cup apples peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces (187g), 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water
- Curd: Using a double boiler, fill the bottom pan with 1 - 2 inches of water. Place on high heat until the water begins to boil, then turn the heat to low and keep the water simmering. Place the top pot or heat-safe bowl on top of the bottom bowl. In the top pot or bowl, over the simmering water, add the apple puree, brown sugar, and cinnamon and mix until fully combined. Then add the eggs to the brown sugar and cinnamon combination. Whisk continuously for two minutes to avoid curdling.1 cup brown sugar (213g), 1 teaspoon cinnamon (2g), 2 large eggs (beaten)
- Butter: Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, continuously stirring each tablespoon until fully blended before adding another tablespoon. Continue whisking for 8 - 10 minutes. If you prefer a thicker curd, continue cooking and whisking for up to another 5 minutes.8 tablespoons butter (112g)
- Finger Test: You will know the curd is done when you can dip a spatula in the curd, then draw your finger across the back leaving a path. The curd will thicken in the refrigerator.
- Setting the Curd: Lay a piece of plastic/cling wrap over the top and press it gently onto the surface. This will prevent a skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours. After the curd is set, place it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- Optional: For a smooth texture, pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve.