How to make traditional homemade fruit curd, so easy and delicious that you will never buy it in the supermarket again
I have always liked this dessert very much, although it was not until about two or three years ago that I tried the authentic homemade curd and fell at its feet. Nothing to do with what he had been eating until then, nor with those thick and gelatinous mixtures that they sell in supermarkets. A good homemade curd is creamy, very creamy, and full of flavor.
The density and creaminess of the curd depend on the quality of the milk with which it is made. And this, in turn, of the time of year or the periods of reproduction and lactation of the sheep and how are the grasses with which they feed. The curd made with spring milk, which is fattier, is creamier than that of any other time of year.
What is fruit curd?
Curd is a dairy product, with a creamy texture, which is made with milk coagulated by the action of rennet. Also called “mamia”, “mamiya”, “kallatua” or “gaztambera”, it is usually eaten as a dessert, either as is, sweetened with sugar or honey and/or with nuts, raisins or pieces of fruit.
It has a nutritional value similar to that of milk: it contains lactose (milk’s own sugar), it is rich in proteins of high biological value, easily assimilated calcium, group B vitamins (especially B2 or riboflavin), and fat-soluble vitamins A and d
How is the artisanal fruit curd made?
Traditionally it was made in a wooden container called “kaiku”, a wooden bowl shaped like a truncated cone and slightly tilted. In it, freshly milked milk was also transported to the farmhouses where the curd was prepared.
The process of transforming milk into curd required heating the first. Something that could not be done in the kaiku, because it was made of wood. The solution came in the form of incandescent stones that were introduced inside the container and gave the curd a characteristic flavor of toasted milk.
How to make traditional fruit curd at home?
Despite being aware of how easy it was to prepare homemade curd, I didn’t dare to do it until I tried the real thing. There were two things that held me back and that is that they are necessary to prepare it: rennet and fresh sheep’s milk, not uperisada.
Today there are few who, for reasons of safety and hygiene, maintain the use of kaiku, and instead clay jars are used. However, the curd production process remains the same and the starting point is hot milk.
The first thing is a bobadina since rennet can be easily found in pharmacies, dairies, and establishments that sell supplies for making cheese. It does not cost much to find it, although you may have to order it.
The second is a little more complicated in a big city (and the one who writes lives in Madrid) because fresh sheep’s milk, freshly milked, is not marketed. Those of you who are lucky enough to have a village (with sheep -of course-) have it sucked and you can make a traditional homemade curd when you find yourself there.
- for 5 units
- Fresh sheep’s milk (whole)
- 1 liter
- Liquid natural rennet, 20 drops
- Place the fresh sheep’s milk in a saucepan over the heat and heat. If we use pastry rennet we must not exceed 55 ºC and if we use pharmacy rennet the maximum temperature is 38 ºC.
- Excess heat destroys the rennet, so it is very important not to exceed these temperatures. Ideally, use a kitchen thermometer.
- Once the right temperature is reached, remove the milk from the heat source. At this point we can proceed in two ways :
- Adding the rennet to the saucepan, shake the saucepan to mix with the milk, and pour the contents into five individual jars.
- Introducing four drops of rennet in each jar, with these quantities five units come out, and distributing the hot milk between them.
- Adding the rennet to the milk inside the saucepan
- Adding the rennet to the saucepan with the hot milk
- In any case, once the mixture of milk and rennet is in the jars, it only remains to wait 10-15 minutes, without moving (very important), for the magic to occur.
- Finally, we wait a few more minutes for it to warm up slightly before transferring the jars to the fridge. Let cool for a couple of hours before serving.