Introduction: Peach and Bacon Curd
What happens when a pig walks into an orchard? You get Peach and Bacon Curd!
I love this time of year, when the B.C. peaches are perfectly ripe and the vans are parked along the highways selling them or the stores have them in droves. While out on a regular shopping trip my husband and I snapped up a small flat of these large golden good-eats. It was on the drive home that we chatted about what to do with them. Naturally, my husband thought that we were going to eat them, DUH! But I had other ideas for them....canning. Once he came around to the fact that these peaches were destined for jars, he began tossing out his own canning ideas. Chutney was discussed. Simply cutting and canning was also a possibility. Jams had a word or two. But my heart was settling on some kind of curd.
I LOVE the creamy goodness of curds. The soft, silky texture on toast or the velvety drizzle on pancakes or creamy centre of a tart...all of it is just wonderful goodness. After looking at a few different recipes for various kinds of curds, I settled on none of them and thought about creating my own. Curds really do come down to the eggs and butter. Whole eggs?! Yolks only?! Butter, butter, butter?! In my quest for a great curd recipe I stumbled on this article in the Los Angels Times: http://articles.latimes.com/1998/feb/18/food/fo-20... It's a great little article about my current dilemma.
Suddenly in my musings over a recipe there came an echoing ...."BACON".......I looked around? "Honey, was that you?" ......"BACON"..... "Umm, for supper?" ....."BACON"..... Ah, he was adding his own ideas to the recipe card. Peach and bacon curd, could it turn out good? Let's try!
Step 1: What You'll Need
I wanted this recipe to have a lightness to it, yet have some backbone so that it could spread onto toast and not just drain off the knife. Therefore, this is a combination whole egg and yolk recipe.
- 4 large peaches
- 5-7 strips of bacon (depending on how bacony you want it)
- 3 whole eggs and 2 yolks
- 1/2 c white sugar
- 3 oz. butter (6 tablespoons) / cut the butter into cubes
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t lemon juice
- rubber spatula
- medium pot
- 2 500ml Mason jars with sealers and rings
- stick blender or masher or food processor
- slotted spoon
The yeild for this recipe is 2 jars approx. 500 ml each. However, this does depend on the size of your peaches, it may fluctuate a little.
Step 2: Sterilizing the Jars
Give the jars a good wash and then you have to sterilize them. There are a variety of different ways to sterilize and for this canning session I chose to sterilize them in the oven.
Set your oven to 225°F and set the jars and rings (not the sealers) on a baking sheet and slide them in the oven. Let them sit in the oven for at least 20 minutes, then turn off the oven and keep them in there until you're ready for them. THEY WILL BE VERY HOT! once you're ready for them, please use tongs or oven mitts to handle the jars and rings.
Take the sealers and place them in a small pot of very hot water (not boiling) and leave them until you're ready for them.
Step 3: Preparing the Peaches and Bacon
Since curd is smooth, you are going to need to peel the peaches. Peeling peaches is never fun. Those balls of goodness are slippery little suckers and messy. The easiest way to peel a peach is get a pot of water going to a rolling boil. As the water boils, fill the sink with ice cold water. Once both the hot and cold water are ready, carefully lower the peaches into the boiling water with a slotted spoon. Let them sit in the boiling water for 20 - 30 seconds (I was distracted by my children and they ended up in the bath for just over a minute, and they were still great). Remove them from the water and immediately put them into the sink of ice cold water.
Wait until the peaches are cool enough to handle and simply wipe the skin away. You can either use your fingers to gently peel/wipe the skin away, or use a paper towel to gently wipe them away. Set them aside. Easy peasy!
Ok, so I just said that curd is smooth, and now we're going to talk bacon...which is anything but smooth! Once the peaches are finished, it's time to cook the bacon. Take your strips of bacon and cook them in which ever way you choose. I chose the microwave, it was the easiest! I also made my bacon crispy so that it had some substance once it was added to the curd. Once your bacon is cooked and cooled, cut the bacon into small pieces. Set aside.
Step 4: Let's Get Curding!
Making curd is probably one of the easiest toast-spreads to make. That being said, you really need to give a curd your undivided attention. So choose a time when you can take 20 minutes for you and your curd.
In a medium sized pot slice up your peaches. I used my stick blender to cream the peaches so that there were no lumps left. You can use a masher to get a similar consistency. Once the peaches are blended add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, and all the eggs. Whisk the peach slurry until mixed.
Bring your pot to the stove and turn on the heat to Medium. Set your timer for 20 minutes.
Now whisk! Gently whisk the peaches so the eggs don't curdle and the mixure doesn't burn on the bottom.
The mixture will begin to bubble after about 13 minutes. Keep whisking gently!
Now, some people leave this step until the full cook time is up. However, I begin whisking my butter in with about 3 minutes remaining. I add 2 cubes of butter each time and gently whisk it in until the butter has melted. I keep adding the butter until all of it has been added. If the timer goes off while you are whisking the butter in, remove the peach curd from the heat and continue adding the butter.
If you were unable to get your peaches completely mashed or you have some curdled egg, now is the time to strain your mixure. Strain your peaches into another bowl so the curd is smooth. My curd didn't need to be strained.
Add your bacon to the strained peach curd. Fold in the bacon gently until it's evenly distributed.
Step 5: Store and Admire
CAREFULLY remove the HOT jars from the oven. If the opening of your jars is small, grab a funnel to avoid a mess. Carefully pour the hot peach and bacon curd into the jars, leaving half and inch head room on each jar.
Lid each jar and tighten the rings finger-tight. Leave to cool and listen for the canning "pop".
The curd will thicken over the next few hours. Place in fridge to further cool and solidify.
Store in the fridge for up to 30 days unopened and 2 weeks in the fridge opened.
I did not "can" this curd since it is such a small quantity and won't last that long in our fridge. However, if you are not going to use this curd right away please follow proper canning steps to finally can your Peach and Bacon Curd.