Lemon-lovers are probably familiar with lemon curd, a fruit spread made with fresh citrus juice, eggs, sugar and butter that is often served with breakfast pastries or used as a filling for tarts. Curd is known for its bright flavor and velvety texture. While lemon curd is delicious, it isn’t the only fruit you can use to make a curd. For a seasonal variation, I’m making pumpkin curd!
Pumpkins (yes, they are a fruit) are frequently pureed to make pumpkin pies and other pumpkin goodies. Instead of using pumpkin juice in my curd, I started with pumpkin puree and added sugar, spices and eggs to it. I cooked the mixture over low heat on the stove until it was thickened, then whisked in butter until the texture was smooth and velvety.
Since pumpkin puree can be a little bit fibrous, it is important to strain your curd through a fine seive (or strain it twice) to get the best texture possible.
The curd is much smoother and lighter than the filling of a pumpkin pie or tart, and it has a silkiness to it that fans of lemon curd will recognize. It has a good pumpkin flavor and is sweet without being overly sugary. It’s very tempting to eat it straight out of the saucepan with a spoon, but it is even better after it has been chilled, as the curd will thicken up while it is cooling.
How to Enjoy Your Pumpkin Curd
You can eat it with a spoon, of course, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy this pumpkin curd. You can serve it with scones, English muffins or biscuits for breakfast. You can spoon it onto ice cream or slices of cake as a seasonal dessert topping, too.
If you want to use it in baking, you can substitute it into a recipe that calls for lemon curd — like this Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie — to infuse it will fall flavor. You can also simply spoon it into a pre-baked tart shell for a very easy filling. The curd will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about a week after making it, so you have plenty of time to try all the options.
Pumpkin Curd Recipe
Makes about 1½ cups
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 tablespoon butter, softened
Combine all ingredients, except for the butter, in a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth and uniform. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a spatula, until the mixture comes just to a simmer and begins to thicken.
Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Mix until butter is completely incorporated.
Strain curd into a clean container (it might be necessary to strain twice, if your strainer is not that fine or if your pumpkin is somewhat fibrous) and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cold before serving. Curd will thicken as it cools.