One of my favorite treats is a velvety delicious citrus curd. Its most commonly found in the lemon and lime varieties, and our beloved goddess guru Nigella even has a recipe for a shocking pink cranberry curd which I hope to try out this Thanksgiving season. People born in the USA who haven’t tried this stuff are usually a bit put off by the name, curd. For us it usually has connotations of cheesy lumps of not-so-niceness.
HOWEVER, those of us who have had it, know of its tangy voluptuousness. Its creamy cold goodness. The following is my recipe for a version with one of my favorite citrus fruits, the ruby red grapefruit.
You will need:
- 2 Tablespoons Grapefruit Zest
- 1 whole Ruby Red Pink Grapefruit (juiced) about 3/4 cup
- 7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 whole large Eggs
- 2 whole large Egg Yolks
When choosing a grapefruit, make sure that it feels heavy for its size; this means it’s extra juicy inside!
Start by washing the fruit and zesting it. (Be careful not to zest the underlying white pith. It’s terribly bitter.) Set aside.
Roll the fruit on the counter under your palm to get the juices flowing and cut in half with a sharp knife.
Use a reamer or other juicing tool to extract as much juice as possible. You should get at least a 1/2 cup, if not a full 3/4 cup. Try to pluck out any pips, but it’s not necessary to strain it because then you will lose all the wonderful pulp. Unless you are put off by pulp, and then, by all means, strain!
Separate two of the egg yolks and discard the whites (or save them for something else, egg whites freeze quite well) Measure out sugar and put whole eggs and the yolks into a bowl.
Beat the sugar and eggs together until pale and creamy.
Put the butter into a double boiler and melt. Add juice and zest and mix.
Whisk in the sugar/egg mixture and continue to whisk over very low heat until the curd has cooked into a custard and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool. If you have a two in one double boiler like I do, make sure you pour the curd into a bowl, the residual heat will cause the curd to… well, curdle!
DO NOT boil or over cook this, as the eggs will cook and curdle. If you accidentally curdle it, you can save it by pushing the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, but then you lose your wonderful pulp, so be careful!
After it has cooled, put into a resealable jar(s).
Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.
Makes 16 ounces of curd, which perfectly fills up 4 teeny 4oz jars.
Eat it on toast, scones, or use it in a tart. It tastes DIVINE topped with meringue. Or you can just eat it out of the jar with a spoon like I do. :O)