Monday, February 20, 2012
Grapefruit Curd for a Citrus Craving
A possibly obscure feeling - but have you ever walked into the market without a clear idea of what you want to make, only that it must involve citrus? Before you know it, you are swooning over everything, and soon your basket is full of kumquats, minneolas, blood oranges, cara cara oranges, ruby grapefruit, satsumas and Meyer lemons. Ahh...
When I got home I unpacked my sunset-hued treasures and began the fun process of deciding how to enjoy it all. Thinly sliced kumquats were a tart, refreshing addition to my morning oatmeal. A bowl full of oranges and grapefruit set on the dinner table became our dessert. Meyer lemons were zested and squeezed on green beans and baked into cakes. I knew we’d have no trouble eating our way through it all quickly.
Before my citrus bounty disappeared, I wanted to try something new. I’ve made lemon curd in the past and have tasted orange and lime curds which are lovely, but never grapefruit. Eyeing some juicy grapefruit sitting on the kitchen counter, I decided grapefruit curd would be my next venture.
I don’t care for curds that are too sweet, which is often the issue with store-bought lemon curd. My grapefruit was already fairly sweet, so I would be able to keep the added sugar very low.
My first attempt at grapefruit curd ended with curdled egg ... I had the heat too high and let it start to boil. Be sure to only cook the curd until it coats that back of a wooden spoon and remove your pan from the heat if it begins to steam. Usually curd is strained through a sieve when it’s done but I forgot this step in my excitement to not curdle it again! I liked how it turned out so will continue to omit sieving moving forward.
This curd has a pleasing, delicate grapefruit flavor, not too sweet but still rich from the eggs and butter. It would be decadent stirred into whipped cream for a cake filling, swirled through a cheesecake or baked inside muffins (my plan for breakfast one morning this week). Sneaking a spoonful when you open the fridge is always a welcome thought, too. So far we’ve been slathering the curd on hearty slices of multi-grain toast and sipping hot tea - a classic!
Makes 1 cup
1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (about half of a large grapefruit)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine the juice, sugar and eggs in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the butter and start cooking over medium heat, whisking until the butter melts and watching to make sure the mixture does not get too hot. If it begins to steam, remove from the heat for a moment. Lower the heat to medium-low if necessary. When the butter has melted, add the zests and keep stirring (use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of pan) for a couple of minutes until it thickens a little and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil or it will curdle.
Remove saucepan from the heat and pour the curd into a pint sized jar. Let it cool completely then cover and refrigerate. The curd will thicken more as it chills. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.