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!

Grapefruit Curd
Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice (about half of a large grapefruit)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
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.

22 comments:

  1. Yes, Hannah, I've been in your shoes many times, even worse: I would go to a market without any idea what I am going to make. I usually say: the food will talk to me...Where is that market where you can buy several types of citrus fruits?! Not where I am now... I miss Seattle, can't wait to go back! Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Marina! I agree - the food does talk to you. :)

      I bought the citrus at the Ballard Market. Definitely pop in the next time you're in Seattle...lots to love there.

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  2. I love, love, LOVE winter citrus! We are eating blood oranges and Cara Cara oranges by the bagful, and we can't get enough. Grapefruit curd sounds lovely--I haven't warmed up to the bitterness of grapefruit, but I bet I would devour it in a curd!

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    1. I'm happy you're eating some good citrus, too, Brianne. The grapefruit flavor in the curd is quite gentle and a little sweet, so hopefully you'll enjoy it.

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    2. add salt not sugar and the whole flavor of the grapefruit will change, u'll love it

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    3. Thank you for sharing this tip on salt - I can imagine it would change the flavor of the curd in a unique way.

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  3. I like anything that keeps me from having to wash a sieve afterward! The grapefruit curd looks fantastic, as do the citrus fruits you bought. No wonder you couldn't resist!

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  4. Oh man, what a great idea! I love lemon curd, but it never occurred to me to make it with any other citrus! Just out of curiosity, where do you buy your fruit? It's gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Brooke! I bought this citrus at Ballard Market - I love their produce selection (and the rest of the store!).

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    2. Is that the same chain as Central Market Shoreline? I LOVE that store! I drive all the way from Kenmore to go there once a week!

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    3. Not sure if it's the same chain - I love Central Market, too. Ballard Market is a little smaller but worth checking out (plus Ballard has so many other fun places to pop in to - a delicious field trip).

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  5. I think this sounds great. No reason to give other citrus short shrift. Intrigued by the idea of mixing into whipped cream--curd is so heavy, I wonder if it would deflate the whipped cream, but perhaps not?

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    1. I've mixed softer curds into whipped cream with success - the cream lightens the curd and makes a delicious cake filling. If the curd is a firm one, though, I think you are right that it would deflate the cream.

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  6. What a great idea, I'll bet it tastes awesome. I randomly threw a grapefruit into the last batch of blood orange marmalade I made. I love the flavor.

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    1. Love your blood orange and grapefruit mix in marmalade! That sounds delicious. I'll have to try making marmalade soon.

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  7. I just came into a bounty of grapefruit and pumello last weekend, too. I've never made grapefruit curd, but I think it's a dandy idea. Thank you so much!

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    1. My pleasure, Cakewmn! I'll have to pick up some pumello - I've eyed them at the market but haven't tried them yet.

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  8. Yum!!! I love lemon curd but have never made grapefruit curd - I must try this! Gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you, Katherine! Citrus curds really are a treat - love all the ways we can enjoy them.

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  9. Oh I am so jealous of your citrus haul :) I never see blood orange or ruby grapefruit here in NZ, not sure why. And I am with you I like my curds tart so that you get the wonderful burst of citrus. I haven't tried grapefruit before but must do so next season as my neighbour always has an abundant grapefruit harvest :)

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    1. I'm envious you have a neighbor with grapefruit! Talk about fresh and local. I hope you enjoy the curd when citrus season arrives.

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