Continuing my love for winter citrus today with a lovely blood orange curd that I have made a couple times in the past two weeks. I love to enjoy lemon curd, but often struggle with how to eat it without stuffing myself with scones until the jar is empty. In my attempts to “slim down” my intake of this blood orange version, I have been drizzling a bit over sliced banana with a sprinkling of granola. Let me tell you, it’s my new obsession.
This recipe is a modification of a Meyer lemon tart filling from the Chez Panisse Desserts cookbook, which my aunt graciously typed up for a friend and I after she made it for my baby shower several years ago. Please don’t let the name “Chez Panisse” deter you, I have been impressed with this recipe because it requires little prep; you dump things into a pot and stir. I have complicated it just a bit by reducing the blood orange juice first.
The complete recipe is at the bottom of the post, here are the steps.
Zest 1-2 blood oranges to get about 2 teaspoons worth.
Squeeze and strain 4-5 blood oranges to yield about 3/4 cup of juice
Put the juice into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce to 1/3 cup over medium heat. This took about 5-8 minutes for me.
While you let it cool slightly, squeeze a lemon (Meyer if you have them) to get 2 teaspoons of juice. Add the blood orange zest and lemon juice into the reduced blood orange juice.
You can then prep your remaining ingredients. Dissolve 1/4 tsp of cornstarch into 2 TB of milk. Measure out 6 TB of white sugar. Separate 3 eggs to get just the yolks, add to 2 full eggs. Cut up 6 TB of unsalted butter. A pinch of salt will be added into the pot once you add everything in.
Without turning on the heat yet, add your eggs and yolks to a small saucepan. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
Then add in the milk/cornstarch mixture, followed by the butter and the reduced juice/zest mix; add a pinch of kosher salt.
Looks scary right? At this point turn your heat on low, and start whisking. You could use a spoon by I like to use my small whisk for this to help break the butter up.
This is where a bit of patience doesn’t hurt, but if you don’t have it then a mesh strainer can save the day when you are all done. I hate standing at the stove following directions to “stir constantly”. I do my best, and try really hard to not crank the heat up. I also rely on my whisk to prevent any scrambling that may or may not happen. I give it a vigorous whisk, go do something else, come back and whisk again, and so on. You are looking to get a thicker consistency that will coat the back of a spoon. It will likely take about 8-10 minutes.
I think I inevitably get a few little scramble bits in mine; so be it. Once I reach the above thickness, I pour the curd into a bowl and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes on the counter. I then come back and whisk again. If you wind up with scrambles you can always push it through a strainer, it just means that you may lose the little zest bits that are in there.
I normally move the bowl to the fridge after 10 minutes or so to finish cooling, and then put it into a couple small jars. The yield on this recipe is about 1 1/2 cups.
As I mentioned, I have been enjoying mine over banana, sometimes with a tiny drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkling of granola. Oakland folks, please go to Arizmendi Bakery on Lakeshore Ave. and grab a bag of their granola, it is so delicious! They offer it with and without raisins. The curd also will also pair well with scones, biscuits, and drizzled on yogurt. I have not tried it as a tart filling but I am sure it would be wonderful.
Here is the complete recipe:
BLOOD ORANGE CURD
(adapted from the Meyer Lemon Tart Filling, Chez Panisse Desserts, and A Cozy Kitchen recipe)
3/4 Cup blood orange juice (approx. 4-5 blood oranges)
2 teaspoons of blood orange zest (from above)
2 teaspoons of lemon juice (preferably Meyer, should be able to get from 1 lemon)
3 egg yolks
6 TB white sugar
2 TB milk (I used whole, use what you have)
1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch
6 TB of unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
Pinch of salt
- Reduce the blood orange juice over medium heat to yield 1/3 cup, approx. 5-8 minutes
- Let cool slightly, add zest and lemon juice
- Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch in the milk
- Put the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk together
- Add the milk/cornstarch mixture, the butter, the blood orange mixture, and a pinch of salt
- Turn the heat on low, whisk and stir as frequently as you can, until mixture smooths and thickens
- Once mixture coats the back of a spoon (approx. 8-10 min), turn heat off and transfer to a bowl
- Let the curd sit for 5-10 minutes, and then whisk again
- If desired, you can then strain the curd to remove any small scrambles
- Cool completely in fridge, then transfer to small jars
- Curd should keep in the fridge for approx. 2 weeks
- Yield: 1 1/2 cups
All photos by Adrienne Schell