Blood orange curd

Blood oranges are in season here at the moment. I bought these beautiful specimens from my local fruit and vegetable shop. The store closed for good last weekend after operating as a family business for 38 years. It makes me very sad as the Italian owners were quirky and loud and it took less than 10 minutes to walk there via the back streets of my neighourhood.

They vary so much in colour and how 'bloody' they are.

Blood oranges vary so much in colour and how ‘bloody’ they are.

They stocked some more obscure items too like chestnut puree, dried cod (bacalhau) and chickpea flour as well as your usual fruit and vegetables. Business was too slow in the last 6 months and the owners said they “never ever want to own a fruit and vegetable store again”. Local murmurings are that the space will be renovated to reopen in two months as a cafe/deli.

Originally, I planned to make some blood orange tarts. Not possessing a sweet tooth, I’m wracking my brains on who would be lucky recipients anyway even if I do bake them. So blood orange curd it is! Not sure if most people know that making curd, whether it’s the more traditional lemon or blood orange takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish! Pour it into a cute jar, tie with a ribbon and there you have it, the perfect gift for someone who loves sweet, citrussy goods.

Blood orange curd...it looks even more blush pink in person

Blood orange curd…it looks even more blush pink in person

This recipe divides in half easily. If you like a sweeter curd, increase the sugar by 50 grams. The curd thickens on cooling so don’t worry if it seems a bit runny. I think it’d be nice to scrape in the seeds of half a vanilla bean too for a creamsicle spin. I’ve added some lemon juice and zest as I think that lifts the citrus taste so it’s still sharp and not cloyingly sweet.

Feeds: It makes about 4 cups of curd
Start cooking: 2 hours before serving (to allow time for cooling)

Blood orange curd
Loosely adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s lemon curd in The Cooks Companion

Ingredients:

  • 170ml x blood orange juice
  • 50ml x lemon juice
  • 8 egg yolks (free range if possible)
  • 280 grams x caster sugar
  • 150 grams x unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons x blood orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon x lemon zest

Method:

  1. Zest and then juice the blood oranges and lemon and combine in a jug.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until the mixture is paler and doesn’t feel gritty from the sugar crystals anymore.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into a heavy based saucepan and add the fruit juice, zest and butter.
  4. Whisk slowly but continuously over medium heat for 5 minutes until thickened. It should be just simmering. Don’t walk away or the mixture may catch on the bottom of the pan!
  5. Take off the heat and continue stirring for another minute.
  6. Pour the curd into sterilised glass jars and cool without the lid for 1 hour, unsealed.
  7. Once cool, tighten the lids on top to seal.

I like to keep mine in the fridge. The curd should last for at least 2 weeks but it’s so delicious, you’ll probably eat it within a week anyway! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So juicy!

So juicy!

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