Just to reassure you, I don’t think I’ve produced anything blood-curdling in the kitchen recently (or anywhere else for that matter). I did, however, make blood orange curd. Get the title now? Oh ok, so it was a dreadful pun. I clearly take wittiness to a whole new level (a blood-curdling level of bad?). Anyway, now that we’ve all recovered from my comedic genius, I will move on swiftly (and with style) and tell you about the food that kindly provided me with such an awful (and unoriginal) play on words.
So this is actually a bit of a preliminary post for a recipe I’ll be blogging about next week. You’ll have to wait and see what it is, but here’s a (really helpful) clue: it involves blood orange curd. Bet you wouldn’t have ever guessed that… You’re going to have to to wait until then to find out exactly why I was faffing around with blood oranges, but the point is, I needed to make curd (I actually have no reason to be so mysterious about this. But it’s kinda fun, so just humour me a little…). I’d never actually made curd before and, for some reason, I was convinced that it would be difficult. Although a little time-consuming since it has to be stirred constantly so you can’t do anything else at the same time, it turned out to be ridiculously easy to make! Hurrah!
ranted about briefly mentioned in my last post, it rained the entire weekend, and then continued to rain on Monday and Tuesday, too. Four days of rain (whilst it rains often enough here, it’s unusual for it to rain continuously for so long). Yuk. Tuesday was particularly depressing, because not only had it already been raining for three days, but it was also the heavy, torrential-downpour sort of rain with added mist. This is how wonderful it was on my way back from a meeting down at the marine labs:
Luckily, blood oranges are a rather wonderful fruit to use in such disgusting weather. I unfortunately couldn’t get any Moro blood oranges (they’re the really spectacularly coloured ones) here in St Andrews, so I had to make do with a slightly half-arsed-looking variety, but they still had loads of flavour, just like a blood orange should. And they were still of a suitably cheerful colour, although the curd was looking more peachy than red, so I added a splash of red food colouring just to get the colour. I only had “poppy red” colouring though, so the curd ended up bright red, not blood red. But I’m totally ok with that: it’s far better than peach. I have about half a jar left, so I predict that curd and crumpets will be happening very soon in my life. Yummy.
Blood orange curd
Makes enough to fill a small 300ml jar
Adapted from Waitrose
You can use curd in loads of different ways: on crumpets, on toast, to make dessert canapés, on sponge cake, in cupcakes, etc. The curd will keep for about a week in the fridge. Adding food colour is totally optional, but I wanted it for the presentation.
1 unwaxed blood orange
½ unwaxed lemon
110g caster sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
Red food colouring (optional)
1. Zest and juice the blood orange and the ½ lemon into a small bowl. In another small bowl, beat the two eggs and the egg yolk together well.
2. Melt the cubed butter in a large heat-proof bowl over a simmering pan of water (make sure that the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the bowl).
3. Add the sugar and the zest and juice from the blood orange and lemon, followed by the eggs. If you’re using food colouring, add a few drops in, too. Stir the mixture carefully and constantly with a spatula, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. Once the mixture coats the back of the spatula (turn the spatula flat and run your finger through the mixture coating it – if you can draw a line through the mixture and it doesn’t re-fill, then it’s done), remove from the heat.
4. If using the curd straightaway, pour into a bowl, otherwise, pour into a sterilised glass jar. Allow to cool (it will thicken further) before sealing and storing in the fridge.