Tag Archives: Curds

Grapefruit curd

You guys, it’s spring!  Spring officially started on the first of September here in NZ, and you know what that means?  It’s baby animal season!  There are loads of lambs gambolling around in the fields.  There are fuzzy calves aplenty, too.  I don’t know if fuzzy calves are a NZ thing (I’ve no idea what breeds are farmed around here) or if I just haven’t paid much attention to the calves in other countries.  Either way, they’re adorable.  All of the baby animals in the fields are adorable.

Tawharanui lamb pile

So cute!  We came across those little specimens of fluff during a mini-hike through Tawharanui last week.  In other news (super smooth segue alert), we finally got through our mountain of grapefruit.  Huzzah!  Today’s grapefruit-themed recipe is for grapefruit curd.  Curd is a great way of using up any citrus surplus, and super easy to boot.  It just needs a bit of babysitting and continuous stirring until it’s done.  So drinking a shedload of tea beforehand isn’t recommended, because you can’t really abandon the hob mid-curd-production.  Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Grapefruit curd 1

Once it’s done, cooled and set, you can do a tonne of stuff with curd, including eating it straight from the jar with a spoon.  If you have any left after “quality control,” it’s an excellent addition to baked goods (think sandwich biscuits, macarons, etc.) or spread on crumpets or toast.  It also makes a wonderful filling for some blind-baked pastry cases, especially topped with a dollop of whipped cream and eaten for breakfast whilst watching Team NZ smash the US during one of the America’s Cup races (because they’re on at breakfast time for us – thank you time zones).

Grapefruit curd 2

Grapefruit curd

Makes enough to fill about two 350ml jars
Adapted from my lemon curd recipe

I used yellow grapefruit, but this would work equally well with pink grapefruit.  To sterilise the jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry in an oven pre-heated to just over 100°C.  The curd will keep for about a week in the fridge (possibly longer, but I’ve never had a batch remain uneaten for more than a couple of days). 

Ingredients

2 large or 3 medium grapefruit (yellow or pink)
1 small lemon
4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
110g butter
220g caster sugar

Directions

1.  Juice the grapefruit and lemon into a small bowl or jug.  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 grapefruit and lemon, followed by the eggs.  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 sterilised glass jars.  Allow to cool (it will thicken further) before sealing and storing in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Grapefruit curd breakfast tartlets

A winning breakfast, right there.

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Lemon curd

I have a friend who once decided to make a cake.  This might not sound particularly extraordinary, but let’s just say that baking wasn’t really his thing (although he was always a willing recipient of baked goods).  He convinced himself that the cake was baking too slowly, so decided to turn the temperature right up to make it bake faster.  And to switch the oven to grill mode.  Perhaps it might have worked… if he hadn’t forgotten about it.  As I said, baking wasn’t really his thing.  And yet, despite the cake-grilling incident (I believe he declared that he’d never attempt to bake again), once he tasted my lemon curd, he somewhat sheepishly asked me for my recipe.

I adore lemon curd (indeed I can be a bit snobbish about it), and it’s one of my little life pleasures.  Spread over toast, crumpets or little pancakes I can easily eat half a whole jar in one sitting, particularly when slathered on Digestive biscuits (seriously, try it).  The great thing about lemon curd is that not only is it a great way to use up lemons and egg yolks, it’s incredibly easy.  If you can stir, you can make lemon curd.  It is literally that straightforward.  Granted it is a little time-consuming since you have to stir continuously until the curd is done and thus are rather tied to the hob, but the zingy, not-too-sweet results are completely worth it.  So how did my aforementioned friend get on with the recipe?  Well apparently he “didn’t destroy the kitchen” (his words) which means it was a roaring success.  He even said he’d try it again.  How’s that for a recommendation?

Lemon curd

Makes enough to fill about two 350ml jars
Adapted from Waitrose

You can use curd in loads of different ways: on crumpets, on toast, on Digestive biscuits (my favourite), to make dessert canapés, on sponge cake, in cupcakes, etc.  To sterilise the jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse thoroughly and dry in an oven pre-heated to just about 100°C.  The curd will keep for about a week in the fridge (possibly longer, but I’ve never had a batch remain uneaten for more than a couple of days).

Ingredients

5 unwaxed lemons
4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
110g butter
220g caster sugar

Directions

1.  Zest and juice the lemons into a small bowl or measuring jug.  In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks 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 lemons, followed by the eggs.  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.

Enjoy!

PS – Since this recipe is made entirely from scratch, I’m submitting it to this week’s Made with Love Mondays blog event over at Javelin Warrior.

PPS – It feels a little strange not to mention the US elections since the results came through earlier and I’ve followed them for most of the day since unfortunately their outcome rather affects the rest of us, but it’s kind of difficult to tie them into a post about grilling cakes and lemon curd.

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From Venus to limes

Were you able to see the transit of Venus on Wednesday?  I was really quite excited about seeing it – I didn’t see the one in 2004 (I’m not sure that I was even aware of it), and the next one isn’t until 2117, so I’m working on the assumption that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll still be around in 105 years to see it.  New Zealand was one of the places where the whole transit would be visible, but sadly the weather here in Auckland was being rather uncooperative and it was cloudy or rainy for pretty much the whole afternoon.  We were restricted to watching live footage from Hawaii (one of the beauties of the internet) in between presentations at a lab group symposium during the morning.  Ya, we’re that cool.  Whilst being able to watch the transit live from 7000km away was pretty awesome, not being able to see it in real life was a little disappointing.  We had been thinking of taking a lab trip to the Auckland Stardome to go watch it (just in case you weren’t convinced of our coolness…) but that didn’t happen.

Not seeing the transit is obviously not the end of the world, but since it’s such a rare occurrence I was still a little gutted when I got home.  And also a little damp from the rain, which is not a rare occurrence.  I had a fail-safe antidote to being miserable though, in the form of lime curd.  I find that lime curd automatically makes everything better – it’s green, zingy and super tasty, so how could it not?  Citrus fruit always makes me think of summer sunshine, even though they’re usually in season through the winter, and as a result, I find that citrus-based things nearly always cheer me up.  Particularly when it’s something as easy to make as curd.  If you’ve ever had to buy a whole net of limes or lemons when you only need one, making curd is a great way to use up the surplus.  It’s also a great way to use up egg yolks.  What I also love about curd is that it can be made with any citrus fruit (I tried blood orange curd last year and it was fabulous) and in various combinations.  Lime and lemon work wonderfully together.  This curd comes out deliciously zingy, which is how I like it, and there’s no mistaking the lime flavour.  That said, it’s not sour (because that would be horrid), just full of flavour.  Curd is a brilliantly versatile ingredient as well – spread it on toast, crumpets, digestive biscuits; use it in muffins, cakes; the possibilities are endless!  Tomorrow is World Gin Day (are you excited?!), and I have something special lined up for this particular batch of lime curd – check back tomorrow to find out exactly what…  I’ll give you a clue though: it involves scones.  And gin (no kidding).

Lime curd

Makes enough to fill a small 300ml jar
Adapted from Waitrose

To sterilise the jar, wash in warm, soapy water and then dry at around 110°C in the oven.  Remove from the oven once dry and allow to cool fully before filling.  If you don’t have immediate plans for the leftover egg white, it freezes well.  If you find that the lime juice is a little pale, you can add a couple of drops of green food colouring to boost the colour (keep it minimal though).  You can use curd in plenty of different ways: on crumpets, on toast, to make dessert canapés, on a sponge cake, in cupcakes, etc.  The curd will keep for about a week in the fridge.

Ingredients

4 large unwaxed limes
55g butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
Green food colouring (optional)

Directions

1.  Zest and juice the limes 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 limes, followed by the eggs.  If you’re using food colouring, add a couple of 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.

Enjoy!

PS – How super smooth was my segue from the transit of Venus to limes?  Truly flawless.  Clearly not a case of remembering halfway through that “oh wait, this post is supposed to be about lime curd…” – that would never happen to me.  Never ever.

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It’s enough to curdle your blood (orange)

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!

As I 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.

Ingredients

1 unwaxed blood orange
½ unwaxed lemon
55g butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
Red food colouring (optional)

Directions

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.

Enjoy!

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