Blog :: Ramblings of a health nut

Beautiful Blood Orange Curd

Posted on 06 Mar 2016 by maisha (posted in: blogs)

Blood oranges, such a scary name for such a beautiful thing. Although, admittedly, it brings to mind a scene from the opening of Dexter where he slashes up a blood orange and juices it. How unfortunate for the beautiful blood orange to be associated with a television series about a serial killer.
Anyway, back to the blood orange, with its scarlet colored, juicy, sweet flesh.

I've noticed the degree to which the inside is pigmented varies, and after a little research, I learned there are three different varieties of blood oranges. Moro being the most colorful one. And it seems I must've gotten my hands on the Tarocco variety, which is considered a 'half-blood'. Well, half-blood or not, it still makes a beautiful curd, albeit more orange than pink in color.

Now, a few words on making curd. If you browse the internet you'll notice there a as many ways to making curd as there are recipes: infinite. And it may all be a little overwhelming the first time round, but here's what I've learned so far:


  • Eggs: You can use whole eggs, yolks only, or a combination of both. Using yolks only produces a heavier, more custard like result, while the addition of whites creates a lighter taste. Experiment and see what you prefer! Just keep in mind that to set the curd properly, for 1/2 cup of juice you need 6 egg yolks, or 3 whole eggs, or 2 whole eggs + 2 yolks, and so on (considering that yolks and whites are in about even, one-to-one, proportion in eggs).
  • Sugar: this is very much dependent on personal taste! Some recipes call for 3/4 cup of sugar, some for 1/2 cup. I use 1/3 cup and still think it's very sweet. I suggest starting with a small amount and adding more if you think it's too tart to your liking.
  • Butter: makes the curd rich and satiny smooth, and also thicker. You can omit it, add a small amount, or go bunkers with your butter ;-)
  • Salt: elevates all flavor to a higher level. It only takes a small pinch. Omit if you're already adding salted butter to your curd!
  • Zest: some add it while cooking the curd, and strain it out afterwards. Others prefer to add it at the end. And some omit it all together. For me, lemon zest just imparts more of that wonderful orange flavor and I prefer to stir it in at the very end.
  • Straining: I don't strain my curd, not to eliminate bits of cooked egg, nor to remove zest. I've never experienced any bits of cooked egg and I add the zest at the end. Lots of whisking and careful monitoring of the heat will save you the effort of having to strain your curd.


Blood Orange Curd Recipe (makes about 2 cups)

Nutritional info per 100 g (3.5 oz) of curd, based on my recipe below and using Sukrin instead of sugar:


Ingredients


  • 180 mL (3/4 cup) of blood orange juice (juice from 5 to 6 oranges)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I use Sukrin, a 100% natural granulated sugar substitute to make it sugar-free)
  • cubed butter, anywhere from 100 g (3.5 oz) up to 200 g (I used 130 g)
  • zest from one blood orange



Instructions


  1. In a blender, blend together the first three ingredients until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a saucepan and over heat on low/medium, stirring frequently to avoid lumps. The mixture will foam and steam, but it should not bubble! It will thicken until a point where it is custard-like and coats the back of a spoon. At that point remove it from the heat and let it cool down a bit, stirring occasionally as it cools.
  3. Then transfer the curd back to the blender and while running it on low, add the cubed butter until all of it is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Now stir (don't use the blender) in the orange zest and transfer to a large jar or smaller jars.

 

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