Blood Orange Curd

I went completely overboard in the supermarket citrus section yesterday and came home with mandarins, lemons, limes, and blood oranges. I’ve wanted to bake with blood oranges for a while now, and since yesterday afternoon I’ve made blood orange curd, citrus cake, and blood orange muffins. I still have at least half the bag left, so blood orange poppy seed drizzle cake is coming next.

This curd is an absolutely delicious creation, featuring some lemon juice and zest to balance the sweetness that comes from the oranges. Curd-making really does require a good amount of intuition, and I suspect I pulled this off the heat just a moment too early; while it tastes fantastic, it was a bit thinner than I wanted it to be, so next time I’ll give it at least another minute.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons blood orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) blood orange juice (about 2 1/2 oranges)
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) lemon juice (about 2 1/2 small lemons)
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 6 eggs

Preparation

Place a medium bowl and sieve next to your stove. Place eggs in a medium bowl and beat, then set that bowl next to your stove for easy access.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, zests, juices, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble; the mixture will start to look cloudy, then foamy, just before you start to see bubbles form from the very bottom edge of your pan.

Remove from heat and slowly pour into eggs, whisking the eggs constantly as you pour. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook for at least 2 minutes more, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens; it may start to look curdled a bit, but just keep stirring to smooth it out (and of course be careful that you haven’t taken it so far as to scramble your eggs or split your mixture).

Pour through the sieve and use a spatula to force the mixture through to strain out the zest. Press waxed paper directly onto the surface of the curd and cool completely before using. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes about 3 cups.

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