One of the few good things about winter – the abundance of blood oranges, and the first thing I made was this Blood Orange Curd. Curd is a fancy way of saying fruit spread, much like jam or marmalade. Some are made with eggs, like this one, or some are made without eggs, like strawberry or peach curd. You can spread it on toast or scones for breakfast or you can use it to make dessert. You always see lemon curd, so I decided to make Blood Orange Curd as another way to brighten your morning.
Blood oranges bring me back to my time in the Bahamas. It was my last semester in college, and the geology department was taking a research trip to San Salvador. I asked the professor if I could go with them, and she said as long as I took her oceanography class, it didn’t matter what major I was. For the price and her guidance, I knew this trip was something I couldn’t pass up.
During this trip, I had my first blood orange, fresh from the tree. We were venturing into the “jungle” for the day and just finished crawling out of a small cave. One of the guys found these oranges growing on the tree and tossed one to each of us. I’m not a fan of oranges, but this was different. It was a little more bitter than a navel orange and reminded me a bit of a grapefruit.
That trip was in March 2009. Fast forward to winter, I found blood oranges at Whole Foods. I’ve never been so excited over produce before. Then they disappeared. After some research, I discovered blood oranges are a winter fruit. Then I started seeing them at other grocery stores, which is a relief because Whole Foods is 3 hours away from me (about 30 minutes from my parents).
Blood oranges are named for the deep red hue you see after cutting (and the “bloody” scene you leave behind when juicing them). However, as you can see by the curd, the color is lost when cooking. I served it with homemade scones, which I’ll be posting some time between now and St. Patrick’s Day.
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange zest
- Pinch of salt
- 3 egg yolks
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar, juice, zest, salt, and yolks until everything is smooth. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it starts to boil and thicken. Cook for another minute or two then remove from the heat. Strain then pour into a heatproof container. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Adapted from Luscious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham
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