Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sanguine Serendipity - Blood Orange Curd

I have been fighting a cold for the last week, and I finally lost the battle last night. Course that doesn't stop the fact that I need to keep my refrigerator and cupboards stocked with food. Grocery shopping doesn't do itself (if only). I was out of milk, out of flour, out of eggs... I love eggs when I am sick.

The point is, that I had to venture to the grocery store in all my sweat-panted, unkept haired, cold sweating, runny nosed, looking like "death warmed over" glory... (I looked like a Ny-Quil commercial) I think I frightened a couple of small children. But I returned with an unexpected prize... Two actually, but that is another post. I found Blood Oranges, which I thought were out of season already, but evidently I was wrong. I absolutely love Blood oranges, almost as much as I love Meyer Lemons. That elusive hint of raspberry makes my toes curl. (ahem)

Anyway... After I returned home with my bounty, I crashed for about 4 hours to recuperate. While in my disease induced slumber, I started to dream. I am sure that it was spurred by the succulent success of my buttery Meyer Lemon Curd. But yes, I dreamed of Blood Orange curd, not just ANY Blood Orange curd though. Something from the unfathomable depths of my subconscious mind was screaming that it would be to sweet and I would have to approach it differently. The solution came with such a flash of insight that it actually woke me up... I needed a reduction and I needed Caramel.

Oh, my dream also reminded me why I incorporate the butter into the curd mixture at the beginning. I have been the victim of butter separating out of the curd once placed in the refrigerator a couple of times. By adding the butter at the beginning of the whole process, it has less tendency to separate in the refrigerator.

So without further psycho babble into my subconscious, superconscious or id's oddities, (trust me, we REALLY don't want to delve into that dark pit) I present....

Caramel Blood Orange Curd

3/4 cup Granulated Sugar; divided
Zest from 2 Blood Oranges (it's out of order of usage, but you gotta do it before squeezing)
1 cup Blood Orange Juice
1/4 cup Meyer Lemon Juice (you can use Eureka Lemons 3TB)
1/2 cup Butter
2 Eggs; separated
4 Egg Yolks

Make a dry caramel by placing 1/2 cup sugar in a skillet over low heat.

When it melts into a golden amber color, pour it onto a piece of aluminum foil to cool.

Place Blood Orange juice and Lemon juice in a small sauce pan over low heat.

Simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup.

By now your caramel should be cooled, break it up and add it to the warm juice so it will remelt.

Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly (you don't want to scramble to yolks when you add them)

Separate the 2 eggs and add the whites to the Blood Orange juice/Caramel mixture, along with the Blood Orange Zest and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, whisking to combine.

Add the yolks to the butter, along with the other 4 yolks, whisking to combine as well.

Add the two mixtures together in a stainless bowl, and set over simmering water.

Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, to 172 degrees, or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Strain immediately into a clean bowl.

This stops the cooking and removes the spent zest and any wayward over cooked chunks of egg.

Cover on the surface with plastic wrap to prevent crusting and let come to room temperature before refrigerating or it may separate anyway.

My only issue with the curd, is that it didn't keep its beautiful red color. Anthocyanin (the red color in a blood orange) doesn't respond well to cooking. Then add the yellow pigmentation of the yolks and the curd changes from a sultry red to a rusty caramel brown. Which is fine, I just wish it was redder.

The flavor is very new... The caramel undertones are reminiscent of a really good bitter orange marmalade, but mixed with the sweet orange, and a faint raspberry flavor. Very interesting.
Personally, I like it. Can you believe I forgot to pick up scones when I was at the grocery store...???
But if you are feeling a little iffy about the caramel part, that's OK, simply use 1/2 cup granulated sugar instead. Trust me, you can't go wrong, it IS Blood Orange after all...

Lemon Curd on Foodista


Danielle said...

poor shane doing a ny-quil commercial! LOL I have some english muffins I'll share if let me try some curd! (thats the closest thing I have to scones at the moment)

Bob said...

Oh wow, that sounds amazing. I've actually never had a blood orange. I need to try them.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Sure Danielle, I have plenty... I am always willing to share... :)

Bob - They are awesome!

Dajana said...

Love the caramel part, and blood oranges are my favourite.
I've had a recipe for yogurt scones, ever since my stay in England (way back in '94), I just never find time, or perhaps a good enough excuse, for making them. Your curds sound just like the excuse I've been looking for!

Spryte said...


I just saw blood oranges at the store yesterday and was thinking about this.

I hope you picked up some scones!