Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Curd





Just when I thought I would never find a Meyer Lemon one of the stalls at the Farmers' Market had a basket of them.  They were quite green and I hesitated buying them, but I was assured that they would ripen up to a beautiful yellow. Once they were ripe I had a decision to make because I only had four lemons and about ten different recipes that I wanted to try. Since I still had a few Blood Oranges left I decided to juice both and make a curd.

The Meyer Lemon was first brought to the United States in 1908 by Frank Meyer, who worked for the Department of Agriculture.  It is native to China and is thought to be a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin orange or an orange. Meyer Lemons tend to be sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons.  The Blood Orange is a variety of a regular orange that has a deep, red-colored flesh, that gives it its name.  The deep red is due to the presence of a red pigment called anthocyanin, a rich antioxidant, that is common in many flowers but not very common in citrus fruits.  It is actually a mutation of a sweet orange, rather than a hybrid.  They can be somewhat tart, but also have a lovely raspberry-like flavor.

The last time I made a lemon curd I used Alton Browns' recipe from the Food Network.  It was quite good but I wanted to try something different this time around.  A quick search brought me to the Fine Cooking website and a recipe by Elinor Klivans.  I was intrigued by this recipe because it involved beating the butter and sugar, then adding the eggs and juice before putting it into a saucepan to cook.  According to Ms. Klivans this was a foolproof method for making a luscious, light lemon curd.  A common problem when making a curd, especially if you are using whole eggs as well as egg yolks, is the little bit of curdled egg that needs to be strained out of the finished product. If a recipe could eliminate this problem then I was definitely willing to give it a try. 





Everything came together quite well and at first I felt as if I was beginning a cake rather than a curd.  Be warned though that once you add the juice it will curdle - seriously curdle.  I had my doubts about this coming back together as a smooth, luscious topping, but I stayed true to the recipe.  I put the mixture in the saucepan on a low heat and kept stirring and stirring, and before I knew it the butter melted and I had the beginnings of a curd.  I increased the heat, making sure it did not boil, and continued stirring as the mixture thickened.  Before long I had a beautiful pale pink-orange curd.




After transferring it to a bowl I pressed some plastic wrap directly on the surface as this stops a skin from forming on the top and then I put it into the refrigerator to cool overnight.   Of course I made sure I did some quality control and it tasted wonderful.  I am looking forward to having it on my English Muffin in the morning, and I think I will use the rest of it to make some Mini Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Meringue Pies. Stay tuned for the recipe.

This has become my go-to recipe when it comes to making curd.  I love it because you do not have to temper anything, there are no little bits of egg that you have to strain out of the mixture, and you do not need to use a double boiler.  It couldn't be any easier.  Oh, and I also managed to find a Meyer Lemon tree that didn't cost and arm and a leg, so wish me and my black thumb luck in keeping it alive.  I have a lot more recipes that ask for Meyer Lemon so I need that tree to start producing, like yesterday.

Also, sorry for some less than stellar photos.  I included them because I wanted you to see the process, but I made the curd in the late afternoon, so the light was less than perfect.  Yes, there was lots of cursing under my breath as I tried every light in the house to get a good shot.  One day, I will have a proper lighting system, but until then it is what it is.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.   



Meyer Lemon and Blood Orange Curd

Ingredients
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup fresh Meyer Lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh Blood Orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon & orange zest
Preparation
  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for approximately 2 minutes. 
  2. Slowly add the eggs and yolks and beat for 1 minute. 
  3. Mix in the lemon and orange juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as the butter in the mixture melts during cooking.
  4. In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth.
  5. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil.
  6. Remove the curd from the heat and stir in the lemon and orange zest. 
  7. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator.
  8. The curd will thicken further as it cools. 
  9. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week and in the freezer for 2 months. 
 Recipe by Elinor Klivans - via her hairdresser.


25 comments:

  1. Very nice, I will keep it on file, I bet it will make a great filling for a cake!
    Thanks.

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  2. I love lemon curd, but you totally raised the bar with the blood orange!

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  3. Mmmm, this curd sounds mouth water. I can already taste the tart sweetness:)

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  4. How interesting, haven't seen them used like this. I'm a huge fan of Meyer lemons.

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  5. Wow do I love this! The blood orange especially - so pretty. Thanks so much for the lovely recipe and post!

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  6. I like this, and thanks for showing a picture of how it looks when curdled. That helps a bunch

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  7. Really quite wonderful and beautiful! Cheers!

    xx,
    Tammy

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  8. I love the citrus combo in this curd. I made Meyer only earlier in the year and it was great, but the flavor of this must be exquisite.

    Jason

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  9. Love the citrus combo! It's so fresh and perfect for spring. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Meyer Lemons and Blood Oranges?! I'm sold!

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  11. A curd made with both meyer lemon and blood orange? This is match made in heaven and a must try!

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  12. It's always fun to find Meyer lemons at the market. I have a go to recipe for curd that I like but I am definitely going to have to try this one--what a great process. ;-) Love the pairing of the lemon with the blood orange--such a pretty color.

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  13. I love lemon curd and I'm swooning over the pretty pink color the blood orange added to yours. I can picture it draping a layered lemon cake at a little girl's birthday party or painted on scones at a big girl's brunch party!

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  14. What a pretty color the curd turned out! I've never actually made curd, but actually needed some last week. With your high recommendations of this one I will keep it tucked away. We had a lovely meyer lemon tree at another house, it was the hardest thing to move away from! Good luck with your little guy!!

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  15. Mmmmm...this sounds wonderful!

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  16. This is a very interesting method for Lemon Curd. I will make sure to bookmark this recipe for the next time I need a curd. Very cool! I also love the pretty color of your finished curd. It is beautiful!

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  17. I love lemon curd, I can't imagine how good it was with the blood oranges. What a spectacular taste sensation, It must've been.
    Thanks for the inspiration
    Dennis

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  18. Definitely will file this one away. I love the combo of flavors you used for yours.

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  19. Your blood orange curd looks wonderful! What a great idea. :)

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  20. i love the citrus combo of your curd. Thanks for sharing this variation of a curd. I, too am in a light challenged house, so I know exactly how your feel:)

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  21. really really good, moist and yummy, my crew loved it.

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  22. This sounds delicious and looks beautiful! I've never made a curd, so your instructions that precede the recipe are quite helpful. I love a good, smooth, creamy curd and this looks like the recipe to try. BTW-I found you on FoodBuzz daily specials today.

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  23. I love lemon curd and this sounds amazing! Yumyumyum.

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  24. Congratulations! We wanted to inform you that this post has been selected as a Featured Archive Post on our site for the month of March 2014!

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