Goodness, it's already the last week of January! The start to the new year has been wonderful with lots of new and exciting food and photography projects that I am really grateful and thankful for. I've also been experimenting in the kitchen with a lot of new techniques and flavor combinations, so stay tuned for some fun things in the future.
January is also a great, great time to get your hands on blood oranges! We've been buying a couple of pounds every weekend and besides guzzling their sweet bloody segments down, I've been cooking extensively with them.
Every year I make a small batch of lemon curd but this year, I decided to switch things around a little bit and prepare a blood orange version.....with a little honey bourbon. The end result is a perfectly tangy and sweet citrus curd with a hint of bourbon flavor make it a great little dip for fresh fruit or a spread for cookies or pound cakes. To be honest, I had some fixed feelings about the final color. Though I like the pink color of the curd, I would rather have it deep and dark red just like the orange but the combination of the eggs and the butter will lighten things up. So to get around this issue, I tried adding a little beet juice in the first batch I prepared but it didn't make much of a difference with the color. By the time I ate the first batch and started on the second and third batches, the pink color grew on me and now I absolutely love it as much as I love the flavor of this curd!
Here are some of my kitchen tips when preparing this orange curd,
- The bourbon is optional, if you don't like alcohol in your blood orange curd then skip it.
- If you feel like your blood orange curd is not thick enough, you whisk in a little cornstarch. Add 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in 1 teaspoon cold water and whisk and cook until the curd is thick but do not let it boil. The addition of cornstarch gives a better glaze if you wish to use the curd as a filling in pastries.
- The curd needs to chill for at least 4 hours but it will taste best after overnight refrigeration. The "eggish" taste disappears and the flavors in the blood orange curd will be sweet and tangy.
My blood orange curd recipe is adapted from this recipe from Food and Wine .
blood orange curd with honey bourbon
yields: approximately 1 1/3 cups
3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup blood orange juice, freshly squeezed and strained to remove pulp
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons honey bourbon
1. Place the eggs and the yolks in a thick bottomed saucepan. Whisk them to break the yolks and mix gently until combined. Pour in the sugar and whisk gently until combined.
2. Place the saucepan over a medium-low flame. Add the orange juice, the zests and the chopped butter. Whisk the ingredients of the saucepan constantly, scrape the sides down with a silicone spatula while the mixture is cooking for about 8-9 minutes. The mixture should be gently simmering and should never boil or the eggs will curdle. The mixture will resemble a very thick custard by the time it is done cooking. Immediately remove from stove and strain it through a sieve into a storage container.
3. Stir in the orange blossom water (if using) and the honey bourbon. Cover the surface of the curd with cling film (this will prevent any skin formation). Chill overnight before serving the curd.