Lemon curd gets all of the spotlight. Yes, it's delicious- richly tart, sweet and buttery all at the same time- but it's not the only citrus fruit that makes a good curd. We've got great lime curd and passion fruit curd at the Deli, but you rarely see anything about grapefruit curd. Maybe it's because it's bitterness is tricky to balance, or it's not as approachable a fruit in some peoples eyes, but I can't get enough of them.
It took me a while to find a recipe for it, and the last time I tried to make it without direction, it didn't set properly. Thankfully, Regan Daley's 'in the sweet kitchen' provided (I love that book!). It's not for the faint of heart- 12 egg yolks! I went an extra step further and reduced the grapefruit juice by about 1/4 to deepen its flavor, which seemed to work out well. I also threw in a dried out vanilla bean. The resulting curd is spoonable but soft, brilliantly yellow, and a good balance between sweet and bitter. I ate it on malted pancakes this morning (or was it afternoon? aahhh, a good day off), but it would be just as nice on scones, angelfood cake, or a buttery croissant.
Grapefruit Curd with Vanilla Beans
(Regan Daily, with a few enhancements)
1 dried out vanilla bean, cut into 3 or 4 chunks
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest (any more and it'll be too bitter)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed juice (either straight or slightly reduced)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
-have a double boiler ready, with a medium bowl that fits in the pot but sits above the water level (questions? just email me).
-have a large bowl nearby with a fine mesh strainer resting on top.
-in the medium bowl that fits over the pot, whisk the egg yolks and the vanilla bean pieces until frothy.
-whisk in the sugar and the citrus juices, as well as the zest.
-set the bowl over the lightly boiling water and adjust the heat to barely simmering. Cook, stirring constantly, the curd until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. It takes about 10 minutes or so, depending on the temperature of the yolks that you started with.
-remove the bowl from the pot, dry off the bottom, and pour it through the strainer into the large bowl.
-stirring constantly, add the chunks of butter a few at a time until they melt completely.
-place a layer of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and allow it to cool for at least 2 hours before using.
-this curd is best the day that it is made, but it can be stored (well covered) in the fridge for up to 3 days.