January is such a bleak depressing month, but for me there is one silver lining – the seasonal produce is fantastic. There is an abundance of lovely fruit and veg to cook with – kale, cabbages and beetroot are all at their best right now and not forgetting the wonderful Seville oranges! On which there will hopefully be a post about very soon – I’m going to attempt to make marmalade this week!
However, my favourite seasonal gem has to be blood oranges. Their beautiful ruby colour draws me in, but I also love the taste – they have a slightly sour edge that is not dissimilar to grapefruit. They are especially lovely in fruit salads. Or simply on their own with some Greek yoghurt and a drizzling of honey. Having thought of this, I must go and buy some more! Yum.
I’m a huge fan of lemon curd and I”ve always wanted to try an Orange version. So last night that is just what I did! While watching Sport Relief Bake Off
Their vibrant colour ends up somewhat lost once the curd is made – it doesn’t turn out as bright as you imagine, but still pretty to look at.
I have to admit I was pretty disappointed when I cut into my blood oranges. They weren’t as red and gem like as ones I’ve had in the past. But the beautiful, fresh fragrance hit me as soon I cut them open.
So without further ado, here is my recipe for blood orange curd. For winging the recipe I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, so if you try it do let me know what you think! I love to get feedback.
Spreading this gorgeous orange curd on fresh bread, crumpets or whatever you feel like will lift your spirits on a cold, grey January morning.
Makes two large or three small jars. To sterilize the jars, all I do is wash them (and the lids) in very hot soapy water. Give them a good scrub, rinse them, shake off the excess water and place them in a very low oven (110C) to dry. I do know a lot of people who just pop them in the dishwasher – I don’t own one but if you do then go for it!
Blood Orange Curd
Three blood oranges
200g caster sugar
6 egg yolks and two egg whites
150g unsalted butter, cubed
Zest the oranges and lemon and squeeze the juice from them. Make sure you get as much juice as possible. Finely chop the zest.
Place the orange/lemon zest and juice, sugar and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Melt over a low heat until all the butter has melted and everything is smooth. Very slowly add the beaten egg, a little at a time, stirring the whole time. Make sure the heat isn’t too high – you don’t want orange flavoured scrambled eggs! Once all the egg has been added, continue to stir over a low-medium heat until the curd thickens. How long it takes depends on the heat of your hob – mine took about 8 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture easily coats the back of a spoon without running down. At this stage, take the curd off the heat immediately and pour into your your sterilized jars. The curd will thicken a little more as it cools.