Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ginger Grapefruit Curd

Heidi, author of the blog 101 Cookbooks, is a woman after my own heart. She describes herself as someone who loves natural foods, takes lots of pictures, does a good amount of globetrotting, and likes to make lists of her favorite things. She's a regular step ahead of me, documenting that something I hadn't quite thought of yet, providing me with a running list of things to try. She's been on a bit of a Morroccan kick lately -  posting poloroids from her trip and recipes for Mint Roasted Veggies, Baby Carrot Salad and Ginger Grapefruit Curd. It inspired me to try my hand at a citrus curd and make a whole meal inspired by Moroccan flavors: Vegetarian Harira, couscous dressed with tahini and lemon juice and basic biscuits as the canvas for our citrusy dessert. I suspect this curd'd be good on anything (say shortbread or toast or panna cotta!), but if you go for biscuits, use whatever dairy or sugar you have on hand. I put in 3/4 plain low-fat yogurt and 1/4 heavy cream. Before baking, I brushed the tops with cream and sprinkled on a bit of cinnamon to offset the freshness of the grapefruit and play up the bite of the ginger.  

It's surprising how easy this recipe is, how creamy and luxurious the results:

1 cup / 240 ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp / soft
1/2 cup granulated sugar or honey, optional
2 large egg yolks, preferably room temp
2 large eggs , preferably room temp
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
1 tablespoon fresh ginger juice (made by pressing grated ginger through a strainer)

Simmer the grapefruit juice in a small saucepan, reducing to 1/2 cup / 120 ml. Let it cool a bit.

Cream the butter in a medium stainless steel bowl (note: you'll use this bowl as a makeshift double-boiler later). Add the sugar and beat until fluffy and light. Add the yolks, and then the eggs one at a time, beating well to incorporate after each addition. Stir in the salt, and then gradually add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and ginger juice - working the juice in as you go.

Rinse out the small saucepan you used earlier, and fill 1/3 of the way full with water. Bring to a simmer, and place your stainless steel bowl of curd on top of it. Stir constantly, and heat the curd slowly enough that the sugar (if you used it) has time to dissolve. This step usually takes me about ten minutes. Pull the curd from the heat when it is just thick enough to coat your spoon, around 166 degrees, F. Your curd will thick substantially as it cools. It's wonderful warm or cool.

Basic biscuit topped with cinnamon and curd

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