Moro oranges, more commonly known as blood oranges, are a tangy member of the citrus family with a ruby red flesh and juice. They are only available a short time of the year, but right now they are plentiful. Originally, blood oranges came from Sicily, but those available in my local grocery store were grown in California.
One of my favorite recipes using blood oranges is for curd. If you’ve never had curd, you owe it to yourself to make some today! If you have only ever had lemon curd, try making the orange or blood orange kind. You may remember the old way of making curd that involved lots of stirring and straining and decided it wasn’t for you. Luckily the good people over at Cookie + kate have come up with a much easier recipe that tastes just the same, no straining involved. What follows is their recipe, with some terminology changes. Since their photos are also MUCH better than mine, I have forgone photos. Check out their site for a luscious Meyer Lemon curd recipe too.
Basically curd is a citrus custard that uses juice instead of milk. Because citrus juice is an acid that will denature the protein in eggs (think about how an egg white coagulates and goes from runny and clear to white and gelled, that’s the denaturing effect), it’s important to constantly stir until the curd has “set up.” Most days this will only take a few minutes, but if you are making curd on a stormy or humid day, expect this process to take much longer, double or even triple the usual amount of time.
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup fresh blood orange juice (about 4 oranges)
- 1 Tbsp finely grated blood orange zest
In a medium bowl cream the butter and honey until fluffy.
Add the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Pour in the blood orange juice and transfer the whole mixture to a medium-sized saucepan.
Cook over medium to medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden or plastic spoon (not metal) until the mixture thickens. At one point it will appear that the whole mixture has curdled, keep stirring. It will work itself out. The mixture thickens quickly so be attentive! This takes anywhere from 5 minutes or so to the 20 minutes it took me on a rainy day.
Remove from heat and add the grated zest. Pour into a glass jar and keep refrigerated or freeze for future use. This recipe made approx. 2 half-pint jars.
Blood orange curd can be spread on scones or muffins, used as a layer cake filling or tart filling, or stuffed into French toast. Or eaten by the spoonful directly from the jar – just sayin!