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This silky, creamy grapefruit curd is a little bit tangy, a little bit sweet, and flavored with both nuance and abundance. It makes a beautiful addition to breakfast or dessert and also a wonderful homemade gift.
Why we love this recipe
Many years ago I got my hands on Sherry Yard's The Secrets of Baking, which is cleverly organized around master recipes (such as basic lemon curd and chocolate ganache). Those recipes can be used in — or altered to make — a wide variety of derivative desserts. It was an accessibly science-y cookbook before such books became commonplace, and I was instantly smitten.
This grapefruit curd is my adaptation of one of the derivative recipes in the book. It's an elegant use for a bit of the season's best grapefruit and a Meyer lemon or two; and it makes a lovely hand-made gift. To tell the truth, I like it even better than the lemon curd.
I first published this recipe here and on Serious Eats back in 2011. I've since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- Be sure to use freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and Meyer lemon juice. If you can't find Meyer lemons, regular lemon juice is a fine substitution. Meyer lemons are a little bit sweeter and more floral, but both versions of this curd are nice.
- To make the curd lean more grapefruity, use grapefruit zest. To make it lean more lemony, use Meyer lemon zest or a combination of both.
- You can use salted or unsalted butter. I use salted Kerrygold for the excellent flavor.
How to make it
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make a luscious batch of grapefruit curd with Meyer lemon and vanilla. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- First you'll blitz the sugar, zest, and vanilla together in a food processor or mortar and pestle and then transfer it to a large, heat-proof bowl.
- Whisk in the whole eggs and yolks.
- Set the bowl over a pot with an inch of simmering water. Pour in the grapefruit and lemon juices and then cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 170°F and has the consistency of sour cream.
- Little by little, whisk in the cold butter. Strain and chill before using.
Expert tips and FAQs
It's totally okay to use regular lemons in this recipe. The flavor will be a little different, but it's still great.
For breakfast, serve with scones, spread on toast, or dolloped onto yogurt. For dessert, spoon into a shortbread crust, use as a filling between cake layers, use to top a pavlova, sandwich between shortbread cookies, or swirl into whipped cream.
You can. This recipe keeps well in the fridge for two weeks and also freezes well for up to six months, so feel free to make it in advance.
More favorite sweet spreads
- ⅔ cup (134 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest (grated on a rasp)
- Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla bean
- 3 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- Pour one inch of water into a medium pot that accommodates your heat-proof glass bowl without letting it touch the water's surface. Bring water to a simmer over medium heat.
- In a food processor or mortar and pestle, combine the sugar, grapefruit zest, and vanilla seeds, and pulse or mash until well combined and very fragrant.
- Combine the grapefruit sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in the heatproof bowl.
- Whisk together for one minute to distribute the sugar. Place the bowl over the pot with simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds.
- Add the grapefruit juice and lemon juice and cook, whisking frequently, until the curd reads 170° F and has the consistency of sour cream, about 15 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
- Whisk in the cold butter little by little, waiting until each addition is completely incorporated before adding more.
- Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.
- Chill completely before using.
- If you can't find Meyer lemons, it's totally okay to use regular lemons in this recipe. The flavor will be a little different, but it's still great.
- This recipe keeps well in an airtight container the fridge for two weeks and also freezes well for up to six months, so feel free to make it in advance.
Serving Size:1 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 52Total Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 4.5gFiber: 0gProtein: 1.7g