Grapefruit-Vanilla Curd Recipe
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Many 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) that 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-vanilla 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 hostess or birthday gift. To tell the truth, I like it even better than the lemon curd.
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.
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest (grated on a rasp)
- Seeds scraped from 1/4 vanilla bean
- 3 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons 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 for about 30 seconds, or until the sugar is dissolved.
- 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 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
- Whisk in the pieces of cold butter one by one until they are completely incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Serve as a condiment with scones or toast for breakfast, or spooned into tart shells for dessert. Will keep, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to two weeks, or frozen for several months.