Curd is somewhat of a new concept to me. Growing up in a small town in Victoria, Australia, it wasn’t something we ate. Our toast was smeared with vegemite. A cliché? Yes. An accurate one? Yes, also. Being a slightly contrary child, I declared at a young age my preference for promite, to vegemite.
I was imitating my maternal grandfather, also contrary by nature, and of whom I was very fond. Like him, I mixed my tomato sauce, with Worcester sauce, making a fairly tart concoction, affectionately termed (and also labelled) Pa’s Sauce. We ate it with ham that my grandfather cut in thing slices from the bone.
But alas, I digress. The point is: my childhood toast was smeared with a dark brown, salty, yeasty paste. Not curd. It wasn’t until I landed in London in 2005, and discovered excellent British yoghurts, that I was introduced to lemon curd. Full fat Greek style yoghurt infused with lemon curd quickly became one of my favourite breakfasts. I was informed by my British friends that lemon curd was also excellent on toast, scones, waffles, crumpets and pancakes, as well as for flavouring tarts or cakes. It’s an institution.
For Christmas this year, Kristoph’s mother, keen to nurture my interest in foraging, preserving and cooking, gave me Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew’s book titled: Preserves. Inside there’s over 150 jam, pickles, relishes, chutney and curd recipes.
Drawn immediately to the grapefruit curd recipe, I was amazed at its apparent simplicity. Trecipe came at an opportune time, given I’ve been recently waxing lyrical to Kristoph about the beauty of cut grapefruit, and just how photogenic the fruit is. He hinted he thinks I’m slightly off kilter. Ho hum.
And so I made my first batch of grapefruit curd. It’s sweet, tangy, and as predicted delicious swirled into Greek yoghurt. If I were to make scones and invite you around to tea, I’d likely serve it. Admittedly it may not fit into my recent – completely healthy January - ethos, it is sugar based. But, in defence of curd, it’s almost a garnish, a little goes a long way. So January remains fairly healthy, with the occasional treat thrown in.
Here’s the Preserves recipe, the only change I made was to use pink grapefruit, as opposed to yellow ones. I hope you like it.
(Make 650 grams of curd)
Finely grated rind of 1 pink grapefruit
Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
200 grams caster sugar
4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
115 grams unsalted butter (cut in cubes)
Step 1: Heat the grapefruit juice, rind, butter, and sugar in a heatproof bowl, over simmering water. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted.
Step 2: Strain the lightly beaten eggs through a sieve. Whisk together, and heat until the mixture thickens. You will know it is done, when the mixture lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Step 3: Place the mixture in warmed sterilized jars. Cover and seal. Use the curb within three months.
Enjoy! Have you made any other curd flavors? I’m keen to make more. Also, please let me know if you make this and how it turns out.