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Friday, February 25, 2011

Chew on This | Orange Curd

Mimi spent a good portion of her younger life living in Florida.  While living there she worked at Cape Canaveral around the astronauts, she had hurricane parties on the beach with friends (umm, hello?) and she and a boyfriend would drive 2 hours, round trip, just to eat frog legs and shrimp at a favorite joint.  And, she lived through the scary and stressful Cuban Missile Crisis. The lady has some seriously interesting stories to tell.

Mimi hasn't been to Florida in ages.  But we do have some lovely cousins down there living on the other coast.  Hello lovely cousins!!!  Hello!!  Maybe Mimi can swing down there sometime to visit and bring home some sweet and delicious oranges.

Yes, I know I can get sweet and delicious Florida oranges at my local grocer.  But I would love to get my oranges from a local grower, down the road.  Ya know?

Well, I do have those gorgeous beauties pictured above.  Let's make something Florida-y. Orange Curd! It's a culinary marvel!  And really, that's not too much of an over statement. It's really, really good. 

To start, finely zest two oranges.  This is the best place to start because the sweet, orange smell fills the room instantly.  Set aside your zest for later use.

Butter and sugar into your mixing bowl.

Beat together until light and fluffy.

Add your eggs and egg yolks one at a time.  Mixing for just a few seconds after each addition.

Now add your orange juice and stir together until just combined.  You'll notice that the mixture will look like it's curdled.  No worries - it's just the unmelted butter.  The butter will melt and the mixture will become smooth in our next step....

Into a sauce pan your mixture, with the strange consistency, goes.  Stir constantly over low heat until everything becomes smooth.  Then, turn the heat up to medium and stir, stir, stir.

It'll take about 11-13 minutes of stirring for your liquid to thicken.  You'll be ready to remove the curd from the heat when you can make a defined line down your stirring utensil. 

Take the curd off the heat and stir in your orange zest.

Transfer the curd to a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the top of the curd to cover.  This will keep a skin from forming on the curd.  Into the refrigerator to cool completely.  The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.

So, what do you do with this amazing curd? Well, use as a dip for fresh fruit (raspberries are the best!), spread onto scones or toast.  Or spoon onto a delicious piece of pound cake! 

Here's the recipe:

Orange Curd

6 T butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 egg yolks
2 eggs
3/4 C orange juice
2 t orange zest, finely grated

In a mixing bowl, combine softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add your eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Stir in your orange juice.

Pour this egg mixture into a sauce pan. Stir over low heat. The mixture will look curdled to begin with, but that is just the unmelted butter.  Once you start stirring over low heat the butter will melt and the mixture will become smooth.  When the mixture is smooth, increase your heat to medium, stirring constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens. This takes approximately 11-13 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil!

When the mixture becomes thick remove pan from the heat and stir in your orange zest.  Pour mixture into a bowl and place plastic wrap on top.  Make sure to actually press the plastic wrap onto the curd, this will keep a skin from forming on the top while it cools.  Place into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.  The curd will continue to thicken as it cools.  When ready, spoon your delicious oranges curd onto scones, toast, pound cake, angel food cake or use as a dip for fresh fruit. Enjoy!

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