1 Apr 2014
So the trees started flowering last week. That’s wonderful. The only problem is that there were still fruit on most of the trees. Unpicked fruit goes bad quickly if it’s still on the tree when it flowers, so my kids went out after school and picked every single orange off the trees that were flowering. There were way more than I thought- two 10-gallon buckets full! We immediately gave away a couple dozen, pulled out the four oranges with the most perfect skin, and then juiced the rest. All of those oranges only made a little over a gallon of juice. I haven’t done much with the oranges this year, we’ve mostly just been giving them away and eating them fresh.
Then I took the four best oranges and decided to try making orange curd. I’ve made lemon curd so many times I almost have the recipe memorized, I think I always open the book because I love the book itself so much. The 1979 A Feast of Scotland by Janet Warren was given to me by my husband I think before we were married. He’s second-generation American, and he recognized many of the foods in the cookbook from his childhood with his grandparents. The only recipe I use is from this book- no double boiler needed and works without fail. I’ve made minor changes to incorporate modern kitchen appliances, but otherwise left it alone. Success!
Easy Orange Curd
4 large eggs
4 organic thick-skinned oranges, scrubbed and dried
2 sticks salted butter
1 1/2 c blonde organic sugar
Take the oranges and peel the orange outer skin off in strips with a sharp vegetable peeler, leaving behind the white pith. Get every bit you can. Mince the peel with a sharp knife. Combine the peel and the sugar in a food processor and process until the sugar is like a paste. Now juice the peeled oranges and set aside the juice. Make sure there are no seeds or large pieces of pulp. Get out your heaviest-bottom saucepan.
Melt the butter in the saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar/peel paste and stir until the sugar melts into the butter and the mixture is barely simmering. Add the orange juice. Beat the eggs separately in a small bowl. Start beating the eggs and add a small ladle full of the hot orange mixture. Add three small ladles of the hot mixture, beating constantly, until the eggs are hot.This tempers the raw eggs so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs when you pour them into the hot orange mixture.
Now slowly pour the hot eggs into the orange mixture, stirring constantly. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon without dripping off. Mine took about 20 minutes. Ladle orange curd in hot clean jars, cool completely, and then store in the fridge. I don’t know how long until it goes bad, it never lasts that long. This recipe makes about 2 pints.
Other than eating it a spoon, what should I do with this orange curd?