Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Microwave Blood Orange Curd (for Pi Day Tarts)

Microwave Blood Orange Curd

Yep, you heard me: Microwave Blood Orange Curd. This obsession with blood oranges has led me to buy far more of those yummy little buggers than any sane person would consider. I’ve been using blood oranges every which way and the splatter on my backsplash while juicing them looked like something right out of CSI. Worth double every minute spent wiping up the evidence.  

The color of blood orange curd is beautiful and unexpected; it’s an astonishing shade of terracotta pink and tastes sublime. It’s much different than the usual lemon and lime curd, sweeter with a floral undertone. Making citrus curd in a microwave eliminates the standing over a pan stirring as it comes together MUCH faster. It also uses whole eggs, not yolks, which also speed things up and doesn’t leave you with unused egg whites in the fridge. The technique and proportions for this microwave curd have been adapted from a recipe for microwave lemon curd here on Sarah Khanna’s blog called ButteredUp.

I’m using the little one-bite phyllo cups from the grocery freezer chest today, as I need to make these little tarts easy to eat on the run for my co-workers. This makes a wonderfully delicious filling, too, for your favorite buttery tart crust. Or just slather it over English muffins or pound cake. This is gorgeous, sweet, citrusy addicting stuff. Enjoy!

Later that same day...The Pi(e) day tarts look lovely. I scooped a bit of the curd into tiny phyllo cups, and glazed the tops. Just mix 1/2 cup of Stonewall Kitchen's Blood Orange Marmalade that you can buy here, with 1/2 cup of blood orange juice in a small saucepan and cook down for about 5 minutes until it's syrupy. Dribble a bit on top of each tart and garnish with some blood orange zest.

Blood Orange Curd Tarts with Blood Orange Glaze

Microwave Blood Orange Curd
Adapted from Sarah Khana

Notes: if you forget to take the eggs from the fridge early enough for them to warm up, place them in a bowl and cover with hot tap water. In 5 minutes they’ll be good to go. Also, zest the oranges before squeezing out the juice.

3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of strained blood orange juice ( from about 5 - 6 small Moro oranges)
3T blood orange zest
½ cup of unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly

Zest 4 of the oranges and set aside the zest.  Then squeeze the juice from them, straining it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp and tiny seeds.  Whisk together the eggs and sugar until well blended in a big microwave safe bowl. Add the blood orange juice, the melted butter and the zest and whisk again until thoroughly mixed.

Place the bowl in the microwave, and cook for 1 minute at full power. Remove and whisk well. Repeat this step until the curd is thick enough to coat a spoon. In my elderly, 1100 watt microwave, it took 7 minutes. It may take you a little more or less time, depending on your microwave.  Remove as soon as it’s thick and chill in an airtight container. 
Makes a scant 2-1/2 cups, enough to fill a 9” tart shell, and innumerable tiny phyllo cups. Will keep 10 days in the fridge, assuming you haven’t been eating spoonfuls of it at 3 AM when no one is watching.

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