Grapefruit blood orange curd is a silky smooth dessert spread with the sweet blood orange and tangy grapefruit. This citrus curd adds a decadent twist to a fresh baked biscuit or scone, and is delightful in a citrus tart or pie. Follow my tips, for perfectly smooth and creamy result every single time.
Citrus is one of my most favorite ingredients. While some seasonal varieties are found only during winter, other varieties provide us with citrus all year long. One of the best things about citrus is that it’s extremely versatile – you can use the juice, the zest, or the whole fruit.
There are sweeter varieties like blood orange and mandarin orange, very tart varieties like a eureka lemon or bearss lime, and a whole spectrum in the middle. Grapefruit blood orange curd uses varieties from both ends of the spectrum, for a perfect sweet and tart balance.
The result is a smooth and creamy curd that can be used like you would a jam or preserve. Slather it on toast, a biscuit, or scone. Put it between layers of a cake or make it into a pie or tart. Any way you eat it, it’s delicious treat that is sure to satisfy.
Making Citrus Curd
Citrus curd has 5 main ingredients: citrus juice, citrus zest, egg yolks, butter, and sugar. The juice and zest provide the flavor, the sugar adds to both the texture and sweetness, the egg yolks cause the curd to thicken and set up, while the butter gives it the creamy mouthfeel.
There are two ways to make citrus curd, with direct heat or with indirect heat. Both ways call for combining the juice, zest, sugar and egg yolks, cooking it until it thickens, adding the cold butter, then straining. However, the final results of the curd will vary depending on which method you use to make it.
Making curd with direct heat calls for putting the ingredients directly into a saucepan over a low flame. This method increases the likelihood of the egg yolk cooking into a solid state. When you strain the curd, the solid bits of cooked egg are removed along with the zest. While this method will result in perfectly smooth creamy curd, it’s won’t set up quite thick enough to use between cake layers or in tarts.
For a thicker curd, make it with indirect heat using a double boiler. Boiling water is a gentler heat, that reduces the chances the egg yolks will cook until solid. Since the egg yolk is what makes the curd thicken, this method is the one you want if you are using this curd in a tart or between cake layers. To read more about using a double boiler, check out my meyer lemon curd recipe.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Citrus Curd
- Read all directions before you start.
- Use fresh fruit – not packaged fruit juice – and strain it for pulp and seeds before you measure it.
- Use real sugar and real butter. Baking is like a science experiment in your kitchen. You can’t expect exact results if you change the ingredients.
- Don’t try to rush it – cook it slowly over low heat.
- A silicone spatula makes it easier to scrape the edges of the pan while you are stirring.
- You’ll know it’s cooked once it coats the back of a spoon like in the image below.
- Give it at least 60 minutes in the fridge for it to chill through and thicken.
Curd Flavor Variations
Blood oranges are a seasonal variety. Depending on where you live, you’ll find blood oranges between December and May. Since they are harder to find, I always grab a few whenever I find them. If you can’t find blood oranges, you can substitute naval or mandarin oranges for a similar result. The color will be slightly different, but the flavor will still be great.
I used a ruby red grapefruit. It is still fairly bitter, but a slightly sweeter variety than a white grapefruit. If blood oranges and ruby grapefruits aren’t in season, try swapping for a mandarin orange and a white grapefruit. The results will be similar without having to adjust the sugar. If looking to make curd with all tart citrus you will need to increase the sugar. Use the ratios in my meyer lemon curd instead of the ones here.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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Grapefruit Blood Orange Curd Recipe
Whether you use it as an ice cream topping, cake filling, or eat it by the spoonful, grapefruit blood orange curd is sure to delight. With some of winter’s best flavors, it’s tangy, sweet, smooth, and creamy. It will be a hit no matter what your occasion.
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- 1/4 cup blood orange juice
- 1/4 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
- 3/8 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp grapefruit zest
- 1/2 tsp blood orange zest
- 4 TBSP butter - diced
- In a 1.5 quart saucepan combine the juice, sugar, egg yolks, and zest.
- Heat over a low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened - about 5 - 7 minutes. Curd should coat the back of a spoon when it is done.
- Remove from heat, add in diced butter, and stir until melted.
- Strain, using the back of a spoon to push the curd away from the zest.
- Place into a clean, dry jar and refrigerate at least 1 hour to thicken.
If using this curd as a cake or tart filling, cook it in a double boiler instead of directly in the sauce pan. Put at least 1 inch of water into the saucepan. Place ingredients into a small to medium sized glass or metal bowl. The bowl holding the ingredients should rest on the sides of the saucepan without sitting directly in the water. All other steps remain the same.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 108mg Sodium: 50mg Carbohydrates: 11g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 10g Protein: 2g