breakfast, brunch, desserts

grapefruit curd.

grapefruit curd.

Really fast post, because while rambling endlessly about the wonders of angel cake last post, I suggested you could use your leftover yolks (a dozen!) in a curd. I was referring to this curd, because as luck would have it, it uses precisely twelve egg yolks; the same as you’ll have over from the angel cake recipe. It’s like they were made for each other.

Just look at them together.

grapefruit curd.

Truly, you could make any curd to go alongside an angel cake: its light fluffiness can take a yolky curd very well. Even better, finish it all off with some homemade whipped cream, and you have yourself a very easy, totally make-ahead summer dessert. This grapefruit version is exceptional, and a wee bit surprising: I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a grapefruit curd, but this was so much better than I imagined it would be. The grapefruit juice is tart enough to stand up to all the eggy-ness, but not so much that it’s overpowering. It toes the line very well, just like a lemon curd would do.

Your choice of grapefruit is key here: buy them in season, and remember that grapefruits range in color from very light orange-yellow to almost magenta. I used a very deep red grapefruit, and as you’ll see, it lightens up quite a bit. You’ll be using the zest as well, so look for grapefruits you like the outside of as well.

grapefruit curd.

I’m mulling over a way to use in something else right now. I’m having a moment here where I feel like I make something, and then I have an idea based on what I made, and then it funnels itself into something else, and so on. It’s like a food circle of life over here, and it’s nice to not struggle with ideas like I typically do in that dead zone between February and May. More on that soon, but so far it’s manifesting itself into tons of inspiration and (I hope) some pretty great recipes for you. For now, you get the grapefruit curd, with a promise to do something fun with it.

Adapted from one of my best cookbook finds this year, Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple by David Muniz and David Lesniak. I’m nicknaming them The WonderTwins and I super hope they don’t mind. I don’t think they’re twins, so you know.

Grapefruit Curd

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (I like the Ruby Red kind) + 2 tablespoons juice to add to zest
  • 12 large egg yolks (whites reserved for another purpose, like the angel food cake this pairs with)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 grapefruits, soaked in 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

 In a medium saucepan, simmer the grapefruit juice until it has reduced to approximately 1 cup, stirring occasionally. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large heatproof bowl or double boiler, add the reduced grapefruit juice, egg yolks, sugar, and grapefruit zest (and the juice it is housed in) and whisk together until combined. Heat the mixture over a pan of barely simmering water, being sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the butter cubes about 3 minutes into the heating process, whisking constantly until dissolved, and then continue to whisk constantly (less furious, more relaxed) until mixture has thickened to a custard consistency, about 15-20 minutes. Rely on visual cues and temperature more than time here, please: use time as a round estimate only, and trust what you see. What you’ll be looking for is a thick mixture that you know will thicken a bit more when refrigerated, and a thermometer which registers 170˚F. Do not let the mixture boil, or it will curdle.

When it’s ready, remove the curd from the heat and allow to cool down to room temperature. Strain it or don’t strain it (your choice: I almost never do, but use a fine mesh sieve if you want to) and transfer the curd to a jar with a lid. Cover tightly and refrigerate up to 1 week.

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19 Comments

  • Reply movita beaucoup May 25, 2013 at 5:04 am

    I. Love. Curd.

    Aaaaaaand now I’m trying to think of about a million more ways to use it…

    • Reply shannon May 26, 2013 at 6:07 am

      so many ways. SO many.

  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina May 25, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I like the spoon to my face method for enjoying curd. But this would totally work in a fantastic way too.

    • Reply shannon May 26, 2013 at 6:07 am

      the spoon-to-face method is perfectly acceptable. Encouraged, actually. 🙂

  • Reply Monica May 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve never had grapefruit curd and boy, I’d love to try it! Your cake looks gorgeous with that bright curd and the additional whipped cream in the center!

    • Reply shannon May 26, 2013 at 6:06 am

      thanks, monica! Grapefruit curd is really interesting, for sure; grapefruity but in a very different way, and interesting.

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats May 26, 2013 at 5:42 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE curds of any sort. It’s just that tart flavor I love. I can’t even imagine how delicious your angel food cake/whipped cream/curd combo was. I easily could have eaten half the cake at once. I totally know what you mean about the food circle of life. I always have a leftover ingredient so I try to figure out a recipe to use it…but in the process I have to buy a new ingredient. And then I have leftovers of the new ingredient and have to find a recipe for that…it’s like never-ending 🙂

    • Reply shannon May 26, 2013 at 6:05 am

      I loved that angel cake with the curd: such a sweet/tart thing was. What i failed to mention about the whipped cream part (because i’m still fine-tuning it) is that it was actually a champagne whipped cream…SOOO good but needs a little bit of work. 🙂

      agree! it’s like if i have strawberries, i can’t just eat the strawberries, nooooo….must…make…something…with them. 🙂 curse of a baker/cook, i suppose. Hope you and Nate are having a lovely holiday weekend!

  • Reply Sharyn Dimmick May 26, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I have not made grapefruit curd yet, but it is only a matter of time: I have made tangerine curd, lemon curd, raspberry curd, blackberry curd, blood orange curd. And I love homemade angel food cake.

    • Reply shannon May 29, 2013 at 5:39 am

      you are like a curd maniac, Sharyn! they’re great…i love experimenting with them too. especially when you have angel food cake lying around to help you taste-test. 🙂

  • Reply Wendy May 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

    I love lemon curd but have never made it. I am so out of it that I didn’t even know there were other kinds of curds until this year. Then I began seeing (and drooling over) all kinds of fruit curd recipes! I have pinned so many that I really need to start a curd board on pinterest from my more general desert board! But why should my first homemade curd be the delicious but mundane and usual lemon? Angel food cake with grapefruit curd sounds excellent for ushering in summer. Knowing my past learning curve with custard, I think I will have an extra dozen eggs on standby in case of a curdling disaster. 🙂

    • Reply shannon May 29, 2013 at 6:02 am

      curds are like the smooth, creamy counterpart to jams; you can do it with almost any fruit you want! I’ve seen fruit combos too (strawberry-lemon, mixed berry, etc), although i’ve never tried that. My favorite is and probably will always be lemon b/c it’s such a classic, but i tried a cranberry one this winter (that i need to work on before posting, texture only, not flavor) which was absurdly good. i’d be all over a curd board on pinterest! 🙂
      curdling happens. it happens to me sometimes with curds, but that’s almost always when i’m not paying as much attention as i should be. so as long as you keep a sharp eye on it, you should be good.

  • Reply Ashley May 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Simply said: yum, must have, now, gimme!!!
    As with so many other things, I’m a sucker for a good citrus curd. And I’ve never made grapefruit curd, so I’m eager to try it! And champagne whipped cream?? You crazy! In the best, most delicious and creative way possible, of course. I’d also like some of that too!

    I also appreciate your ability to use all of the food. Eric is baffled by my stubborn insistence to use ALL of the egg, particularly when that means saving (like freezing in an ice cube tray) egg whites for later use. I just can’t, in good conscience, let these precious gems escape uneaten (preferably baked into something first, ha!).

    • Reply shannon May 29, 2013 at 6:11 am

      i AM crazy, but in a good way, i promise. I had never made grapefruit curd either, and i was really surprised by how much the tartness of the grapefruit is mellowed into something very much like you would get with an orange curd. it’s still tart, but with a smoothness to it. really good.
      i hate to toss anything; it’s gotten worse since i’ve been a stay at home mom, b/c when you’re living where you “work” and you make your own schedule, you have the freedom to go to the market every day versus trying to squeeze it in. you don’t have to stock up on perishables, which means less goes bad. i don’t throw away egg yolks or whites, because i always know a recipe will call one or the other at some point. bravo for freezing your egg whites! that’s always a good strategy.

  • Reply Emma May 29, 2013 at 3:52 am

    I love the pale and soft nature that curds take on, although I do wish they could maintain some of their majestic deep fruity color. Only once was I able to keep a curd colorful (I think that was blood orange)! What a lucky day that was.

    Champagne whipped cream! Word.

    • Reply shannon May 29, 2013 at 6:20 am

      i still think about that blood orange curd and it’s florescent color. that was LOVELY.

      word. i need to make it again; this time i’ll pay attention so i can relay the recipe.

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog May 29, 2013 at 6:09 am

    That was fate. The stars aligned and deliciousness was made. I love the color of that curd. Next time I have 12 yolks lying around, this curd is happening.

  • Reply Sarah June 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

    What a perfect thing to make with leftover yolks from making an angel food cake! I usually make a cake recipe that I have that calls for 8 yolks. Then I have to figure out what to make with the other four. Grapefruit curd will be it next time! I have several grapefruit in the fridge right now – I might have to freeze the juice and zest now to make curd the next time I make an angel food cake. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply shannon June 4, 2013 at 6:39 am

      Curds are a great thing to make with leftover yolks, especially in the summer; I never like to throw things away if I don’t have to. some cookie and piecrust recipes call for yolks, which is nice when you have a few leftover stragglers. 🙂 You’re welcome!

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