I have always been a huge fan of fruit curds. My obsession began, predictably, with lemon, although I don't remember my first spoonful. It probably involved meringue, or whipped cream and sponge cake...either way, I was hooked. Later, while manning the pastry section of a Michelin-starred restaurant in Dublin, I discovered passion fruit curd. We served it with rice pudding and lavender biscuits. (I "sampled" a lot of my mise-en-place that season.)
The other day, I found myself with a few extra grapefruits tumbling around the bottom of my fruit basket. I needed to use them up - it is time now, finally, for luscious stone fruits and jewel-hued berries (hooray!) - so I decided to whip up a curd. The addition of vanilla in this recipe cuts the sharpness of the grapefruit, I think, and yields a finished product that is beautifully unusual and versatile. Conventional wisdom dictates the use of a bain-marie when making curds - I find this unnecessarily fiddly. If you take your time, a simple saucepan will do the job perfectly.
Grapefruit Vanilla Curd
(adapted slightly from this recipe found on Serious Eats)
⅔ cups sugar
2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, from about half a large grapefruit
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1 large lemon
approx. 8 large tbsp butter
1. In a food processor, combine the sugar, grapefruit zest, and vanilla seeds, and pulse until well combined and very fragrant.
2. Combine the grapefruit sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and juice in saucepan on medium heat.
3. Whisk until bubbles begin to form. (Be careful not to scramble the egg!)
4. Remove from heat and add butter, one to two tablespoons at a time, continuously whisking to incorporate butter.
5. When all butter has been added, pour curd through a sieve into a bowl and cover with cling film.
6. Refrigerate for a few hours - until curd has set.