This dairy free blood orange curd is sweetened with honey and tastes amazing on its own, on ice cream, with chocolate cake, or on top of pancakes.
At the risk of having someone say that there are too many curd recipes on my site, I’m bringing you a dairy-free, honey-sweetened blood orange curd today. The very first recipe I ever posted here on A Calculated Whisk was for a classic lemon curd, and I also have ones for strawberry curd and dairy-free lemon curd. Oh, and there’s a paleo lemon curd in my cookbook, Paleo Planet.
Why more curd? The short answer: because blood oranges (see Exhibit A below–how can anyone resist?). The longer answer is that I wanted to see how simple and wholesome a citrus curd could get by using a base of just freshly-squeezed juices, eggs, and honey. There are two more ingredients–a tiny splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt–to help the orange flavor pop a little more, but that’s all you need to make this blood orange curd. It’s simple and it’s real food, but it tastes like the melted creamsicle sauce of your dreams.
If you can’t find blood oranges, you can use regular ones. The color will of course be different, but the curd will still be scrumptious. If you find Cara Cara oranges, those would be a nice compromise–I recently ate one that was darker in color than some of the blood oranges I used to make this curd.
In case you’re not entirely sure what a citrus curd is, I’ll tell you: it’s like a cross between a jam and a custard but it’s better than both, and it’s traditionally served with scones and clotted cream for high tea in England. Lemon curd is the standard, but curd can be made with any kind of citrus, or with citrus and a variety of other fruits. The basic formula is lemon juice, egg, sugar, and butter, but here I’ve omitted the butter and used raw, local honey instead of sugar without making any sacrifices in flavor or texture. This curd does come out a little thinner than other curds I’ve made because of those changes, but that actually makes it perfect for how I prefer to use it: as a sauce to elevate all manner of grain-free desserts and breakfasts from good to just ridiculous.
If you’ve never made a curd, don’t worry: it’s really easy. There’s a bit of standing over a pot and whisking involved, but that process, like making roll-out cookies, can be calming and almost meditative. And just when you’re starting to worry that you’ve done something wrong and it will never turn into curd, the magic occurs and it thickens right up.
As for what you should do with this curd after you make it, here are five ideas. Any one of them is guaranteed to make Valentine’s Day (or any other day) extra special.
- Pour some blood orange curd onto a plate and top with a grain-free molten chocolate cake. This is my favorite way to serve this curd, and now I’m not sure I want to eat chocolate cake without it ever again. (My molten chocolate cakes call for butter or ghee, but here’s a dairy-free molten chocolate cake recipe from Downshiftology that looks amazing.)
- Spoon some blood orange curd onto vanilla ice cream–store-bought is great, but this dairy-free vanilla ice cream from Grass Fed Kitchen looks even better.
- Drizzle the curd on top of grain-free Dutch babies or your favorite pancakes.
- Dip fresh strawberries into a bowl of this blood orange curd.
- Add a tablespoon or two to this paleo breakfast bowl from Bravo for Paleo instead of the almond butter.
Of course, the above ideas will only work if you don’t just devour all the blood orange curd straight up after discovering how awesome it tastes. You’ve been warned!
- 2 whole large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks*
- 1 teaspoon blood orange zest
- 1 cup blood orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup honey
- Pinch of sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Put the citrus zest, juices, honey, and salt in a nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat and warm, whisking occasionally, until steam begins to rise from the edges of the pan. When that happens, pour about ¼ cup of the citrus and honey mixture into the bowl with the eggs, whisking from the second you start pouring until well mixed. This helps to temper the eggs and the hot liquid so that the eggs won't scramble.
- Next, pour the tempered mixture into the pot, whisking as you pour once again. Continue to whisk almost constantly, turning the heat down a bit if you see any white bits of egg in the pot, until the curd thickens (10-15 minutes).
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk for one more minute, then carefully pour the curd through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or jar. Stir in the vanilla, if using. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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