The brilliant red juice of blood oranges takes on a gloriously pink hue when crafted into a thick, sweet curd for this delightfully simple yet elegant Valentine's dessert. Best of all, it comes together quickly, leaving all the more time to spend with those you love.
In season for only a few months, blood oranges boast a thin skin, deep red flesh and a sweet/tart flavor that is almost berry-like. We combined the zest and juice of the blood orange with a touch of fragrant Meyer lemon to create a intensely flavored, whimsical dessert. To create the perfectly pink layers, half of the blood orange curd is lightened with freshly whipped cream, while candied pistachios provide a delectable contrast in texture and flavor.
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 blood oranges, juiced and zested
2 Meyer lemons, juiced and zested
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter; cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
To make the candied pistachios, combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in pistachios and cook until the liquid is almost gone and the pistachios are coated with a fine candy coating. Remove from heat and spread pistachios to cool on a greased pan.
To make the curd, whisk together juices, zests, eggs, yolk and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and stir mixture with a wooden until thickened and you can draw a line across the back of your spoon (about 15 minutes). Remove the bowl from heat and stir in the butter until combined. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Chill completely.*
Once the curd is chilled, whisk the whipped cream until soft peaks form. Fold together half of the blood orange curd with the whipped cream.
Ladle curd into cups, top with cream and sprinkle with pistachios.
*A quick way to chill down the curd fast -- and spend less time in the kitchen -- is to line a sheetpan with plastic wrap, allowing a bit to overhang. Pour the curd directly on the prepared pan and spread it into a thin layer. Cover with excess plastic wrap and stick in the freezer for 10 - 15 minutes (check frequently so it doesn't freeze).
(Images: Rebekah Peppler)