Last winter we started a little love affair with lemon curd. It was something we thought was hard to make but turned out not to be, and it is a bright, sweet addition to so many things (scones, toast, yogurt, cookies...) We thought, "Why stop with lemon?" And so...
We were hoping this tangerine curd would turn out bright orange, and it did not. We're realizing that the color of curd comes largely from the egg yolks rather than the citrus juice. Also, because we weren't being as fastidious in our stirring as we should have been, a tiny bit of yolk got scrambled and we had to strain our curd before adding the butter, losing the flecks of zest that would have given it more color.
This tangerine version is sweeter than lemon (although we did cut down on the sugar) and depends heavily on how good your fruit is. If oranges or clementines are more flavorful right now, by all means use those instead.
Tangerine (or Clementine or Orange) Curd
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 3/4 cup
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon tangerine zest (about half of a tangerine)
1/4 cup tangerine juice (about one large tangerine)
5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
Whisk together the yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat. If you see any small bits of egg that have scrambled, strain the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. This is also helpful if you simply want a smoother curd with no zest. If not, proceed directly to the next step.
Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until incorporated. Add the tiniest pinch of salt, if you want. We liked the edge it gave our curd, but it's optional. Spread right away on toast or chill for a few hours, until more firm. Store in the refrigerator.
(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)