Frank Sinatra once said that “orange is the happiest colour” while Ralph Waldo Emerson compared New York City to a sucked orange. Personally, I think I prefer the former quote, but I’m hoping to find out whether the latter is true later this year (fingers crossed). In the meantime, there’s no doubting that the zing in a burst of citrus brightens up both food and folks. With the South Australian winter on our doorstep (in theory, if not fully in practice) it’s hard to miss the fact that it’s citrus season.There are gorgeous big bags of fresh local oranges in every farmers’ market and supermarkets, and if you keep your eyes open you’ll find roadside vendors dotted strategically near main thoroughfares.
I came home from the Adelaide Hills Farmers’ Market last weekend lugging a big bag of my favourite, Navels. We are a little spoiled here in Australia, as we can grow oranges pretty much all year round. If you are lucky, you may still be able to pick up a bag of sweet, juicy Valencias. They are on their way out now, being available from November through to February, but are great for for juicing. I prefer the slightly tarter tang and fuller flavour of Navel Oranges which are available locally from June through to October. They have such gorgeous colour and are seedless, which is always handy.
I’m working my way through a five kilo bag of Navels over the next few days. We have guests coming for dinner tomorrow night and I anticipate getting through quite a few of the oranges in a very citrus-focused menu. If all works out as planned I’ll share some of the dishes with you. In the meantime I couldn’t wait to share this too, too easy and too, too divine orange curd recipe with you.
I adore lemon curd, but hadn’t tried making it with oranges before and, in fact, there’s no reason you can’t make it with any citrus at all. I have big plans to use this as an integral part of a wicked dessert tomorrow night (keep an eye on my Instagram feed at @lambsears for a sneak preview later tomorrow). That’s if I don’t eat all of it with a spoon first …
- ½ cup caster sugar
- zest of one orange (make sure there is none of the bitter pith on it)
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 fresh, room temperature eggs
- 2 fresh room temperature egg yolks
- 115 gms cold butter, cut into pieces
- Place sugar and orange zest in the food processor and pulse several times. This helps to colour the sugar and releases the orange oil, intensifying the flavour. Place sugar and zest in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan.
- Add juice, eggs, yolks and whisk all together.
- Add butter and place over medium-low heat, stirring continuously.
- Cook for approximately 8 minutes, stirring all the while, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain it (if you can be bothered) and place in sterilised jars. Refrigerate for up to two weeks (if it lasts that long).
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