A sour orange curd does make for a sweet treat
I should have entitled this article “how a sour orange curd helped me through dark times.” But that would be too much of a dark title. And I hate being dark. I don’t like writing about the situation that prevails in Haiti. I think there’s enough bad press about us. I don’t need to perpetuate it here.
Only, this time, I cannot avoid it. I can’t share this sour orange curd recipe without referring to the past few weeks. See, they have been tough. I won’t go into much detail here, but things are tough. And this curd right there has become my solace through the storm.
I first prepared it on a whim. After days of house arrest, I was craving something sweet. I had mamzellelychee‘s beautiful quetsches pie on my mind. It was tempting me. I knew I couldn’t replicate her recipe since we don’t have those fruits in Haiti. But her gorgeous almond crust was calling my name. I had to give in. I had to bake a pie. I needed to. Under the current circumstances, I couldn’t deny myself a guilty pleasure.
Only, my pie topping options were limited.
We didn’t have much in that department in our pantry. And we had to avoid any wastage. I took a look around our kitchen. I spotted what was left of the homemade citrus jam I had prepared the week before. Right here and there, I had an aha moment. I would bake a citrus pie. Except, my mother did not want me to use all the jam. I needed to complement it.
I took another look around the room. I spotted the sour oranges. Here was an ingredient I could use without any concern since those fruits grow in our yard. I would make a sour orange curd. Having prepared some before for my beignets challenge, I knew it tasted good. It had to pair well with the jam. Or at least, I hoped so. I opted for an eggless custard for the sake of not using up the few eggs we had left. I couldn’t have made a better choice.
This eggless sour orange curd was a success.
In an attempt to tone down the sourness, I had added some sweet spices and vanilla to the mix. That resulted in a well-balanced creamy custard that had just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. Also, texture wise, it was even better than the version I had prepared earlier this year. Mixed with the citrus jam, it made for a tasty pie. When we ran out of pie, I used the remaining custard as a crackers topping. It was a match made in heaven. So, I prepared a second batch for the days to come. I’m ready to bet, it won’t be my last.
Truth be told I think I will be making this sour orange curd quite often, especially since we’re still not out of the woods in Haiti. I don’t know when we will be. But at least, I now have this sour orange curd. It certainly brightens the current gloomy days while bringing joy to my palate.
The sweetest sour orange curd recipe
This sour orange curd recipe is sweet yet tart. Enhanced with sweet spices it has the perfect balance of flavors.
- ¼ cup sour orange juice about 2 oranges
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup of sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 drops of yellow food coloring
- Allspice leaves
- Star Anise
- ¼ tsp vanilla
In a thick bottom pan, mix the sugar and cornstarch
Slowly incorporate the juice, water and food coloring to dissolve the sugar cornstarch mixture
Add the all-spice and star anise
Slowly bring to a boil under low heat while whisking constantly
When it thickens, mix in the vanilla
Remove from the stove
Whisk until there are no lumps and the curd is silky smooth
Allow to cool before transferring to a glass jar
Enjoy with crackers, beignets or use it as a pie topping.