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
- 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.