Doesn't what Ms Muffet ate sound disgusting: her curds and whey. Probably some kind of cottage cheese with liquid in it. I know the rhyme says the spider frightened her away, but Annalena always things that it was perhaps a smart young lady saying "Thank Goodness! A way to escape this crap."
Well, fortunately , we have another form of curd to play with. Dessert curds. Like lemon curd, or passion fruit curd.
And Annalena has absolutely no idea why they are so called; however, she will eat them with the best.
People do argue about the "correct way" to make lemon curd, and if you happen to be British , well, welcome to this blog, you will of course be the expert reviewer of this blog on the correct ways to make these things. Some years ago, chefs began to play around with different flavor curds. Annalena was particular fond of a passion fruit curd which American Spoon used to sell, but unfortunately, others were not so inclined, and the product is not available. Lime curd is also a favorite. Blood orange curd, as well, but there is something about the resulting color that is off putting.
In any case, last week, while watching her favorite Nadja G, she saw a recipe for grapefruit curd which was intriguing. So, she looked up the r ecipe, and is terribly glad she did.
You know, for all the criticisms, many of which are valid, of our internet, for cooks and chefs, the internet is invaluable, because not only do you get recipes, you get the comments of those who have tried them. Annalena finds these comments very helpful. For example, with this one, the comments were all along the lines of how the recipe that Ms. G. gave us, simply did not have enough flavor in it. And they were right. So, Annalena is going to teach you how to make this grapefruit curd, and also a general method for making citrus curd. Then, some ideas on what to do with it.
We start with our fruit. Pink grapefruits, of course. You will need to juice them, so that you have a generous cup of fresh grapefruit juice. Annalena had enormous ones in her pantry, and only needed two. You may need more. In any event, before you squeeze them, or juice them in some other fashion, take about a teaspoon or two of peel off, via grating. It is MUCH easier to get this rind when the fruit is whole than when it is squeezed. Combine them together, and then add four, large egg yolks (reserve the whites).
Annalena would add that the original recipe called for 1/4 cup of juice. With one FULL cup, the flavor was just there. So, she appreciates the commentators who said 1/4 cup was not enough.
Now add the juice of one or two lemons, and also add some grated peel . Remember the above for the grapefruit? It applies here as well.
Mix that all together and put it aside.
To your stove: in a medium sized pot, add 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups of white sugar (again, thank you commentators. Annalena did not see brown sugar working, which was called for), and 1/3 cup of corn starch. Make sure your water is COLD, because hot water and corn starch are not a happy mix. Stir this all together with a whisk, turn the heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly. It will not take long, and the mixture will bubble and thicken, and look very much akin to melted plastic.
Not looking appetizing here. Doesn't sound like it either, does it? Well, take it off of the heat, and pour about 1/4 of it into that juice and egg mixture. Stir that together, then pour the whole thing into your melted plastic look alike. Lower your heat even further, and cook, again, whisking, until the thing thickens nicely. Taste it. Add a bit of salt, or more salt, and taste it again. Do understand that the flavors will develop on sitting, because you will probably be having your doubts. Melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter into it.
At the end, you have a pale pink, soft mass, which looks like a soft pudding, and in a way, that is what it is. Let this cool, for at least three hours.
It will keep for several days, while you decide what to do with it. You could pour it into small bowls and eat it just like that. Or, you could use it in place of the rhubarb, in Annalena's rhubarb ripple cake, which is posted on this blog. OR.... pile it into a pie shell. Now, remember the egg whites? Mix them with a quarter teaspoon of white vinegar, three tablespoons of sugar, get out your mixer, or the friend with the strongest arm, and whip up some egg whites with soft peaks. Pile that on top of the curd, put the whole thing in the oven, and bake at 375 until you see the peaks begin to color.
Yes, indeed, you have just elevated lemon meringue pie to a new level. NOT that there's anything wrong with lemon meringue pie. You will probably have to use less lemon juice than you did here, but maybe not. Play with the flavorings. Use regular oranges, or make a fruit puree, and use that. Remember the mention of passion fruit? How about some pureed pineapple? Or berries.
Ragazzi, you do NOT respond to Annalena's requests to play with the recipes and let her know how they turn out. She wants reports from EACH of you. MAKE THIS RECIPE. Tell her what you did with it. And enjoy the dish.
Now, wasn't that better than a squid recipe? Well, as Mozart wrote in "Magic Flute": Sie kommt... sie kommt... sie kommt.