Winter has settled in at Iron Oak Farm. Temperatures have been in the single digits for almost two weeks now and we have about 3 inches of snow.
The chickens are protesting the cold temperatures and lack of sunshine with their usual, seasonal egg-strike. The eggs are far and few between. When I do find an egg, it’s almost always from a Rhode Island Red. They’re reliable little layers and between the three of them we get an egg about every other day.
While eggs are out of season, citrus is in its prime. It’s as if nature knows that we all need a little pick-me-up this time of year and the south sends the north little balls of sunshine in the form of oranges, tangerines and grapefruits. Nature also must know that it’s cold season, and a bit of extra Vitamin C helps to stave off the colds and flu so prevalent this time of year. The earth will provide.
I can’t think of a better way to use our precious eggs this time of year than with this delicious recipe. It’s very reminiscent of a creamcicle, but the blood orange gives it a slight berry, almost pomegranate flavor. It’s wonderful on scones, biscuits or in a cooked tart shell topped with whipped cream. If you can get your hands on some Devonshire cream, or clotted cream…oh man!
You will need:
the juice of 5 medium blood oranges
the rind of those 5 oranges
the juice of 1 lemon
the rind of said lemon
1 vanilla bean sliced in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks whisked
1 cup sugar
1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes
In a medium pot, add the juice of the citrus,
the rinds and…
the vanilla bean.
Simmer on medium until reduced by a third. This will concentrate the flavors, take a bit of nip off the lemon, and really bring out the vanilla. Strain this liquid through a strainer.
Temper the eggs by adding a bit of the hot citrus juice to the eggs a little at a time and whisking thoroughly after each addition. Continue until the eggs and citrus juice are incorporated.
Return to the pot. Add the sugar and whisk continuously on low until the mixture boils rapidly and thickens (Or till it reaches about 215 on a candy thermometer) Whisk, whisk, whisk!
Strain the mixture once again to remove the chance of any cooked egg particles, and add the butter one cube at a time, whisking until it melts and disappears. The butter makes the curd silky and creamy.
Store in a mason jar in the fridge. Enjoy!