I fell upon a basket of gorgeous oranges at the grocery store the other day. Bright orange skin with stems and lush green leaves still attached. I bought a few of them and arranged them on a bowl in my kitchen counter, delicately placing them so that the leaves would stay intact.
There is something just so lovely about fruit that still feels that close to the way it came into this world. I remember during our trip to California a little over a year ago, when I used to slip out back in the mornings to the garden filled with herbs, plants, and fruit-bearing trees. Or how exciting it was on our honeymoon to discover the mango and grapefruit trees growing behind our bed & breakfast.
It's not as common here, but I love stumbling upon a blackberry bush in Central Park, and I'm hoping that this summer will finally be the summer that we get in the car and drive the hour or so to the nearby pick-your-own farms. I'm looking forward to baskets of peaches, berries, and plums to bake with!
Until then, I have my oranges, or rather I have orange curd which will hopefully last me a few more weeks until the farmer's market starts offering up something a little more exciting than cold-storage apples.
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Like with all fruit, taste your oranges before you get started--sweeter fruit will require a little more lemon to keep the balance right. Makes about 2 cups of curd.
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
zest from two whole oranges
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large whole egg
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of Kosher salt
Pour the orange juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Let reduce down to about 1/2 cup (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the zest and lemon juice. Let cool.
In a separate bowl, combine the whole egg, yolks, and sugar, whisking well. When the orange juice and zest mixture has cooled to room temperature, pour it into the egg mixture in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
Prepare a medium sized bowl with a fine mesh strainer over it and set aside.
Pour the egg and juice mixture back into the small saucepan and set it over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon (about 7 to 10 minutes). Once thickened, strain into the clean bowl to remove the zest. Whisk in the butter and salt while the curd is still warm. Transfer to a clean glass jar with lid or another air-tight container and let cool. Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.