Seattle Sunset Curd

Last Friday, the kids and I decided to go and pick up my husband from work, since he was getting off early. The weatherman had been promising snow and we didn’t want him to have to walk home from the train in the snow. Of course, they didn’t actually deliver the snow until 2 days later, but who’s counting? The kids, that’s who! Promising snow to a group of kids and then not having it show up is like saying tomorrow is Christmas and then saying “Just kidding!” I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands. Not to mention all the whining was driving me to drink!

Anyway, back to my story. We were on our way home when we realized that half of the sky was this awesome pink color. Shortly thereafter, the whole town began to glow orange and pink. It was dusk, but it wasn’t really dark, yet you felt like you needed light. But it wasn’t really light as there were no shadows. It was simply this mesmerizing glow. I literally thought I might crash the car as I was so distracted by this glowing phenomenon.

Sadly, I didn’t whip the car off the road to get a photo, but my friend Scott took this one, which I stole from him off Facebook (thanks Scott!). The blue of the sky looks a bit purple here, but that just adds to the mystique. It seemed like literally everyone in Seattle was commenting on this sunset on Facebook that day and the next. While I didn’t comment on it as I am lame that way, I still really wanted to capture this color pattern in some way.

Most people are familiar with the tequilla sunrise drink, which uses orange juice and grenadine to bring together the oranges and pinks you see at sunrise. I toyed with making a drink, but decided that I wanted something more substantial. I had gone shopping the day before and had picked up a half dozen blood oranges and a handful of meyer’s lemons. I have never cooked with these lemons before (that I can recall, but I am losing my mind, so who knows) and wanted to give them a go, since they are so often raved about by cooks. The blood oranges were for my daughter. She swears these are “the best“. She is 5, so of course she would know.

I had actually planned to just make a lemon curd and then was going to make a blood orange cake to put the curd on, but as fate would have it, I made curd with both. I had 2 separate bags for these fruits, so there was no comingling. I pulled out the bag of lemons and cut each in half, only to discover that one of my lemons was actually a blood orange. From the outside, they were indistiguishable. Each had the same color of skin, each had the little nipple end, each had the same shine. When they were all laying face down on the cutting board, you would have never guessed that they were different. So then and there, my decision was made for me. I made 2/3 lemon, 1/3 orange curd. Not sure if you agree this matches the Seattle sunset or not, but I think it comes damn close.

Seattle Sunset Curd (adapted from Preserves by Atkinson & Mayhew)
2 Meyer’s lemons
1 blood orange
1 cup caster sugar
8 T. butter (1 stick)
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks

Wash the lemons and orange and zest the rind. Place zest into a large bowl that will be placed over a double boiler. Juice the lemons and orange and pour through a fine sieve into the bowl. Add the sugar and butter and place over the pan on a gentle simmer. Stir until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved.

Beat the eggs with the yolks in a separate bowl. Press through a sieve with a spatula into the bowl over the heat. Whisk until combined.

Stir the mixture constantly over the heat until it thickens and lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the curd into small, warmed, sterilzed jars. Store in a cool place, ideally the refrigerator. Best if used within 3 months.

You can also find my recipe entered to win “Best Citrus” here at Food52. Check it out and vote if you can. I really like this site and if you are a recipe creator, this is a fun place to play.


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