bitter grapefruit curd recipe

With our grapefruit tree laden to breaking point I've been looking at new ways to use this much loved New Zealand backyard fruit. Sure there's always marmalade, which I have been meaning to get onto making for about a month or so now... but I wanted to make something else. I love lemon curd also know as lemon honey in this part of the world, so I got onto thinking why not make curd using grapefruit? I set about making it one day last week, curds are so easy to make and a such a nice change from the usual jam on toast. The end result is almost like a cross between lemon curd and marmalade. You get the smooth creaminess from the butter and yolks, a little tang from the citrus, though not quite as much as in a lemon curd, then you get this interesting little bitter thing happening at the end, reminiscent of a good marmalade. Quite nice really. And while lemon curd will probably always be the favourite of mine, this definitely makes for an interesting change.

Funny how things go, the day I decided to make this grapefruit curd, I went to pick Ada up after a day at Kindy and low and behold she's got something to show me, a petite little jar of freshly made lemon curd made using hand picked lemons from out the back and freshly laid eggs from the chickens they keep at kindy! She couldn't wait to tell me how they had made it that morning. "Mum you melt the butter first, not the butter we have (margarine) the one in the block, then you add the eggs, lemon and sugar... oh and the grated outside bit of the lemons mum, I did that, Aunty Merren let me" So cute, and even cuter was the look on her and Kye's faces when we got home and they tried some spread on toast. That's got to be heaven for a kid! I remember getting a jar of it along with other lovely preserves every Christmas as a child from my Nana and great Aunty June. There was always one basket per family, we would all savour the lemon honey and crab apple jam in particular.

As with any curd this is lovely eaten as the kids did, spread thickly on toast or you could simply dollop it onto your Sunday morning pancakes, swirl it into thick Greek yogurt or whipped cream if you're feeling decadent. It's also lovely spooned into pre-cooked tart cases and served as a simple dessert. It would keep in the fridge for 4-5 days if it lasts that long.
So what's your favourite way to enjoy grapefruit? Or favourite thing to make using them? I'd love to hear your ideas, until then I think I may have to turn into the grapefruit faerie and drop bags off to family and friends.

bitter grapefruit curd recipe

To make this recipe dairy-free, simply use dairy-free margarine or try out some virgin coconut oil. But I find if you do use margarine, add a teeny pinch of sea salt to bring out the flavours more. I use natural unrefined cane sugar, but feel free to use whatever you have, caster sugar is the sugar normally used in curds. Or even experiment using honey or agave syrup. Let me know how it turns out if you do.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups 

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • the zest and juice of 1 grapefruit
  • the zest and juice of 1 lemon (you'll need about 125ml of citrus juice in total)
  • 75 g butter, cubed, or dairy-free margarine

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl over the top (but not touching the water) melt the butter/margarine until it's just melted but not too hot. While that's happening whisk together the yolks and sugar in a small bowl. Add the zests and juice. Pour into the melted butter and stir mixture continually until it thickens and coats the back of your wooden spoon. Pour curd through a sieve or strainer over a clean bowl or container. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the curd or cover with an airtight lid to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool, then pop in the fridge to continue to firm up. Keep refrigerated for up to 7-10 days.

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  • Reply
    Chez Denise et Laudalino
    September 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I love curd and have always wanted to make it. Now with our citrus season around the corner, I will have to try it out. You have made it look so easy!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Hi there, you should totally give it a go.Super easy and not even comparable to the icky fluro yellow store-brought gunk. Happy curd making 🙂

  • Reply
    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    October 11, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Oh this recipe is truly after my own heart 🙂 I can see (and taste!) it now spooned onto Sunday morning pancakes…
    I usually eat grapefruit plain, with a spoon. I love it in salads too. Oh, and grapefruit sorbet, yum!
    Heidi xo

  • Reply
    October 11, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Yep, I do still love a good grapefruit eaten simply with a spoon 🙂 Thanks for stopping by Heidi.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Omg , this looks so great ! I love , love lemon honey too . So neat you got it for Xmas .
    I gotta say I love them juiced , it's like a little energy shot , sunshine in a glass !

  • Reply
    November 9, 2010 at 12:09 am

    yep haidee that's how we enjoy them most often too. The kids love grapefruit juice. Lucky for them we still have some fruit left on the tree 🙂

  • Reply
    November 25, 2010 at 10:06 am

    That is such a great & tasty curd!! Yummie food,…:)

  • Reply
    April 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Hi Emm, this reminded me of first being in Perth when my daughter (who is 40)was at grade 1 in bayswater primary. i helped in class with cooking, and we made lemon curd for sale at the fete. The children loved it, and it sold like hot cakes.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Hi Emma
    I'm going to try to make lemon curd this season and have been looking at many recipes but I'm confused by all the "use by dates" for the stuff. Most say "keep in fridge for2-7 days but I want mine to be in jars in the pantry and use during the year. Although once opened I know to keep it in the fridge.
    Is it ok to just bottle the stuff like you do with jam and use at a later date. I see you can buy from the supermarkets but I wonder if they have some preservative in them.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog and recipes. I really enjoy your recipes. I do GF and now I'm going sugar free so I adapt the recipes with dextrose although I think for the lemon curd I will stick to sugar.
    Angela, Christchurch, NZ

    • Reply
      February 22, 2015 at 12:56 am

      Hi Angela,
      I've never come across a homemade curd recipe that will keep very long because of the eggs used in it to thicken, so I'm sorry but I have no idea how you would preserve them to keep during the year. I have a funny feeling the curds you find at supermarkets don't even contain real eggs, or if they do they are preserved mechanically. Sorry I can't be of more help! xx

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