The rain had set in with drizzly determination. The kind of rain that threatens the spirit, dampening more than just the land, the kind that sends even the sweetest of kids to the dark side. After exhausting all the usual rainy day distractions the only cure for the dark damp embrace was to get out of our surroundings, breath some fresh air and move freely.
And when the rain eased and the day lightened we embraced our chance. Roaming and adventuring through our local surroundings, foraging with shirts tucked up as baskets for our treasured finds. We weren’t the only ones, animals of all kinds were taking advantage of the break in the weather. Kangaroos with babies keeping warm and dry in pouches, countless of birds of all varieties and frogs. We marveled at nature that afternoon, we played and loved and picked winters citrus.
With winters cool touch well in season it brings with it citrus fruits of all kinds. Nature has the amazing ability to give you just you need. In winter when colds are at their most invasive nature gives us citrus fruits, containing up to 87% of our daily need of vitamin C from one whole fruit. You will also find vitamin A, omega 3 and 6 and flavanoid antioxidants.
And so we returned home with Ruby grapefruits, lemons, limes and some amazing Mandarins.
Some have been juiced, some eaten whole and some made into treats. This Curd recipe was one of them. It didn’t last long will little and large fingers swooping tasting samples throughout the day. Curd or butter as it is sometimes referred is an excellent way of preserving your citrus fruit and is one of those fantastic recipes that has been cooked in many generations of kitchens. Curd can be made with little effort or time and when made, sealed and stored in sterilised jars can last up to 4 months. The recipe I have written here cooks the curd over a bain marie, this method gives you much greater control over the cooking process, essentially slowing it down. The risk of is taking the mix too far scrambling the eggs and creating a grainy effect that has a strong egg like flavour. If you have a thermometer feel free to use it, you don’t want the mix exceeding 84C.
Ours never lasts more than a few days. Usually stolen by the fingerful and sometimes accompanied by a semi sweet coconut bread. Perfect for serving with loaf cakes and scones or thickly on toast, as an accompaniment to meringues or as a deconstructed meringue tart (recipe here), as a tart filling, with sago pudding or simply swirled through vanilla ice cream. The possibilities are almost endless.
Mandarin And Thyme Curd
Serves 6-10 Prep time 5 minutes Cooking Time 10 minutes
165 gm Caster Sugar
Mandarin juice 150 ml (I used 3)
Juice of 1 lemon 50 ml
150 gm butter
4 sprigs of Thyme
In a bowl set over simmering water combine eggs, sugar, juice of both lemon and mandarin.
Stir until the the sugar has dissolved.
Add the butter and the thyme sprigs and continue to stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has thickened to cover the back of a spoon.
Remove the sprigs of thyme.
Pour the contents into sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool. Will keep in a dark cool spot for up to a year. Once opened keep refridgerated and use within 2 weeks.
Any citrus or combination of citrus can replace the mandarin juice quanity. For a lemon curd recipe click here.
Any flavouring herb can be used instead of the thyme.