If you enjoy eating seasonally, you are in luck when it comes to Texas grapefruit. October to June is the best time to get the freshest, juiciest grapefruit. Some of the famous “Ruby Reds” weigh as much as a pound. There’s a variety grown here in Texas known as the “Rio Red” and since I just returned from a Spring Break vacation down by the Rio Grande, it seemed appropriate to incorporate some delicious Rio Red Grapefruits into a recipe.
My cookbook Sweet Paleo contains a recipe for Meyer Lemon curd but this one for paleo grapefruit curd is slightly different in that I needed to concentrate the flavor a bit more to achieve something with a more prominent grapefruit flavor. When my son Nathaniel and I were juicing grapefruits for the curd we got a full cup of juice from each one! He enjoyed the process, as you can see from his face.
What is Curd?
Homemade lemon curd has been popular in England since the late nineteenth century. It is traditionally served with scones at afternoon tea as an alternative to jam. The classic spread is made with fruit juice, butter, eggs and sugar gently cooked together until thick then allowed to cool. Historically, curd has been made in small batches because it did not keep long. But nowadays, commercially manufactured curds often contain preservatives and thickening agents to make them more shelf-stable. Gourmet gift shops and food stores catering to epicurean tastes often stock curd, but you can make it yourself at home without all the additives.
Paleo Grapefruit Curd
This recipe for paleo grapefruit curd combines the traditional curd ingredients with the unique flavor of grapefruit juice and little lemon juice for extra tang. Raw honey is my favorite sweetener for this recipe because it is so thick. But I’ve also used combinations of maple syrup and coconut nectar (found some at Costco recently!). The result is a smooth, creamy and rich, melt-in-the-mouth blend of flavors. It is the perfect filling for cakes, small pastries and tarts (as seen in Sweet Paleo). You can also use it as a spread on grain-free scones, or drizzled on fruit.
Paleo Grapefruit Curd Recipe
- 1 cup grapefruit juice
- 6 large pastured egg yolks
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons raw honey (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 6 tablespoons ghee, virgin coconut oil or unsalted pastured butter
- Heat the grapefruit juice in a small pan until it is reduced to ⅓ cup.
- Whisk the yolks, honey, concentrated grapefruit juice, lemon juice, zest and salt together in a medium-size bowl over a simmering pot of water (or double-boiler).
- Whisk consistently until the curd is thickened and coats the sides of the bowl, approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the pan, add the ghee, butter or coconut oil and stir until melted.
- Run the curd through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the zest and any scrambled bits of egg.
- Pour into a jar and refrigerate. The curd will thicken as it cools.
- Store the curd in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
- The first time I made this I did not concentrate the grapefruit juice and the time it took to get the mixture to thicken was much longer. I also ended up with a somewhat thinner curd (as shown in the photo drizzling on fruit). The current recipe calls for concentrating the grapefruit juice and it seems to result in a thicker curd – though they both thicken in the fridge quite a bit.
- I prefer the flavor of ghee in paleo grapefruit curd but coconut oil is a fine substitute.
- If you would like to use ghee but don’t have any on hand you can easily make it. I like to make it in the oven with this recipe. The last time I made it on the stovetop I burned it because it was cooking too fast and I looked away the wrong moment. That was a sad loss of two pounds of Kerrygold butter.