Who says that lemon curd has to be made with lemons? Ahh, well yes, of course, lemon curd must be made with lemons and in my world, always always as Brown Sugar Lemon Curd, my Canadian family's signature recipe. But a couple of years back, my dear friend Mary served a couple of fruit curds for a book club dessert and while I've lost track of those recipes (mango perhaps? raspberry?), the idea of a fruit curd stuck.
Enter a handful of beautiful rhubarb from last Saturday's trip to the farmers market. Rhubarb custard pie? Muffins? (I'm still on the hunt for my go-to rhubarb muffin recipe. Rhubarb lovers, I'd love to try your muffin recipe if you'd be willing to share, especially if it's less-sweet and made with at least some whole-grain flour.) My mom's rhubarb bars or rhubarb torte? Instead I settled on this simple curd. Great call, Alanna!
RHUBARB REPORT So the beautiful Canadian Red rhubarb hauled from Minnesota (thank you, Auntie Meryl!) to Missouri last year is still alive, despite: a hot-hot-hot and dry-dry-dry summer in 2011; a neophyte weeder who luckily stopped short of digging up those "weeds with pretty leaves"; and just last week, a blast of Round-Up from a clueless rhubarb-hater. YIKES. The good news is, mine is no hothouse rhubarb, it is TOUGH stuff. Pies to come!
RECIPE for RHUBARB CURD
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 2 cups
3/4 pound rhubarb (about 6 stalks), trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/4 cup water
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100g) sugar (see TIPS)
Zest of a lime or lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small bits if cold
Cook the rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar and water in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb is very soft. Transfer to a small food processor and blend until smooth.
Heat an inch or two of water in the base of a double boiler (see TIPS). Off heat, in the top bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the 1/2 cup (or less) sugar, zest and citrus juice. A tablespoon at a time at first, whisk the rhubarb mixture into the egg mixture. Place the top bowl onto the base and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens (see TIPS).
Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Chill until ready to serve.
GREEK YOGURT PARFAIT with RHUBARB CURD & BROWN SUGAR LEMON CURD
Greek yogurt, thinned a little with buttermilk
Brown Sugar Lemon Curd
Spoon the Greek yogurt (and if you like, the curds, see TIPS) into a freezer bag. Snip the corner and squeeze into wine glasses or parfaits. Spoon or squeeze a layer of lemon curd, then more Greek yogurt, then a layer of rhubarb curd, then whipped cream.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
SUGAR Next time I'll mix just 1/4 cup sugar into the egg yolks, I happen to love rhubarb's distinctive sourness.
DOUBLE BOILER? The inspiring recipe specified a double boiler for cooking the combined egg and rhubarb mixtures. Since mine was already out, I did use it but I have NO trouble cooking lemon curd in a saucepan directly on the heat so can't imagine why this would be any different. However -- DO use medium, not medium-high, heat and DO stay very attentive. In fact, I'd recommend stirring continuously -- and "continuous" means without interruption versus "continual" which means again and again.
THICKENING This rhubarb curd doesn't thicken in the pot as noticeably as lemon curd, but it does come to a simmer.
PARFAITS To make the parfaits pretty, it really helped to use a freezer bag for the Greek yogurt. Both my curds were soft enough, however, that I didn't find that necessary for them.
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MORE of MY FAVORITE RHUBARB RECIPES
~ Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothies ~
~ Custard with Rhubarb Sauce ~
~ Straight-Up & Perfect Rhubarb Pie ~
~ more rhubarb recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Roasted Rhubarb ~
~ Rhubarb Jelly & Rhubarb Jam in One Hour ~
~ Country Rhubarb Cobbler ~
~ more rhubarb recipes ~
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