Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a lover of all things grapefruit. Citrus things in general are up my alley, but there’s something special about a ruby red or pink grapefruit flavor. So after I first tried my hand at a lemon curd and was blown away by its ease and flavor, I knew that a pink grapefruit curd was in my future.
The bright, sweet, soft flavors of this curd are inextricably associated with early spring for me.
As I fiddled with getting this recipe just right, we got a stretch of cool but sunny days, pink flowers popping out on the trees, and the neighborhood lawns turning a rich green. It’s a happy flavor tied to a happy time.
This pink grapefruit curd is a super simple adaptation of this simple lemon curd recipe. The technique is exactly the same, but I had to tweak the ingredient amounts slightly for both this and my blood orange version (coming soon!).
Because the grapefruit and the blood orange are softer, sweeter citrus flavors vs. the intensity and tartness of lemon, you need to back off slightly on both the sugar and butter in order for the real flavor of the fruit to shine through. It pairs really well with strawberries, raspberries, and the like.
Naturally this curd will be yellow, because the pink juice can’t win out against the egg’s yolk. If you want it to be pink, just add a TINY drop of food coloring (I prefer this gel coloring set and use it all the time).
Zest and juice your pink grapefruit ahead of time, because everything goes really quickly. I love my microplane zester and my simple juicer…they make this type of recipe incredibly easy and have become complete staples in my kitchen.
To start the curd, add the sugar and egg to a small saucepan and whisk together until smooth. *Then* add the grapefruit juice and zest, and turn the stove on medium heat.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and whisk continuously. The mixture will become frothy as you whisk. When the liquid becomes hot enough to cook the egg, the mixture will begin to thicken and no more liquid will separate from the foam.
It will take at least 5 minutes of whisking over medium heat for the mixture to thicken, but will vary depending on your cookware. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when it’s ready. Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too high though, you’ll scramble the egg.
Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove the pot from the heat.
Add one tablespoon of butter at a time, whisking until each has fully melted into the sauce before adding the next. As the butter is melted into the sauce, it will become less frothy and more silky in texture, and look more glossy rather than foamy.
Once all of the butter has been whisked in, transfer the curd to an air-tight container and refrigerate until completely cooled. If you’re planning to add food coloring, do it before cooling.
The curd will thicken further upon cooling, but I found the grapefruit curd to be a bit less thick than my lemon curd overall. This made it trickier as a sandwich cake filling, but it’s so delicious that I can’t be mad at it.
Other citrus treats you’ll love:
- Super Moist Lemon-Orange Pound Cake
- Smitten Kitchen’s Whole Lemon Tart
- A Classic “Brown Derby” Cocktail
- Citrus Cake with Marmalade Filling and Lemon-Orange Icing
Adapted slightly from Budget Bytes