This one is going out to George and Beth Sherry, who harvested a little over 21 pounds of rhubarb over at their place in Eastern Washington State today. As you can see below, they have some nice stuff! Let us know how it goes, guys; hope you like it as much as we do!
I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with curds lately; once you make one, you’ll know why. So far this spring, I’ve done Meyer Lemon, Lime, Orange, Strawberry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and straight Rhubarb. Of all those, I think that rhubarb was the prettiest and tastiest. Here’s our no refined sugar take on that. Depending on the colors of your rhubarb and eggs, this wonderful curd will vary in color from yellows to rosy pink. Makes about a pint.
2 Cups Rhubarb, fresh or frozen
3 large Eggs
1/2 Cup Water
6 Tablespoons unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup Agave Nectar or Honey
1 fresh small Lemon
1 fresh small Lime
Pinch of Sea Salt
Rinse and roughly chop the rhubarb; somewhere around 1″ pieces will work great.
In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the water and the agave or honey, stir steadily until the two are thoroughly incorporated. Add the rhubarb and stir gradually until it begins to simmer.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until the rhubarb is fully broken down, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a glass or steel bowl and allow to cool a bit while you continue prepping.
Rinse, zest and juice the lemon and lime, then set juice and zest aside.
Cut very cold butter into about 1/2″ cubes.
Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk lightly.
For cooking the curd, a double boiler is best. If you don’t have one, work with a bowl or pan that will fit comfortably inside a larger one. Fill your double boiler bottom or pan about 2/3 full of water and heat over medium flame. You want the water steaming, but not simmering when you’re ready to cook.
Combine the eggs, lemon and lime zest, citrus juice, and pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture until fully incorporated and evenly colored, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the rhubarb purée to the mix and whisk to incorporate, about a minute. NOTE: If your rhubarb is still quite hot, add it slowly, whisking constantly, so it tempers the mix and doesn’t cook the eggs.
Put your bowl with the blended ingredients over your pan filled with hot water, (Or double boiler). Allow the curd to heat through, stirring gently but continuously, for about 3 minutes.
Start adding the butter in small batches of 6 to 8 cubes, whisking steadily and allowing each batch to melt and incorporate before adding the next.
Again, a curd is an emulsion, so the butter, (fat), needs time and gentle whisking to properly marry with the egg and fruit blend.
When all the butter is melted, continue whisking gently and steadily until the curd begins to thicken noticeably, about another 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the curd from the heat. Transfer the curd to a fine mesh strainer over a glass or steel bowl and use a spatula to gently strain the curd through the strainer. You’ll end up with some zest and fiber that doesn’t make it through.
Refrigerate in a glass jar or airtight container for at least four hours. The curd will keep for about a week refrigerated, but I’ll bet it won’t last anything close to that long. Try it over freshly made Scottish Shortbread for an amazing treat.
For Strawberry-Rhubarb curd, substitute 1 cup of rinsed, cored and quartered strawberries for the water and proceed as noted.
Fresh vanilla bean, or ginger, are both marvelous tweaks. About 2″ of fresh bean, or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, or a 1″ chunk of finger thick ginger added to the simmer will do the trick.