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grapefruit curd brulee tart

August 20, 2009

Seems the like the world has gone food-crazy (well, my part of the world anyway). And with the craze for the culinary comes a need for the latest, the greatest and the most popular methods & menus. It’s something I’ve never really latched onto – the molecular gastronomy movement confused me, and the present passion for all things truffle and macaron haven’t had me flailing my arms and crying for more (yet). One thing I have fallen for, though, is an older concept. One that was forgotten when the bright and shiny caught the food-world-trendsetter’s eyes: seasonality.

Good, fresh produce. Cheap. Tasty. Wholesome. And why? Simply because you’re eating it when it’s at its best (and ignoring it when it’s not). It’s a win-win situation for all, really. You and I get to spend less on better ingredients, and the farmers aren’t made to spend thousands and thousands of dollars building greenhouses so that we can eat peaches in the middle of winter. (An oversimplification maybe, but hey!)

grapefruit curd brulee tart

The best thing about cooking and eating seasonally? There’s always something to like. For me, winter has been all about brussel sprouts (blanched and then tossed around in a pan with burnt butter and little chunks of bacon), root vegetables like celeriac and parsnip (in place of potato in mashes, soups and gratins) and oh… grapefruit!

beautiful ruby grapefruit

beautiful ruby grapefruit

See I love me some grapefruit (I also love me some blood orange, possibly more than I love me some grapefruit, but that wouldn’t quite fit with the story y’know?). Sour. Bitter. An assault on the senses, but one that leaves you wanting just that little bit more.

The Bean hates grapefruit (“Eeeeyeurgh! I het grape-fruit!” she says every time the fruit scores a mention). She has hated it with a passion ever since we told her it was just like an orange, but bigger. (Oops!)

I’ve tried making amends by sneaking it into this tart here. The sour is muted by the sugar and the butter, and the citrussy bitterness sits gently on your palate at the end of a mouthful. I’d like to think of it as a beginner’s initiation to the fruit; and I kind of wish I’d started the Bean on this instead of tossing a segment at her and telling her to go for her life. Hmm…

Grapefruit Curd Brulee Tart

You will need:

for the pastry

250g plain flour
110g icing sugar mixture
125g cold butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cold water (approx)

for the curd –

220g eggs (about 5 small ones or 4 big ones)
75g white sugar
220ml grapefruit juice (1 C minus 2 tbs)
zest of one grapefruit
200g butter

for the brulee –

4tbs white sugar (+ a blow torch)

strain the juice (pips are not your friend)

strain the juice (pips are not your friend)

Step One:

Grab your grapefruit from the fruit bowl and roll it around. That’s it. Use your palm and squish it against the table, rolling it all about. This is to loosen the juice. Loosey juicy y’see?

Step Two:

Now juice your grapefruit (oh! How easily the juice flows now that you’ve done step one!) and strain the pips out. Don’t worry if some pulp gets in. It will be fine. You’ll need either one very big grapefruit or two smaller ones for the amount of juice required.

eggs, sugar & juice

eggs, sugar & juice

Step Three:

Crack your eggs into a bowl, tip the sugar in and whisk like a mad woman (or man) until it’s all nicely combined. Toss the juice and the zest in and keep whisking until it’s a nice almost-homogenous mix.

whip it up over a bain marie

whip it up over a bain marie

Step Four:

Now put the bowl over a pot of simmering water, being careful to ensure that no water gets in the bowl, and that the bowl isn’t touching the water. (This is called cooking in a bain-marie). Whisk consistently. None of this running off the the bathroom business here. Keep going until the mixture is lovely and thick. Take your mixture off the heat to cool.

the tart pastry

the tart pastry

Step Five:

Oh! You should have made your pastry! My bad. It’s not so hard. All together in a food processor will do it if you’re pinched for time (butter and flour first, the rest after that). Or, you can rub the butter into the flour, then add the rest and knead until it comes together nicely. (If you want a more detailed set of instructions, look here. It’s a roasted nectarine tart, but that’s a summer fruit, so don’t go getting distracted).

Step Six:

Roll the dough out, line the tin, chill, blind bake – oh I can’t be bothered. Go check the link out yes? And bookmark it. Cos I’m bossy like that.

sprinkle the sugar over the top

sprinkle the sugar over the top

Step Seven:

Blind baked tart shell? Check! Tip the grapefruit curd (Oh! That’s what it’s called!) into your blind baked tart shells and pop it into a 150C oven for 20 minutes. You don’t have to do this step if you like the curd as is – it will be lovely and thick already – but I like a slightly firmer curd that bakes into the pastry instead of one that sits on it.

Step Eight:

Pull your tart out of the oven, sprinkle the brulee-ing sugar all over the top and attack it with your butane torch. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, you can stick it under the grill at 220C for a couple of minutes (though watch it, it may burn). If you are in the market for a butane torch, you might want to try doing what I did and check out your local hardware store. I got mine for the grand price of $16.98. It’s beee-yeutiful (in an industrial don’t-mess-with-me kinda way).

brulee it and you're done!

brulee it and you’re done!

And oh! There isn’t a step nine because you’re done! Be sure to tell people what it is you’re serving them, though, before foisting your creation on the crowd. Some people may not react too kindly to it otherwise. Like the Bean.

“This is, um, nice… is it… is it… grapefruit?! Eeeeeyeeurgh! I het grape-fruit!”

*sigh*


  • #1
    Ru-Dee
    August 20th, 2009

    Hey Sheryl, your blog looks awesome. Wow, I’m really impressed.

  • #2
    August 20th, 2009

    The brulee hooked me in, very nice use of grapefruit! I think I prefer blood oranges though.

  • #3
    August 20th, 2009

    Grapefruit curd! And bruleed! So awesome Shez!! Hehe I’ve already requested the bf picks me up a butane torch the next time he visits bunnings πŸ˜€

  • #4
    August 20th, 2009

    Interesting! I have never seen a grapefruit curd before but I suppose the tartness would certainly lend itself to a curd. I made a Mandarin curd a few weeks ago and it was gone within a flash. Curds are wonderful things indeed πŸ™‚

  • #5
    August 22nd, 2009

    This looks and sounds amazing. I love curds and could only imagine how delicious a grapefruit curd would be. I also have to say that your pastry looks so beautiful. Lovely, lovely! BTW, thanks for visiting my blog – now I have found you!

  • #6
    August 25th, 2009

    @Ru-Dee: Thanks! I haven’t seen you in ages… hope all is well πŸ™‚

    @Howard: Doesn’t everyone? Poor unloved unpalatable grapefruit πŸ™

    @Steph: They’ll try to talk you into getting the big one… I wanted it but my dad was worried that I would torch the kitchen. Hmm.

    @Lorraine: Oh! I saw that. It looekd lovely – and aren’t mandarins great this season!

    @Julia: So many thanks! I love your pastry so am embarassingly pleased that you like mine πŸ™‚

  • #7
    August 26th, 2009

    i have a feeling i’d love this

Shez