Rhubarb and Passion Fruit Curds

June 11, 2015

There is nothing that captures the wonderful flavor of fresh fruit quite like homemade fruit curds. The intense flavor, the slight tang, and of course the creamy goodness, all make the flavors of the fruit pop. I love to keep assorted curds on hand in my refrigerator and freezer because the possibilities for them are endless. You can throw a spoonful into plain yogurt for a delicious breakfast treat, dollop some into a mini tart shell for a quick dessert, spread some on toast for an afternoon snack, or really just eat it with a spoon. There is nothing that doesn’t feel more luxurious when topped with a homemade fruit curd.

Traditionally curds are made with citrus (like these lime and meyer lemon curds) but there are lots of other fruits that can be made into delicious curds as well. My sister happens to adore lemon curd so I decided to make her an assortment of curds for Mother’s Day this year (and I am only now getting around to posting).

I happened to have some passion fruit puree leftover from making marshmallows so I decided to use that to make a tropical passion fruit curd. The tanginess of passion fruit is perfect in curd, and eating it feels a bit like being on a tropical vacation. It is clear that passion fruit is meant to be turned into curd. This curd will be showing up in a lot of desserts from now on.

The rhubarb curd was a little bit less straight forward to figure out. It took quite a few batches to get it right, but I am so glad I finally did. The slightly grassy tang of rhubarb is perfectly offset by the vanilla to make this a curd you will want to eat right out of the jar. The reason it took a few tries is that, when cooked, the rhubarb flavor is relatively subtle so it is easy to lose it in the mix of eggs and sugar that go into making curd. The other problem is that when you cook pink rhubarb together with eggs (particularly the ones from our chickens with bright orange yolks) you end up with a curd that is an unappetizing shade of grey. Part of the appeal of rhubarb is the beautiful pink color and I wanted the curd to reflect that (without using food coloring). Some google searching led me to the suggestion of cooking a beet in with the rhubarb to bump up the intensity of the pink and I found that worked perfectly. This curd (inspired by this recipe) is a bit untraditional as it uses the thick rhubarb puree as the base rather than using a juice, but I love the thick silkiness that brings to the finished curd. I am not going to lie, this curd is a bit more work than a traditional lemon curd, but it is totally worth it. Don’t skip the step of pressing the finished curd through a fine mesh strainer, that is what gives it the smooth creamy texture that makes this curd so perfect.

While I strongly recommend making this curd just to have on hand, if you are looking for a super elegant dessert that showcases this curd I will be posting some show-stopping rhubarb meringue tartlets later this week.

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Ingredients & Quantities

Passion Fruit Curd

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup +2 tablespoons (4.5 oz or 125 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) passion fruit puree
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) refined coconut oil

Rhubarb Curd

  • 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 mini beet or 1/4 large beet (1 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) water
  • 3/4 cup (5.75 oz) sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch or potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil

Preparation Instructions

Passion Fruit Curd

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a saucepan. Whisk well to combine. Cook, stirring constantly over medium-heat, until the curd thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (160 degrees Fahrenheit). Strain the mixture through the strainer into the bowl and stir in the oil. Place plastic wrap directly over the curd and refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Rhubarb Curd

Combine the rhubarb, beet, water, 1/4 cup sugar, and the vanilla in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until the rhubarb is soft and falling apart. Transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Set the bowl aside.

Place the egg yolks and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Gradually whisk in the hot rhubarb mixture. Whisk in the remaining sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch. Transfer the mixture back into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the curd is slightly thickened and the temperature reaches 160.

Strain the curd through the fine mesh strainer. It will take a bit of stirring and pressing with a spoon to get the thick mixture to go through the strainer, but do not skip this step. It is the straining that gives this curd its thick glossy texture. Once the curd is strained, stir in the coconut oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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