I have a cousin, Peggy Samson, who flies to Spain every year to bring back Seville oranges to her home in London to make orange marmalade. If you live in the U.S., however, all you have to do is order from a Ca. company owned by Eric and Kim Christensen and appropriately named “Ripe to You”! www.ripetoyou.com or call 559-626-7917. These oranges are available now and will only be in season for about 2 months but they will keep refrigerated for several weeks.
Seville orange are also known as bitter oranges because they have an acidity level of about that of lemon. They offer the true orange flavor of a sourball candy and will give you the consistency of a perfect lemon curd, unlike that of other oranges which don’t thicken adequately. Don’t use the zest for the curd, however, as unless it is sweetened with tons of sugar as in a marmalade, it is undesirably bitter. Best to use naval oranges for the zest in the curd.
Note: weigh the yolks or measure them as you need the full amount to achieve the best texture.
Seville Orange Curd
Makes: 1 1/4 cups/12.25 ounces/350 grams
Have ready near the range a strainer, suspended over a medium bowl containing the orange zest.
In a heavy saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. Stir in the orange juice, butter and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until thickened and resembling hollandaise sauce, which thickly coats a wooden spoon but is still liquid enough to pour. The mixture will change from translucent to opaque and begin to take on an orange color on the back of a wooden spoon. It must not be allowed to come to the boil or it will curdle. Whenever steam appears, remove the pan briefly from the heat, stirring constantly, to keep the mixture from boiling. When the curd has thickened, and will pool thickly on the surface, pour it at once into the strainer. Press with the back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains. Discard the residue (or enjoy it as a treat--it tastes great). Stir gently to mix in the zest sitting in the bowl and allow the curd to cool.
Store refrigerated in airtight jar or container, 3 weeks. (Longer storage dulls the fresh citrus flavor.)
To Use Juice Oranges in Place of Seville:
grease a 4 cup heat-proof glass measure and add 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice. Microwave on high power, watching carefully toward the end, until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Use only 1/2 cup/3.5 ounces/100 grams of sugar.