Next up in our 12 Tastes of Christmas series is another edible gift idea from our favorite “next door baker,” Shauna Sever. We’re still drooling over her Chocolate-dipped Peppermint Meringues from earlier this month, and now she’s back with the ultimate recipe for a sauce to top desserts, fill tarts, serve with scones…the possibilities are endless. From Shauna:

Now, I know what you might be thinking, here: Girl, you so crazy! Isn’t citrus, like, totally summery?! Well, yes and no. Of course we all associate the bright, fresh flavors of fruits like lemons, oranges and limes with warmer months, like a tall, icy glass of fresh lemonade in July. But the truth is that the winter months are the peak season for some of the most seductive citrus fruits out there. Keep reading

Fragrant, surprisingly sweet Meyer lemons are making their appearance right about now, as are vibrant blood oranges, exotic varieties of tangerine hybrids, and all those adorable little Clementines. A few of these in your breakfast fruit bowl is the perfect solution for brightening up a frigid day. But what about taking things to the next level here? Like transforming a bunch of them into an irresistible confection that teeters between a dessert sauce and a luxurious spread, and adding a hit of dreamy vanilla bean to the mix. It’s really a sort of mind-blowing thing, and a surefire way to start looking at the winter produce bounty in a whole different light. Plus, whipping up a batch of this ambrosial and intensely-flavored citrus curd and then gifting it for the holidays is the perfect way to bring a little sunshine when the temperatures drop like crazy. Never mind that people will deem you a culinary genius.

Winter Citrus Curd with Vanilla Bean
*makes about 5 half-pint jars
Any combination of citrus juices will do here. I love to use oranges or tangerines, Meyer lemons and pink grapefruit. Blood oranges give the curd a vibrant pink color and a bit of lime juice can be lovely, too. Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the balance of sweetness, tartness and bitterness of the fruits you choose.
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar, to taste (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 whole large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed citrus juice (see note)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and the citrus zests. Using your fingertips, massage the zests into the sugar until moist-looking and fragrant.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg with the salt until well-beaten. Whisk in the sugar just until blended. Whisk in the juice. Pour in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir often until the curd is thickened and coats the back of a spatula (if you run your finger through the curd across the back of the spatula, a track will remain). Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from it using a small knife, adding the seeds back to the pot. Discard the pod.
  3. Pour the curd into a blender. Add the butter pieces and blend at high speed for 1 minute. Pour into sterilzed jars and cap tightly. Cool to room temperature before gifting, with instructions to keep the curd refrigerated.

Thanks Shauna! And if you haven’t already, hop on over to Shauna’s blog, ’cause it is brimming with holiday baking inspiration!

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