Grapefruit Curd

5 from 1 vote
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Move over lemon, because sweet-tart Grapefruit Curd is here. It is just as bright, rich, and creamy as its lemony counterpart, but this luscious citrus spread is deliciously tangy with a hint of vanilla. You’ll be spooning it on cake, ice cream, toast, yogurt, and more!

A white ceramic spoon resting in a glass jar of citrus curd.

Why You’ll Love this Citrus Curd Recipe

  • Cuisine Inspiration: English
  • Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy-free option
  • Skill Level: Easy

Years ago, Silpat sent me a Macaron Mat, and I was determined to make the perfect macarons. I gave a few good tries, but was not having much luck and subsequently ended up with a big bowl of unused egg yolks. I asked around what to do with them, and the overwhelming response was “CURD!!”.

In case you don’t know, curd is similar to a custard in that it is made with eggs and sugar. But the higher amount of fruit juice, typically citrus, gives it a more intense flavor. It also has butter stirred in, which makes it rich After cooking and cooling, it is usually used as a spread, topping, or filling.

I had a few grapefruits sitting around, and that’s how this citrus curd recipe was born. Now that I’ve made it, I can’t get enough of it, whether I smear it on some toasted slices of Gluten Free Brioche or add it to my morning oatmeal, it adds a lovely fresh flavor. Here’s why you’ll enjoy it too…

  • Few ingredients. You only need a handful of items to make this deliciously simple sauce. It comes together quickly and can be stored for weeks so it’s easy to always have on hand when a craving strikes.
  • Versatile. I made grapefruit curd, but you can use the exact same recipe with any citrus juice of your choosing. Or try a combination for a real flavor explosion!
  • Incredibly delicious. It’s simultaneously rich and fresh. The texture is like velvet, and the combination of citrus and vanilla evokes the classic creamsicle, but much more refined. Really, I just want to eat it straight from the jar! But there are also a million ways to use it, and just before the recipe, I share some ideas.
Grapefruit curd dripping off a white spoon into a glass jar.

Grapefruit Curd Ingredients and Substitutions

Here’s a quick list of the five simple ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.

  • Egg yolks. If you haven’t already separated your eggs to use the whites for another recipe, then it’s easier to do that when they are cold.
  • Granulated sugar.
  • Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. You’ll need about 1-2 large grapefruits. You can also use any other fresh citrus juice you like, or a combination.
  • Vanilla bean paste. This or the seeds scraped from one vanilla bean gives it the most creamsicle-like flavor, but you can also use a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract.
  • Unsalted butter. At room temperature, cut into 1/8-inch thick slices. Vegan butter can be substituted to make dairy-free citrus curd.
Thick yellow curd on a white spoon with two full jars of it behind the spoon.

Tips for Success

A few things to keep in mind:
  • Use a double boiler. You don’t want to use a saucepan in direct contact with the stove as this will likely lead your eggs to scramble. If you don’t have a double boiler, just set a metal bowl over top of a saucepan of simmering water.
  • Whisk long enough. You want to give it a good couple minutes of whisking the egg yolks and sugar so that it gets light in color before placing over the heat.
  • Use a thermometer. This is the most surefire way to know that you’ve cooked the eggs to a safe temperature but are not risking scrambling them.
  • Add the butter slowly. You want to use small pieces of soft butter and whisk it in a little at a time so that the grapefruit curd dow not separate and get greasy.

Storage Instructions

Citrus curd can be transferred to a glass jar or another airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 weeks. I recommend pressing plastic wrap to the surface of the cur before selling to prevent a skin from forming.

You can also freeze it for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using.

A jar of grapefruit curd with the tip of a spoon above it with some dripping off.

How to Use Citrus Curd

Some people like to smear curd on their morning toast or perhaps some sweet biscuits, and you can even swirl it into oatmeal or yogurt. But there are lots of ways to enjoy it too.

A white spoon being held over a glass jar with grapefruit curd dripping off of the spoon into the jar.
5 from 1 vote

Grapefruit Curd

Move over lemon, because sweet-tart Grapefruit Curd is here. It is just as rich and creamy as its lemon counterpart, and still just as bright and fresh. But this citrus spread is deliciously tangy with a hint of creamsicle flavor from a bit of vanilla. You'll be spooning it on cake, ice cream, toast, yogurt, and more!
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 19 minutes
Servings: 24 Tablespoons

Ingredients

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1-2 large grapefruits (or another fresh citrus juice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste, seeds scraped from one vanilla bean, or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices (can substitute vegan butter)

Instructions

  • Add about an inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat.
  • In a medium metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and light in color.
  • Whisk in the grapefruit juice until combined.
  • Place the bowl over the water in the saucepan, ensuring that it does not touch the water.
  • Stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides for about 8-12 minutes, until mixture thickens and reaches 180°F, gently increasing the heat, if necessary.
  • Immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the Vanilla Bean Paste.
  • Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, waiting until one piece disappears before adding another.
  • Pour into glass jars and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
  • Cool and store in the refrigerator. Will keep for a couple weeks.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
Grapefruit Curd
Amount Per Serving (1 Tablespoon)
Calories 85 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 12mg0%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Sugar 9g10%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 1.3mg2%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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17 Comments
  1. Andi

    5 stars
    I’ve never made curd before, but I came across this recipe while looking for grapefruit recipes on Pinterest a couple weeks ago, and made it today. This is one of the most delicious recipes I’ve ever made. I made several family members try it and they all loved it, too. Somehow it didn’t have any bitterness like I normally experience with grapefruit, and it came out perfectly creamy and decadent. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  2. Kati

    This looks amazing. Just one question, when do you add in the grapefruit juice? It is not mentioned in the comments and I don’t want to mess it up! So excited to try this over some ice cream or in crepes with fresh berries.

  3. Rosemerry

    Ah, what I meant to say before my trigger happy finger snapped my post was, “Variation is the crucial element to well satisfied tummy’s!”

  4. Rosemerry

    Love the vanilla bean grapefruit curd recipe and can’t wait to try it, thanks! We have a pink grapefruit tree in the backyard and can’t get enough recipes. Variation is the crucial!

  5. Meg

    This looks SO creamy and decadent! I want to lick that spoon! Might be good on some muffins I’m making this week. Thanks!

  6. Oh Brianne… I give you props for even attempting macarons! They’ve been on my culinary bucket list for 4 years and I’m too much of a wussie to even try them. But let me tell ya… that grapefruit curd is downright gorgeous! Those little speckles of vanilla are making me drool!

5 from 1 vote

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