I love fruit trees... there is just something special about having your own beautiful oranges or apples out there in the backyard, ready for you to pick with abandon. I especially love citrus trees, partly because I use a lot of citrus and partly because they are so damn expensive in the grocery store.
So, I am very fortunate that my dad has some of the best, sweetest citrus ever: navel oranges, big fat lemons, and the most gorgeous tangerines on the planet. All free, all mine!!!
I've been on a bit of a "curd" kick, and it started after Mamma and I took a class at Sur La Table where we made a Meyer Lemon Curd that was so good The Bodyguard just ate straight out of the jar with a spoon.
I figured why couldn't I do the same with tangerine juice? Duh. Mistake one.
Cavalier as The Town Tart can be, I looked at my recipe from Sur La Table, which we loved obviously, and looked at others for comparison, but decided I liked Sur La Table's best, because it contained the most egg, which I thought was important for richness and thickening. For some reason known only to The Tart, I didn't research tangerine (or orange, even) curd recipes... hell no, where is the adventure in that? That is far too sensible...
And so, I set out, armed with an armful of homegrown tangerines and my lemon curd recipe that I would take to my grave.
Step one: beat 6 whole eggs, 6 egg yolks, 1 cup of fresh tangerine juice, two tablespoons tangerine zest, and one and one half cups of sugar until completely blended.
Next, set the bowl (heatproof of course) over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.
I stood and whipped that thing for at least 45 minutes. Good lord. At least I got my cardio in.
170 degrees was attained and the tell-tale sign of the finger test result was positive:
But something was wrong. I could feel it. It wasn't as unctious as it should have been at this stage... it should have been thicker. I stuck it in the fridge and hoped for the best.
Once it had chilled, it was not curd. Bah. I was so bummed. I hated wasting those beautiful tangerines and I was mad at all the cardio. Sheesh. I couldn't let this be the end of it. (By the way: the problem I think has something to do with the lack of acidity... tangerines just don't have enough to curd up on their own...)
I thought for a minute and remembered I had a 500ml carton of Greek yogurt in the fridge. Aha! I was going to make this thing my bitch!
I whisked in the yogurt until it was completely incorporated and then guess what?...
Yeah, baby, that's right... When life hands you tangerines, and you screw it up, make ice cream!
As it churned away, I added a capful of Cointreau, just enough to boost the orange flavor and also to help with the crystalization problem I always seem to encounter making ice cream.
All I can say is Holy Crap! This was good! The Bodyguard kept saying it reminded him of something from childhood, but he couldn't put his finger on it. He finally narrowed it down to the taste of the froth on top of an Orange Julius. It is that and/or St. Joseph's baby aspirin. What a surprise!
I don't know exactly what this is, as it's technically not ice cream (no milk), not frozen yogurt (because of the eggs), certainly not sherbet... But it tastes like it all... and then some.
What's the lesson here: Sometimes kitchen disasters can turn out to be sublime.
Don't cry over spilled milk... when life hands you lemons, tangerines, whatever... you know what to do.