Last night I had this craving for pancakes. I was watching a show on the Cooking Channel all about… you guessed it, pancakes, and all of a sudden I NEEDED a pancake. I finally convinced myself (read: Dan said no) to wait until morning. The pancakes featured on this show weren’t you’re average everyday buttermilk with maple syrup, so naturally, my mind was dreaming up different variations I could make the next morning.
I came up with blackberry buttermilk pancakes topped with fresh orange curd. Now, let me just start by saying this isn’t a “true” curd. (Curd… what a weird, and slightly unappetizing word, huh?) I only had three eggs in the house and as any of you other foodies know, you need lots (and I mean, LOTS) of yolks to make a true curd or custard. What I did have was cornstarch. Total cheat, I know, but remember… I needed to satisfy this craving I had been dreaming up all night. So I came up with my own variation of a curd. Here’s what I did:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 & 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon orange zest
In a heavy saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and salt. Then, whisk in the orange juice followed by the egg. Turn the heat to medium, and stir the mixture constantly, until it comes up to a boil and thickens. Whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and remove from heat. Stir in the orange zest. Scrape into a glass bowl or jar and place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface – like any custard or curd, this just ensures you don’t end up with a skin or film on top. If you plan to serve it in the next few hours (say… drenched over your blackberry pancakes!) you can leave it at room temperature. Otherwise, it should be chilled in the fridge. It can then be served cold or warmed up slightly.
*You’ll notice I didn’t add any sugar. Orange juice is already a really sweet citrus, and I wanted something tart to balance out the sweetness of the berries and pancakes, but you could easy add about 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar in the very beginning with the cornstarch if you prefer a sweeter curd.
If you’re looking for a real curd recipe, I found this one on Pinterest by Good Life Eats that I’ll definitely be testing out next. She has some great options for what to do with your leftover curd as well – I’m thinking I’ll make a shortbread dessert! (Think: Lemon squares.)
And I can’t build up these delicious blackberry orange curd drenched pancakes without showing photos can I?!
Oh, and did I mention I made a little dipping sauce for the side? What pancakes are complete without butter and maple syrup, right? Well… since the orange curd was the prominent topping of these cakes, I decided to make a maple-butter sauce for dipping, just in case. Ya know, you can never be too prepared 😉 I just used equal parts room temperature unsalted butter + maple syrup, then mixed until I had a nice smooth, creamy consistency.