Monday, 12 January 2015

Coconut Waffles with Grapefruit & Ginger Curd and Fresh Grapefruit

January can be such a long a dreary month and can seem a little austere after all the celebrations (and excesses?!!) of the festive season. Everyone is thinking about their New Year resolutions, many of which invariably involve ‘getting fit’ and ‘losing weight’. Now, I’m all for trying to live a healthier lifestyle but as I’ve stated before, it can be a bit of a struggle when faced with delectable things to eat… and a little of what you fancy every now and again can’t be that bad for you, can it? In any event, as each New Year dawns people are keen to eat lighter foods, less laden with the fat and carbohydrates that so many of the dishes of deep winter are.

I always think that it is ironic that citrus fruits are at their best during winter. For obvious reasons, it is not possible to grow citrus fruits in Ireland with its temperate climate, and they have always had to be imported from warmer countries. Whilst citrus fruits are available to buy throughout the year, they are at their peak during January. There is also a greater variety of fruits to buy now, including not only oranges and lemons, but also tangerines, blood oranges, pink grapefruit, clementines, and Seville oranges; the latter being the best choice for making bittersweet orange marmalade.

From a food perspective citrus fruits inject some edible sunshine and cheery freshness at this time of year. I absolutely love them and as regular readers will know I am a massive fan of anything that includes or showcases lemons. I find it hard to resist lemon cakes or desserts and regularly use them in my cooking and baking. Because of this great love of lemons, I sometimes forget that there are so many other citrus fruits and that they too have so much to offer the keen home cook in flavour terms.

One of my favourite ways of using up leftover egg yolks is to make lemon curd which, once made, can be quite happily stored in sterilised jars in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. It can be used as a filling for cakes, tarts, biscuits and is heavenly spread on warm crumpets. In many ways, it’s not surprising that I love lemon curd so much, as it contains lemons and another one of my favourite ingredients… BUTTER!

I have often thought about using other citrus fruits to make curd, but always felt that none could match the perfect bitter/sweet balance of lemons. However, I recently came across a recipe online for grapefruit and ginger curd and just the thought of it really got my taste buds working overtime. I have always been a huge fan of grapefruit and felt that, like lemons, they would provide enough sharpness against the sweetness of the added sugar and cut through the richness of all the butter. The ginger adds a spicy warmth but is not overpowering and stands up to the acidity of the grapefruit.

This curd is absolutely fabulous and could be used in loads of different ways. Here I have paired it with coconut waffles and fresh pink grapefruit to create a tropical tasting breakfast. I have owned a waffle maker for quite a few years but it spends most of its time languishing at the back of the kitchen cupboard… These waffles are a perfect excuse to take it out, dust it off and use it more often.
 

Ingredients:

Grapefruit and ginger curd:
Finely grated zest of 2 pink grapefruit
Juice of 3 pink grapefruit
25g grated fresh ginger
85g caster sugar
100g butter
1 large egg plus 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten together
 
Coconut waffles:
225g plain flour
1tblsp baking powder
25g caster sugar
50g desiccated coconut
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
50g butter, melted
 

Method:

Grapefruit and ginger curd:
1. Place the grapefruit zest and juice into a small saucepan and add the grated fresh ginger. Bring to the boil and allow to bubble until reduced by about half (to approximately 125-140ml), Pour through a fine sieve into a clean, heatproof bowl and add the sugar and butter.
2. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl does not touch the bubbling water. Stir the mixture until the butter melts and the sugar is completely dissolved.
3. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot mixture from the bowl onto the eggs and using a small whisk mix thoroughly. Pour this into the bowl over the pan of water and keep gently stirring all the time, until the mixture begins to thicken (to a consistency almost like mayonnaise). It may take you about 12-15 minutes of continuous stirring to reach this stage.
4. Remove from the heat and pour into sterilised jars. Allow to cool, cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 weeks.

Makes 3 x 250ml jars approximately.
 
Coconut Waffles:
1. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar and desiccated coconut and mix through.
2. Place the eggs in another medium sized bowl and gradually add the coconut milk, mixing well with a small whisk so that everything is fully incorporated. Add this mixture into the dry ingredients along with the melted butter to create a thick batter. Do not over mix – you are not looking for a completely smooth batter, it will still be a little lumpy.
3. Separately, heat up your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and once it is hot, ladle on some of the batter and cook the waffles (this will take anything from 3-5 minutes) until golden brown.
To serve:
4. Serve the waffles with some of the grapefruit and ginger curd, some fresh grapefruit segments and a little natural yoghurt.

Serves 6-8.