How to Make Blood Orange Bars with a Browned Butter Crust

Recipe from the couple behind White on Rice

Todd Porter and Dian Cu are the pair behind the internationally renowned White on Rice Couple Blog. They’re the kind of food bloggers that get it right every time: words that are honest and direct, photographs that make our mouths water, and recipes that manage to scratch our itch for something both seasonal and creative. It’s no wonder they recently published a book, Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden. In it, Porter and Cu share their recipe for blood orange bars with a browned butter crust. Now in season, the deep crimson flesh of Italian blood oranges turns sunset pink when made into curd. Cradled in a nutty browned butter shortbread crust, it’s exactly what we want on a warm winter’s day.

Blood Orange Bars with a brown butter crust by Todd Porter and Diane Cu
Yields 12 bars

For the crust
½ pound (225g) unsalted butter
½ cup (100g) sugar
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher
For the curd
¼ cup (30g) cornstarch
1½ cups (300g) sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
12 eggs, beaten
4 egg yolks, beaten
Zest of 6 blood oranges
2½ cups (600ml) fresh blood orange juice
½ pound (225g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2. Make the brown butter crust: In a saucepan, melt
the butter over medium heat. The butter will foam
up initially but then settle down. Continue cooking,
swirling the pan occasionally, until the solids begin
to separate and brown and the liquids turn a light
brown color. The browned butter should have a nutty,
toasty aroma. Remove the pan from the heat and stir
in the sugar until mostly dissolved.

3. Put flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the butter and
sugar mixture and mix until completely incorporated
(the mixture will have a crumbly texture). Press the
mixture into the bottom and sides of a rimmed 9-by-
13-inch (23-by-33-cm) sheet pan.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

5. Make the blood orange curd: Bring a pot of water to a
gentle boil and place a heatproof bowl over the saucepan
to make a double boiler.

6. In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
Mix in the eggs, egg yolks, blood orange zest, and blood
orange juice. Place the mixture in the bowl of the double
boiler and cook, stirring frequently, until the curd has
thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir
in the butter a few pieces at a time until it is completely
incorporated. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh
strainer into a bowl.

7. As soon as you take the crust out of the oven, pour the
blood orange curd on top of it. Return the pan to the
oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the filling
has thickened. Remove from the oven and set aside to
cool. When cool, place in the fridge to chill for at least 4
hours, preferably overnight.

8. Cut into bars and serve chilled.

This recipe reprinted from Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden with permission from Todd Porter and Diane Cu.