Healthy Blood Orange Curd Bar

Healthy Blood Orange Curd Bar
March 1, 2016 megsri8

Changes to Meghna’s

orange curd bar 1

If any of you have recently visited my website you may have realized that there have been some changes. Firstly there is no online shop and secondly the landing page is now dominated by my blog posts and Instagram posts! This is because the brand Meghna’s is undergoing a few changes.

I am taking a break from selling healthy packaged snacks and going to focus on training and learning with other health and wellness brands in London. Selling Meghna’s healthy snacks online has been a huge learning curve for me as I realized the enormity of the work behind running a packaged food business in the UK. The most amazing thing about starting Meghna’s is that it made me learn so much more about healthy eating and living, brought me close to a variety of diets and helped me use food photography and my blog as a medium of communication.

I am still going to blog about healthy recipes and wellness products and places in London. I am also going to continue working on my food photography skills and learn about the latest health food trends and will catalogue that on Instagram. In the meanwhile I hope to work with some amazing entrepreneurs in London, improve my skills and hopefully meet some inspiring people! I am looking forward to being a part of someone else’s story for a while!

Now back to one of my latest dairy and sugar free dessert recipes!

Blood Orange Recipes…

blood orange curd bar 3It’s the end of  the blood orange season here in the UK and I felt like doing a going-away seasonal tribute. I wanted to dedicate the next few recipes and photographs with versions of this beautiful fruit to celebrate this seasonal beauty and have creative liberty to create some good sugar free dessert recipes!  Blood oranges are a seasonal pop of colour and are oranges which are either completely red or have a reddish tinge. They thus impart a deep shade of red to their juice or shades of pink if you are not so lucky to get a deep red orange. It is quite difficult to know if your orange is going to be deep red or not until you cut it open which for me,  is part of the fun!

While looking up different desserts made with blood orange, I came across some beautiful photographs and recipes of a blood orange bar. It was a blood orange curd bar and I thought not only did it look beautiful it also sounded tasty. This inspired me to set about creating a healthy version of the same.

orange curd bar 8

Two things attracted me to the recipe. One was the colour of the orange curd which was a reddish hue and the other was that it was a dessert made with a citrus curd. My absolute childhood favourite dessert is lemon tart which is lemon curd in a pastry and I became excited at the thought of recreating it in a healthy beautiful way.

What is Orange
Curd?orange curd bar

Orange curd is similar to lemon curd and is an egg based creamy desset filling or topping which is an in-between to a custard and a jam. This recipe is made using blood orange juice and blood orange zest giving the curd pale reddish tinge. In this recipe I have made it as one of my healthy paleo dessert recipes and modified a paleo lemon curd recipe which I found here. This means that it is a dairy free grain free dessert recipe.  I have used coconut butter instead of regular butter and used maple syrup instead of sugar.

The Blood Orange Curd Bar

orange curd bar 12You may have heard of lemon curd bars, which is mainly lemon curd baked on a pastry base and cut into quares. This is a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free version of the same. I have made the base grain free using almond flour and buckwheat. I have topped the cake with candied blood orange made from a xylitol syrup but this is completely optional and can be skipped.

How is this a Healthy Dessert?

orange curd bar 6

This is more of a healthier dessert than a healthy dessert. This is because it is refined sugar free. I have used three different sugar alternatives such as maple syrup, coconut sugar and xylitol. Xylitol can be considered the most healthy sugar as it has a low fructose content but the other two sugar alternatives do have a fairly high fructose content. To understand more about what this means, do have a read about my article covering everything about sugars here.

I have also used healthier good fats such as coconut butter which has great health benefits and will not cause problems to your heart health. You can read a little more about coconut fat in another one of my articles here.

Finally I have substituted the grains for almond and buckwheat making it more nourishing and satiating. I have also added Maca powder to the crust which gives it a superfood kick as well as to get an enhanced caramel flavour in the crust! The recipe is a small batch one of 6 slices for a reason- that way there is no over eating and you savour each piece! This dessert is packed with good fats and will satiate your sugar cravings and dessert needs making you feel happy and beautiful!

orange curd bar

Do have a go at this scrumptious dessert and let me know how it comes out. If you are a lemon curd fan you will love this dessert. Even if you are not it will be something delicious and guilt free to give a try. Do let me know if you try this recipe out and please share photographs of your version of this recipe on Instagram with the #meghnas and #meghnaskitchen. That way I can be a part of your healthy cooking adventures!

Print Recipe
Blood Orange Curd Bar
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
For the pastry base
For the Blood Orange Curd
Blood Orange Candy (Optional)
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
For the pastry base
For the Blood Orange Curd
Blood Orange Candy (Optional)
Instructions
For the Pastry Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a medium rectangular baking dish or square baking dish with parchment or baking paper.
  2. Combine the flours, maca (if using), coconut sugar and salt. Rub in the coconut butter till the flour resembles crumbs.
  3. Add the egg and combine to form a dough like consistency.
  4. Press into a thin layer in the prepared baking dish. It should be spread uniformly and as thin as possible. Bake for 20 minutes till golden and slightly puffy.
For the Blood Orange Curd
  1. Whisk the egg and yolk, blood orange zest and juice together till well combined. Add the maple syrup and the coconut butter and combine. Pour into a thick based saucepan and put it on medium heat
  2. Keep whisking or stirring for anywhere between 5-15 minutes for the egg curd to set. If you do not keep stirring or keep a very high heat the eggs will scramble. This should not happen and take care to prevent this. It will eventually become a thick and glossy custard like liquid.
  3. Take it off the heat when reached a thick consistency. If at this point you are not happy with the colour as the redness can fade with heating or your oranges may not be very red. You can add beetroot powder or beet juice or natural red food colouring to enhance the pinkish red shade. This is completely optional.
  4. Pour over the baked pastry crust and bake for another 10 minutes. Leave it the oven with the heat turned off for five minutes after that before you remove it. Decorate with the orange candy and chill in the fridge for a few hours before cutting into slices.
Blood orange candy (optional)
  1. Slice the blood orange with a mandolin or a sharp knife into thin rings.
  2. Combine the xylitol and water and place in a flat pan over medium heat. Add the orange slices without overlapping into the water. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes or till the syrup has reduced by more than half.
  3. When slightly cool, arrange and decorate over the baked orange curd bars before refrigerating them.
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