I love mandarins straight from the tree, sun warm and juicy and full of Vitamin C. But there is a limit to how many you can eat like that. And mandarins are such a good source of “bioflavanoids” that strengthen blood vessels and protect against all kinds of cell damage that it is worth challenging the limit. And citrus season is so abundant that there’s plenty of scope.
In the bowl heat 1 cup (250 ml) of mandarin juice and pulp. (This is 5 of my smaller, early season mandarins). The pulp is really good for you so don’t strain it out.
Add 2 dessertspoons of butter and heat until the butter melts.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, use an egg beater to beat together 3 medium (50 gm) eggs, or 4 of my little bantam eggs, with 2 dessertspoons of sugar till it goes pale and fluffy.
As soon as the butter is melted, pour the egg mix all at once into the mandarin juice and straight away beat it in with the egg beater. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, over the boiling water, for 4 or 5 minutes until the mixture starts to go thick and custardy. It will thicken up a bit more as it cools, quite a lot more if you chill it. Don’t boil it.
Take it off the heat and give it another beat with the egg beater, then let it cool. (If you want it to cool fast, put the bowl in the sink in some cold water).
From this point you can do many things with it.
If you want to be voted best cook ever by a five-year-old, give them a bowl of warm mandarin curd and a spoon. It’s not exactly a balanced breakfast but it’s high protein, low sugar and pretty healthy, and oh so good.
For weekday mornings when we all need to be out of the house by 8 am, I cool the curd and spread it thickly on toasted sourdough. A batch like this will make several breakfasts and will keep in the fridge for a few days.
For a more leasurely gourmet breakfast, while the curd is cooling, make a batch of crepes.