Orange Curd

  • Serves: Makes about 1 2/3 cups
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SARAH SAYS: "I created this recipe to use in my Vanilla Orange Frozen Yogurt Push Up Pops Recipe. Oranges do not typically contain enough citric acid to make the recipes work. Find out our secrets to making Orange Curd thicken."
P.S. An aluminum pan should not be used to prepare lemon curd (or any acidic curd) because it will react with the egg yolks, turning them chartreuse.


For Orange Curd to thicken, you also need to add in lemon juice, which is acidic. Oranges do not typically contain enough citric acid to make the recipes work. I also add in the butter after the curd has been made, instead of during the boil, to avoid causing any off-flavors in the recipe.
The science of lemons in lemon curd Lemon juice is a multifunctional ingredient in curd recipes. It flavors, denature proteins, and act as an acidulate. As a source of flavor, lemon juice provides most of the tartness and characteristic lemon flavor. In addition, the citric acid in the lemon juice denatures proteins, providing the typical texture and mouth feel characteristics of the lemon curd (Schmidt, 1983). By denaturing the egg's protein, the emulsion stability of the lemon curd is increased. As an acidulate, citric acid lowers the pH of the lemon curd. By lowering the pH, it prevents the growth of many microorganisms such as Salmonella species usually found in eggs, a major ingredient in the lemon curd. Finally, citric acid also serves as a sequestering agent, sequestering metal ions present in the product that could potentially accelerate oxidation or browning.

3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened), cut into tablespoons 

Always zest an orange and/or lemon, or remove its peel before squeezing it for its juice!

1. Have a strainer, suspended over a bowl, ready near the range.

2. In a heavy noncorrosive saucepan, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks.

3. Whisk in the sugar and salt. Then whisk in the citrus juices and zests.
SARAH SAYS: I like cooking the zest in the curd for more flavor, and then straining it from the curd at the end, for a smoother consistency.

4. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 6 - 8 minutes, until thickened and resembling hollandaise sauce, which thickly coats a wooden spoon but is still liquid enough to pour.
The mixture will steam.
SARAH SAYS: Do not let it boil or it will curdle. Whenever steaming occurs, remove the pan briefly from the heat, stirring constantly to prevent boiling.

5. When the curd has thickened, pour it at once into the strainer set over a large bowl.
SARAH SAYS: Press it with the back of a spoon until only the coarse residue remains and discard.

6. Let the mixture cool to body temperature - about 98 degrees F.
Whisk in the softened butter, one tablespoon at a time with an Immersion Blender or quickly, with a wire whisk until well blended.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure you really whisk in the butter quickly, otherwise the curd will be greasy.
I am using an Immersion Blender to blend in the butter, but you can use a wire whisk.


SARAH SAYS: Press a piece of plastic wrap on its surface and cut 6 small steam vents in the plastic to cool. Refrigerate the curd, preferably overnight, to thicken. Then, it can be frozen.

Store in the refrigerator in a covered container and consume within 1 week. Orange curd can be frozen for up to 1 month without quality changes when thawed.
To thaw, move the container from the freezer to a refrigerator for 12 - 24 hours before intended use.

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