A couple weeks ago, I was walking through Reading Terminal Market when I spotted a bin of blood oranges. They were relatively small, but the sign said they were just 4 for $1 and so I picked up eight. I had no plan for them beyond making something delicious. I buy produce like this far too often.
I considered making marmalade, but I still have one jar left from last year (and I’ve been working on a few varieties with Meyer lemons and Cara Cara oranges). As I thought over my other options, it occurred to me that it’s been far too long since I had a jar of curd in the fridge. And so the decision was made.
The nice thing about making blood orange curd is that it only needed half of my oranges (so I may just make myself a batch of blood orange shrub). I added the juice of one lemon to the mix to up the pucker a little and had a very generous 1/2 cup, which is exactly what I needed.
Whenever I make a curd, I always make sure to search out the very best eggs, because they contribute both color and flavor to the finished product. The only problem with that in this particular curd is that the yolks were so vividly orange that they muddied the ruby color of the blood orange juice. Happily, the resulting salmon color doesn’t impact the flavor, it just looks a little funky.
Let’s talk briefly about canning and curds. In my first book, I included three curd recipes. Because of differing acid contents, two are deemed safe for canning and one is not (I take my cues from the National Center for Home Food Preservation).
These days, I don’t can my curds at all, even when working with those that are higher in acid (which this one is not). That’s because I find that the texture often firms up unpleasantly in the boiling water bath canner. Curds will keep a couple weeks in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.
Let’s talk a little about what you can do once you have a batch of curd in the fridge. You can use it to fill a layer cake. You can smooth it into a tart shell. You can dip berries into it. You can dollop it on scones or biscuits. Or, you can do my favorite thing in the whole world and stir it into a bowl of Greek yogurt. The combination is sweet, creamy, and just a bit tart. Truly, it’s the best thing ever.
Blood Orange Curd
- 3-4 blood oranges
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces unsalted butter cut into cubes
- Remove the zest from the oranges with a Microplane and set it aside. Juice the oranges and measure out a generous 1/2 cup of the juice. Taste it and add a splash of lemon juice if you feel it needs a little extra pucker.
- Pour an inch of water into a medium saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Whisk together the juice, zest, egg yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl that will sit comfortably over the simmering saucepan.
- Place the bowl over the saucepan. Switch to a spoon or silicone spatula and start stirring. Keep stirring until the curd thickens, coats the back of the spoon, and starts to cling to the sides of the pan between stirring. If the eggs look like they're starting to scramble instead of thicken, pull the bowl off the saucepan and turn the heat down.
- When the curd has thickened sufficiently, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter.
- Position a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and push the curd through. This removes the zest and any bits of scrambled egg (no matter how careful you are, you always end up with a few).
- Scrape the finished curd into a jar and let it cool. Once it's down to room temperature, put a lid on the jar and pop it in the fridge.
This makes curd-making approachable! I’ve made a lemon curd a few times but still have been daunted by the whole recipe. Maybe I didn’t think the finished product should be strained? Anyway, thank you 🙂
Thank U 4 the recipe.
Have a wonderful and enjoyable weekend
Beautiful! I like the freezer tip! Good to know.
Marisa, I absolutely love Food in Jars! I’ve tried so many of your recipes. I’ve made lemon curd from your book, and always wondered if I did something wrong. Although it tastes delicious, the canned curd is too firm, looking nothing like the serving suggestion in the pictures. I’m going to try the blood orange curd. Can’t wait for to buy your next book!
Marisa, you forgot my favourite way to have curd! Straight from the fridge with a spoon! 🙂
That’s what I was going to say!
A dear friend of mine who was the recipient of some cranberry curd loved it on potato chips. Sweet, tart, salty all in one bite!
Marisa, this is another topic that I would love to see demonstrated when you are in Portland! I’ve been intimidated by the curd recipes but LOVE lemon curd. I might feel more confident if saw you make it. Just a thought for your next visit… (and a pressure canning demo!)
Blood orange curd is a must, as well as lemon curd. Blood orange curd makes a great orange pie, or a great smoothie.
I’m new to your site. Love what I’ve seen so far. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes.
My first experience making curd was the meyer lemon curd from your book. The first time I didn’t it, and the second time I did and I have to agree that the texture went funny. Do you thinka mix of blood orange and meyer lemon juice would work?
Unless you’re making a curd that’s entirely lemon or lime juice, it’s not safe for canning. Don’t do it with a combination of blood orange and lemon juice.
After you inspired me with your Meyer Lemon post last winter, and I banished my ‘gray doldrums’ last February by preserving my way through a massive amount of Meyers (thank you very much), I found some blood oranges calling out to me. Blood orange surpassed my love of lemon! Both the marmalade and the curd made my mouth feel like it was full of heaven. ;>
Thanks for the post and recipe. I hope someone else accepts the inspiration and has as wonderful an experience as I did. ;>
I might have enough blood oranges left when I have the time to make your version of the curd, but if not, I have some berry juice in the freezer it would be fun to curd. (and berries are so local here in the pacific northwet!) ;>
Thanks for the inspiration for the 2nd gray season!
This is absolutely gorgeous. One thing I have never made is a curd. Off to look for some blood oranges.
Kristina, you should try it! And if you can’t find blood oranges, grapefruit also makes lovely curd.
Hi there Marisa – I am totally off sugar. Do you think this would this work with honey, honey?
Hey Tia Mia,
I’ve never tried it with honey, but I’ve actually been meaning to do just that. I still have a few blood oranges, so I will give it a shot tomorrow and report back my findings. My best guess is that it will work, but will require a bit less honey than sugar.
You can freeze curd? Who knew. What is the texture like when you thaw it? (Most egg products don’t freeze well so forgive me for being a little dubious.)
Hey! I have made lemon curd often, and I always freeze it, because I have little room in the fridge. When frozen it is stiff, but you can make an imprint with your finger. I would imagine that if you were to pop it out of the container, that it would mostly hold it’s shape, but slump, and bulge at the sides. When thawed, it is unchanged from the set product. It has the same texture, the same color, and the same flavor. I might even go so far as to say that the texture is even a little improved, and the flavor more concentrated and bright? Or perhaps that is my imagination 🙂 There are no lumps, and the curd seems to be all the better for its trip in the freezer.
Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try. I made your meyer lemon and lime agan this year, both excellent. I found a recipe on-line for blood orange curd. It looked and tasted blah.
I knew you would have a solution for the extra oranges I need to use up. And it’s been too long since I’ve made a fruit curd as well. There’s not a lot of (non-marmalade) recipes that use up a lot of oranges fast, but this is perfect.
I love the lemon curd I made and it worked like a charm. However, I struggled with the orange curd I made and the same with the grapefruit. They never thickened and I cooked them for well over 30 minutes. What went wrong? Could rainy weather cause a problem? Should I have just kept cooking? The temp was staying in the safe zone. The spoon test was positive, it stuck to the back of the spoon. And tips or help?
I love all your recipes and am so happy to have both books on my recipe bookshelf. The pages get more and more smudged and spackled each year because, they are in use so often.
Per Rose Levy Berenbaum, the lower acidity of the oranges and grapefruit affects the curd’s ability to thicken. She recommends make a reduction with the juice before adding it. YMMV, but it’s worth experimenting with.
Don’t waste the orange skins. Recipe for delicious “vin d’orange”, served chilled as a popular aperitif in France.
1 bottle of dry Rosé wine; peel of 5 oranges – waste not want not – collect the peel, dry it and keep it in an airtight jar until you’ve got enough, or use fresh skins.
3/4 cup Fruit alcohol or vodka
Put into a lidded container and leave for 45 days; stir occasionally; filter using coffee filter papers and bottle.
Serve well chilled in small, stemmed glasses.
Oh my! I came across your curd recipe when looking for something to make with my blood oranges, and it worked a treat! My jars are in the fridge as I type, and I can’t wait to crack into them when they are ready. How fabulous is the colour of blood orange juice! Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.
wondering if you would give processing times for canning? I know you say you no longer can it would was wondering how to can this as I want to ship some to my friends this winter as presents and its been many years since i canned this and they always loved it when i made it.
You can’t can this recipe. It doesn’t have enough acid.
This sounds SO GOOD. A sort of tangential question though: you mentioned that some of your curds are acidic enough to be “deemed safe” for canning, while others are not. How do you determine this? I know clostridium botulinum is supposed to be killed in pH lower than ~4.6, so do you just test the pH of your recipes, or is it more complicated than that? I have liquid pH indicator (I’m a researcher), and was wondering how safe it would be to mess around with recipes as long as I keep track of the pH. I’d love to know your thoughts!
If you’re comfortable using a pH meter to check for safety, you can absolutely tweak the recipes. Shoot to be below 4.4 pH just to be safe.
Six egg yolks is a lot. Will the recipe still work if I use two whole eggs plus two egg yolks?
I have never made it that way, so I cannot say. I’d suggest you look for another recipe rather than try to alter this one.