Delicious homemade curd made with fresh blood oranges. Perfect on toast, used as a tart or cake filling or drizzled over your favourite pudding. This is a versatile curd recipe that can be used for other types of oranges (sweet oranges).
Why make this recipe?
- Suprisingly easy to make (and quicker to make than an orange marmalade recipe)
- Much lower in sugar than regular orange marmalade
- Very zingy taste
- Great as a gift for your family and friends
KEEP THIS RECIPE – PIN IT FOR LATER
What exactly is blood orange curd and how to use it
Blood Orange curd is a variation on lemon curd. It has nothing to do with cheese or curd, but it’s made with fresh fruit, sugar, butter and eggs. It’s a sort of sweet condiment or preserve, which can be used in the same way as marmalades or jams for toast, croissants or bread rolls in the morning.
You can also use homemade orange curd as a filling for various fruit tarts and for baking cakes or filling patisserie cakes or sweets (like macaroons).
One of my favourite ways of using orange or lemon curd is to make a zingy chocolate truffle ganache. I usually use dark chocolate and instead of cream, I use the curd to make the ganache. The flavour is amazing especially if you add a few extra drops of real orange juice, a tiny pinch of salt and a tiny pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice.
My top tips on making blood orange curd recipe successfully first time round
Don’t rush the stirring and thickening of the blood orange curd. It will happen eventually, but you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs.
If the mixture is not setting – carry on stirring or add an extra egg yolk or if needed more sugar. Both of these ingredients will help to thicken the curd.
If you end up with a lot of fresh juice, you might like to reduce the juice first before adding the sugar and the rest of the ingredients. To reduce the blood orange juice simply add it to a small saucepan and simmer for a few minutes until it visibly reduces in volume. This will make the syrup a bit thicker, whilst keeping the flavour. Add your sugar and carry on with the recipe.
Use caster sugar for a smooth texture.
What makes this recipe work
The normally very strong blood orange flavour is subtly toned down with the use of real butter and egg yolks.
Any specialist equipment needed?
- Medium size saucepan
- bowl (glass or heat resistant plastic) to fit inside/above your saucepan
- 2 medium sized jam jars
- plastic sieve
Add the eggs as the last ingredients and add them to the slightly cooled down mixture. I’ve noticed that if I added the eggs to just a warm mixture and then gently started to heat the curd back up, the eggs didn’t curdle as when I added them to a hot mixture.
I only found this, because I was taking photos for each of the blood orange curd making steps and had to let the mixture cool down a bit otherwise the steam would steam up my camera lens! I also switched the water boiling in the saucepan, which meant that I had to start boiling it back up afterwards. Anyway, I think this really made a difference in not ending up with curdled eggs in my recipe.
Make sure that you heat the blood orange curd mixture over very low heat and that your mixing bowl doesn’t touch the water. Keep checking the level of water too to ensure that you have enough under your bowl.
Ingredients & Possible Substitutions
If you can, use organic and non-treated blood oranges, because we will be using the fruit’s zest. If you don’t have blood oranges, you can also use:
- Regular – sweet oranges (any kind)
- Seville Oranges – you might need to increase sugar a little to suit your taste
Unsalted dairy butter is best for this recipe, but you can use a part salted and part unsalted butter as well. Make sure that if you use salted butter you don’t add more salt to the recipe.
Caster sugar is best for this recipe because it dissolves quicker (the sugar crystals are small). You can also use granulated white sugar. The flavour of the blood oranges comes through the white sugar flavour best.
If you want to make the flavour a little deeper, you can use light brown sugars, but I would probably still stay clear of darker sugar, coconut sugar or its alternatives, as it would change the flavour of the blood orange curd too much and the sugar would also spoil the colour (it would make it much darker).
The fresher eggs you use the better because they will emulsify (cream in) better.
The blood orange juice is quite runny, so I always use only egg yolks for this recipe. You will need to stir the juice and cook for quite a while and the egg whites could easily scramble.
Add a pinch of salt to improve the flavour of the curd. Salt balances out the flavours and makes the zingy orange flavour pop even more.
The method – How to make orange curd
Wash the blood oranges and dry them first.
Grate the rind to get as much orange grind as possible, but avoid grating the white pith under the skin. You might not need all the zest, but you can also use it for other recipes.
Juice all the blood oranges and pour the juice through a fine-mesh sieve to get rid of any pith, pips or large pulp.
Add about 1 inch or 2 cm of water to a medium size saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over low to medium heat on your hob.
In a suitable bowl (glass or heat proof plastic) mix the sugar, lemon juice (if using) blood orange zest and blood orange juice with a large pinch of salt.
Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the sugar and butter dissolve first. Stir gently to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and the sugar has dissolved properly (check on the back of a clean spoon for any sugar crystals).
In the meanwhile, separate the eggs into egg whites (keep for other recipes) and egg yolks.
Once the sugar and butter have dissolved, turn the heat right down (or even turn it off completely) add the eggs to the main curd mixture.
Carry on stirring the blood orange curd mixture, ensuring that the heat is very low and that the water doesn’t boil (only simmers).
Stir gently for another 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth and creamy.
To achieve a smooth blood orange curd, pour and press the hot mixture through a fine sieve (and discard any large parts).
Pour carefully into prepared jam jars or other suitable containers.
Keep in a refrigerator and use within 1-2 weeks.
How else you can make this recipe?
- Blood Orange & Whisky Curd – add 2 tablespoons of whisky right at the end of the cooking process
- Spiced Blood Orange Curd – use light brown sugar instead of white sugar and add 1 teaspoon of mixed spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger etc)
Allergies, dietary requirements
This recipe contains eggs and although we have cooked them, the recipe might not be suitable for anyone who is avoiding fresh (raw) eggs.
This recipe is not suitable for vegan diets and it’s not dairy free as it contains butter.
- Gluten free
Orange curd will be perfect with these recipes
- Homemade white bread (no knead) >>
- Light & Fluffy Pancakes (made with yeast) >>
- Crusty sourdough bread >>
This recipe makes 2 medium sized jam jars or similar size glass jars. I purposely made this recipe on a smaller size because curds have a shorter shelf life and unless you want to give some away, they are not going to last very long.
I scale up or down this recipe?
I sometimes make this recipe with just 1/2 of the ingredients and I make just one jar. It still takes the same amount of time, but if you have only 2 oranges or not enough eggs, it’s worth doing this recipe with just 1/2 of the volume of the ingredients.
If you fancy making more of this delicious curd, you can easily double the quantity of the ingredients in the recipe and make more!
You have to make sure that you get a large saucepan and larger mixing bowl. The simmering time might not be much longer than the standard recipe as the saucepan/bowl/heat will increase with the recipe.
How to store blood orange curd
Store in an airtight container (jam jar or similar) in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks (or up to 1 month if alcohol is added). Once opened, eat within 7 days and store in the fridge.
You can also freeze curd by pouring it into a suitable freezer container, leaving it to cool down completely first, then putting on a lid and then freezing.
You can keep the orange curd frozen for 1-3 months, then defrost it and use it straight away (whilst storing it in the fridge).
Orange curd shelf life
2-3 weeks unopened in the fridge
7 days once opened
1 month unopened in the fridge (with alcohol)
1-3 months frozen
Why not stay in touch…
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and if you do, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and add the hashtag #cocoaandheart so that I can see your post.
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Blood Orange Curd
- Medium size saucepan
- bowl (glass or heatproof plastic) to fit inside/above your saucepan
- 2 medium sized jam jars
- 4 medium blood oranges about 700 grams before juicing & zesting (about 300 ml of juice afterwards)
- 160 grams caster sugar fine sugar 3/4 cup (or to your taste)
- 120 grams unsalted butter 1/2 cup (chopped not melted) or 7 tablespoons or 1 stick
- 6 eggs yolks medium to large size
- large pinch fine cooking salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice optional (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons blood orange zest optional (to taste)
- Wash the blood oranges and dry them first.
- Grate the rind to get as much orange grind as possible, but avoid grating the white pith under the skin. You might not need all the zest, but you can also use it for other recipes.
- Juice all the blood oranges and pour the juice through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any pith, pips or large pulp.
- Add about 1 inch or 2 cm of water to a medium size saucepan and bring to gentle simmer over a low to medium heat on your hob.
- In a suitable bowl (glass or heat proof plastic) mix the sugar, lemon juice (if using) blood orange zest and blood orange juice with a large pinch of salt.
- Place the bowl over the saucepan and let the sugar and butter dissolve first. Stir gently to make sure all ingredients are incorporated and the sugar has dissolved properly (check on the back of a clean spoon for any sugar crystals).
- In the meanwhile, separate the eggs into egg whites (keep for other recipes) and egg yolks.
- Once the sugar and butter has dissolved, turn the heat right down (or even turn it off completely) add the eggs to the main curd mixture.
- Carry on stirring the blood orange curd mixture, ensuring that the heat is very low and that the water doesn't boil (only simmers).
- Stir gently for another 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens and becomes smooth and creamy.
- To achieve a smooth blood orange curd, pour and press the hot mixture through a fine sieve (and discard any large parts).
- Pour carefully into prepared jam jars or other suitable containers.
- Keep in a refrigerator and use within 1-2 weeks.