If you've got an excess of oranges (or even better, home grown oranges) then you must try making this orange curd! This is a wonderful way of using up oranges that makes for a delicious breakfast spread or an alternative to jam or marmalade. Here I give you a recipe to make this on the stovetop, microwave or Thermomix so that making your own home made orange curd is a cinch!
What is Orange Curd? Orange Curd is also called Orange Butter and is a delicious spread made of orange juice, sugar, butter and eggs. I love making fruit curd as it's such a great way of using up fruit and preserving it beyond making a jam or marmalade. Orange curd makes a beautiful gift too. And if you have a microwave or Thermomix, these can be made quickly and easily too without the need to constantly stir the mixture!
How To Make The BEST Orange Or Lemon Curd!
1 - My pro tip is to use only the egg yolks when making curd. Egg whites set at a lower temperature and produce little white balls in your mixture and make the curd less smooth and silky.
2 - Don't forget the zest! Use finely grated zest to bring out the orange flavour. The zest of the fruit holds so much aroma and flavour. Just make sure to wash the fruit well before hand. I used Valentina's homegrown oranges that she doesn't spray but if you use commercial oranges washing them well really helps to remove any sprays used.
3 - I always make this in the microwave or Thermomix because I don't like to stand there stirring all the time but if you don't have either, you can definitely make curd on the stovetop.
4 - You can also pass the curd through a sieve if you want it really smooth afterwards. It will catch the bits of zest.
5 - Your curd will thicken upon cooling so don't worry if it seems a bit too runny.
6 - Preserving: You can preserve the orange curd in a sterilised jar using sterilising methods (boiling the jar). Otherwise it can keep in your fridge for up to 1 month. Just use a clean knife or spoon.
7 - Freezing: you can freeze orange curd for up to 1 year. Thaw it in the fridge and then use it within 2-3 weeks always using a clean spoon or knife.
I was so excited when Valentina gave me her oranges and eggs. In the neighbourhood and among friends we have a village style system of bartering. My friends and neighbours give me things or help with issues and in return I make food. When Valentina gives me her oranges and eggs I give her cake or curd. When my neighbours give me citrus they get cookies back. Others mow our front lawn for us, loan us equipment, take our garbage cans out when we are away or loan us Puglian cookbooks. It works for everyone as I've always got something that I'm cooking I never feel like I am taking advantage. I like these relationships to be quite even - not that I keep score or track but as a giver I don't really mesh with takers. I have a relative (actually a few) that is a consummate taker and he will literally take from you until you have nothing and he has everything.
Our direct neighbours Nick and Vicki are often the recipients of food and one day after we gave them some orange cake Nick messaged Mr NQN. "Wow. Thanks so much. What can we offer in return, other than random legal stuff?" Nick is a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace and has signed documents for us. I told Mr NQN to tell him that we needed nothing but on the very, very minor chance that we get in trouble with the law, that we can call him to at least find out what to do. Every time I watch Law and Order SVU I worry that I don't have a lawyer on hand to get me out of any situation and I wouldn't know who to make my first call to!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a bartering system among your friends or neighbours? Would you know what to do if you got in trouble with the law?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 400ml/14oz of orange curd
- 150ml/5flozs orange juice
- 100g/3.5ozs caster or superfine sugar
- 75g/2.7ozs butter, cubed
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges (around 2 tablespoons)
- 3 egg yolks
Stovetop Orange Curd
Step 1 - In a jug whisk the orange juice, sugar, zest and egg yolks together. Add the butter to a small saucepan and melt on low to medium heat (I set it on 4 out of 10 where 10 is the hottest temperature). Add the juice mixture to the butter. Use a flat bottomed spatula to ensure that the mixture doesn't catch on the bottom of the saucepan. Stir it every now and again until it thickens, around 15 minutes. Strain and place in a sterilised jar.
Thermomix Orange Curd
Step 1 - Peel 2 oranges and place the zest into the TM bowl. Set to speed #10 / 10 seconds. Scrape down the zest from the sides of the bowl and repeat until you get a really fine zest. Add the orange juice, sugar, butter cubes and egg yolks and set to speed #4/10-12 minutes/80C. Check after 10 minutes, if it needs an extra minute or two keep cooking. Strain and place in a sterilised jar.
Microwave Orange Curd
Step 1 - Place orange juice, sugar, orange zest and egg yolks in a large microwave proof bowl and whisk. Add the butter. Microwave on high on 1 minute intervals whisking between each minute. It will take around 7 minutes total depending on your microwave. Your curd is ready when bubbles appear in your curd. Strain and place in a sterilised jar.