Filed under: Spring / Winter
January 13, 2023

Orange Curd

Buttery smooth, silky curd made with fresh orange juice and zest. You can use either navel, cara cara or blood orange to make this orange curd recipe. 

Yield: 2 cups
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Buttery smooth, silky curd made with fresh orange juice and zest. You can use either navel, cara cara or blood orange to make this orange curd recipe. 


Recipe Ingredients to make Orange Curd 


Oranges: This recipe is designed to work with either blood oranges, cara cara or your regular navel oranges. Each will give you a slightly different taste: navel your standard orange, cara cara will have a hint of berry, blood orange will taste berry like but also be a bit more tart. 


Sugar: Fine granulated sugar, don’t reduce it! 


Butter: Unsalted butter, no need to soften it, it’s best cold here. 


Eggs: Large eggs and a yolk. The extra yolk is to help along the thickening of the curd. 


Salt: A small pinch of fine sea salt to help break down the eggs and bring out the flavor of the curd. 


Lemon: Just a bit of lemon juice to add an edge to an otherwise sweet curd (oranges are sweet!). If you want it more tart you can remove more of the orange juice to add more lemon. At more than 2 tablespoons of juice though, the lemon tends to dominate. 


How to make Orange Curd 


As with most citrus curds, you’ll start by juicing and zesting your citrus.

I like to rub the zest into the sugar which helps bring out the flavor even more. 

Eggs get whisked together separately, this helps break down the egg whites so that you don’t struggle as much with them once the curd is cooking. 

One particular note about making an orange curd is that it is prone to cooking quickly, thus the risk of overcooking is greater – this is why I use the bain marie method, the double boiler for orange exclusively. Having it over simmering water and allowing it to heat slowly protects the curd, allows it to get up to the right temperature. 


It’s best to use a thermometer to help you check for doneness, at around 160 F the curd will start to thicken a bit. You can take it to 170 F for a properly thick curd (I stopped mine at 165 F). 

Then you’ll pour it through a fine mesh sieve over the butter. The sieve will capture the zest and the little white egg bits that can sometimes form. 

Incorporating cold butter slowly helps achieve that super silky, smooth texture. 

FAQ & Troubleshooting 

Can I reduce the sugar in this curd recipe? 

Not without sacrificing the texture and consistency. 


How long will this keep in the fridge? 

Two weeks, longer if you store it in the freezer! 


The curd didn’t thicken 

It probably needed more time. There’s three eggs and a yolk in there, it’s guaranteed to thicken at the right temperature.


The curd has white bits in it/The curd is too thick 

This happens when the curd is overcooked, bits of the egg turn white. There’s no real way to salvage an overcooked curd, you’ll be straining out the white bits anyway but if you find it overly thick and still want to use it for spreading over toast or something you can add a bit more orange juice to loosen it. 


What to do with Orange Curd 

Use it to spoon over a pavlova, or mini pavlovas along with whipped cream and some fresh fruit. 

Smear it over toast. 

Make an orange meringue tart (or pie). 

Bake some orange curd stuffed cookies

Make some orange curd bars, with a shortbread crust

Make some chocolate ganache curd bars

See also 

Lemon Curd 

Blueberry Curd

Raspberry Curd 

Cranberry Orange Curd Bars 


Any Orange Curd Recipe

Orange Curd

Buttery smooth, silky curd made with fresh orange juice and zest. You can use either navel, cara cara or blood orange to make this orange curd recipe.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Yields: 2 cups


  • 160g or ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large navel or cara cara oranges or 3 blood oranges
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 120g or ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice navel, cara cara or blood orange
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 85g or 6 tablespoons butter cold and sliced
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  • Set the sugar in a heatproof or glass bowl, and zest the oranges over the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until you feel it begin to release its oils and become like wet sand.
  • Set a pot filled ⅓ of the way with water simmer.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolk with a pinch of salt.
  • Slice the butter and place it into a bowl and set a fine mesh sieve over it.
  • Pour the juices and the eggs into the bowl with the sugar and whisk well to combine.
  • Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk again.
  • Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the curd as it cooks. It will take 10 minutes or so, depending on how high the heat under it is. You’ll keep stirring as it warms and thickens. It will thicken on the bottom first, be sure to stir that into the rest.
  • Use a thermometer to check the temperature, at around 160 F the curd will be slightly thick. If you want it very thick keep cooking until you reach 170 F.
  • Pour the thickened curd into the bowl through the sieve. Scrape it to get as much curd out as possible, and scrape the bottom of the sieve too.
  • Stir until the butter fully melts into the curd and you have a runny, silky curd. Transfer to a heatproof jar and let come to room temperature. Then set it in the fridge to store.
  • Curd will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.


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