One of my favourite preserves for topping my morning round of toast is undoubtedly lemon curd, but having an idea for a Apricot & Orange Frangipane Tart rattling around my head, which includes an orange element, I set to and made a
homemade batch of orange curd. Not only is it as delicious as its cousin, lemon curd, it also contains far less refined sugar.
Never having made an orange curd before, I carried out a little search on Google and noticed that in the recipes I read people were commenting that the orange curd was far too sweet. So baring that in mind and realising that oranges are obviously naturally sweet compared to lemons I knew that my go-to lemon curd recipe would need adjusting to cater for the different sweetness level of oranges.
As somebody who enjoys her sweet bakes and desserts I must admit that I was a little surprised by how much less sugar this orange curd actually needed. To be specific, our lemon version used 225g of sugar compared to 150g in the orange version. That's a massive 75g less! To be honest, the refined white sugar really wasn't missed, the Orange Curd simply doesn't need it due to the oranges being naturally sweeter than the lemon. In fact, those of you who have less of a sweet tooth than me, may even be able to reduce the 150g even further without feeling that you were compromising too much. However, if you fancy your curd a little sweeter, you can easily add a little more to suit your own preference (I outline how to do this within the recipe).
Without any compromise on taste, this reduced sugar orange curd is delicious. It is lovely both spread onto a round of toast and used in bakes. It would look fabulous topped with a pretty preserve cover and offered as a homemade gift to foodies.
So let's get to it and bake!
Homemade Orange Curd.
Yield: approx 500g Orange Curd
Time: hands on time about 40 - 45 minutes; cooling time.
Storage: In an airtight jar in the fridge for 2 weeks.
You will need:
Sterilised Jars / Kilner Jars
Wax seals and cellophane or jam jar lids
Heat proof pouring jug (ie Pyrex)
For the orange curd
125g Unsalted Butter, cubed
150g Caster Sugar (plus a spoon or two extra if it isn't sweet enough for your preference)
2 large Oranges, zest & juice
3 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 capful Orange Extract
How to make it:
1. Sterilise the jars. Heat the oven to
140c /120 fan / Gas 1. Wash the jam / kilner jars and lids (if using)
by either placing them in hot soapy water or in the dish washer for a
hot wash. Rinse them well. Without drying them lay the jars and lids
on a tray
(for ease of moving them) and place in the warm oven to dry completely.
If you're using kilner jars, boil the rubber seal as
dry heat can damage them.
2. Set up the bain marie.
Select a pan which allows your heatproof bowl to sit on the pan safely.
Quarter fill the pan with water. Ensure that once the bowl is
positioned on top of the pan the base of the bowl doesn't touch the
water. Place the pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the cubed
butter, sugar, orange zest, orange juice and orange extract to the bowl and suspend over
3. Allow the butter and sugar to melt.
Stir the mixture frequently with a wooden spoon whilst the butter
melts. Keep the pan on the medium heat until the sugar has completely
dissolved, you will no longer feel or hear any granulation from the
sugar. Use a teaspoon to taste the mixture, add more sugar if it isn't to your preference, allowing it to fully dissolve before moving to the next stage. (see note b). Remove the bowl from the pan and set onto a cloth. Reduce the
heat under the pan.
4. Add the eggs.
Strain the lightly beaten eggs through a sieve (to remove any shell or sinew) into the bowl. Stir with the wooden spoon.
5. Cook slowly. Replace the bowl on the pan. Constantly
stir the mixture whilst it slowly cooks. Gradually it will begin to
thicken. It is ready when you are able to draw a clear line with your
finger through the mixture on the back of the wooden spoon. This stage
took me 35 minutes.
6. Decant into jars. Ladle
the cooked hot curd into the pyrex jug and then pour into the
sterilised jars. Whilst the curd is still hot seal the jars with a wax
disc (wax side down) and slightly moistened cellophane held in place
with an elastic band. Alternatively use the sterilised jar lids. Allow
the curd to fully cool before placing in the fridge.
a) The jars I used for this batch of lemon curd are
simply used jam jars. Avoid using jars which have previously contained
strong flavoured food or tomato sauces in them as the aroma is unlikely
to have been removed even with thorough washing.
b) When sampling the curd in step 3 consider that tasting at this stage will only give you a guideline to the final sweetness level as the flavours will develop and alter further during the cooking.