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How to Make Delicious Orange Curd (+ Ways to Use It)

This Homemade Orange Curd is one of my favorite recipes and a must make during citrus season or any time you have extra oranges on your hands. Learn how easy it is to make this recipe for orange curd, how to store it, and how to use it. You’ll love its wonderful flavor, silky smooth texture, simple ingredients, and many uses.

photo of orange curd in a jar with a small spoon

Creating this Orange Curd

I showed you before how easy it is to make lemon, lime, or grapefruit curd.

I found myself with several pounds of oranges in the produce drawer last week and felt the urge to do something with them.

Despite not having egg yolks that needed using up, I decided to go ahead and experiment with my lemon curd recipe to create an adaptation using delicious, winter oranges.

Now, what should I do with all those egg whites??? Perhaps experiment with French Macarons or bake an Angel Food Cake.

The tricky thing with oranges is they are already so sweet, so you really don’t need nearly as much sugar in orange curd as you’d need with lemons or limes.

I used a little lemon juice and zest to balance things out.

Citrus curd is a great basic condiment to have on hand for sweet cravings or the need for a last minute, simple dessert. Or just to add a little brightness to the winter doldrums.

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Tools to Make this Recipe for Orange Curd

You don’t need a lot of special equipment to make this recipe. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Microplane Grater – for zesting the oranges and lemons.
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups – to measure the sugar, fruit juice, and zests from the citrus fruits.
  • Medium Size Bowl – to combine the egg yolks with the juices, zests, and sugar
  • Wire Whisk – whisking the eggs well is important so you don’t end up with lumps of cooked egg
  • Saucepan or Double Boiler – you can use a regular saucepan or a double boiler. I’ll include instructions for both.
  • Wooden Spoon – at the end, you’ll use a spoon to stir in the butter.
  • Jar – I like to store my orange curd in a jar. I love Weck Jars for this because they’re so cute!

What is in this Orange Curd Recipe

This easy orange curd recipe has some pretty basic ingredients, but you’ll be amazed at how delicious it tastes! The addition of a small amount of lemon juice and lemon zest really brightens the orange flavor.

  • Fresh Orange Juice
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Orange Zest
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolks
  • Unsalted Butter

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

What Type of Oranges Should I Use?

I typically use regular Navel Oranges when I make this recipe for orange curd.

However, you could probably use valencia oranges, cara cara oranges, tangelos, or even blood oranges (blood orange curd would be so pretty!).

For a sweeter curd, you’ll want to try sweet oranges: clementine, satsuma, or tangerine.

Related: How to Supreme an Orange

How to Make Orange Curd

First, you’ll combine the juices, zest, and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat it until simmering over medium heat.

While the juices are coming to a simmer, you’ll whisk the eggs until very smooth. Then, slowly pour half of the orange juice mixture into the whisked egg yolks. Make sure you continue whisking while pouring.

Then, transfer the egg and juice mixture back to the saucepan – continuing to whisk while doing so. Cook the mixture over low heat while whisking until the mixture thickens. This should take about 10 minutes.

After that, remove the orange curd from the heat. Then, stir the butter in a tablespoon at a time. Cool to room tempearture.

TIP: Try using these three simple steps when squeezing your fresh orange juice. You’ll get so much more juice out of your oranges and have plenty of juice for your recipe.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

How to Separate Eggs to Make Orange Curd

Since you’ll only need egg yolks to make this tangy orange curd, you’ll want to check out the quick video attached to this post to learn How to Separate Eggs if you don’t already know how to do this.

If you previously made a recipe that uses egg whites only, orange curd is a great reason to save those egg yolks. You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days until you’re able to make this homemade curd recipe.

Orange Curd: Frequently Asked Questions

Never made orange curd before and have a question? Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about preparing this recipe for easy orange curd:

Why Did My Orange Curd Turn out Lumpy?

There are a couple of reasons why your orange curd turned out lumpy:

  1. You didn’t continuously stir the mixture while it was cooking.
  2. The eggs have cooked in the orange curd.

To prevent lumpy orange curd, make sure to whisk the eggs well, until they are completely smooth, before incorporating them with the orange juice mixture.

Then, slowly pour the hot orange juice mixture into the whisked eggs, whisking vigorously while you’re pouring. Continue stirring constantly after you’ve combined all the ingredients and continue to cook the curd.

If you find that you often have bits of egg in your curd, you can also try using a double boiler instead of a sauce pan. When preparing orange curd with a double boiler, it takes a lot longer to cook so the egg portion cooks more slowly.

How Do You Know When Orange Curd is Done?

You’ll be able to tell that your orange curd is done when you can run your finger along the back of the spoon you’re stirring with and the curd holds the trail from your finger.

You can also use an instant read candy thermometer and check the temperature. Curds are usually finished when they reach 180 degrees F.

This recipe for orange curd thickens as it cools, so your hot curd will always be a little looser than the finished product.

How to Get Rid of Lumps

If you find that you have just a few lumps in your orange curd, don’t worry! You can easily remove any lumps by pressing the orange curd through a fine mesh sieve. If you have a lot of lumps in your curd, unfortunately, you’ll likely need to remake the recipe.

How Long Does Orange Curd Last

This easy recipe for orange curd will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator when stored properly. It should be kept in an airtight container and not left to sit on the counter.

Additionally, always use clean utensils when removing curd from the container. Contaminated utensils can introduce bacteria which will cause the curd to spoil. So, don’t double dip!

Can You Freeze Orange Curd?

Yes! You can actually store lemon curd in the freezer for up to a year without problems. Here’s how to freeze orange curd:

Prepare the Orange Curd according to recipe instructions, then let it cool completely. Smaller containers are better because the portions are more usable and they thaw faster.

Transfer the cooled orange curd to an airtight container that is freezer safe. Make sure to leave about a 1/2-1 inch of space to account for expansion when the curd freezes. Label and date the contents.

How to Thaw Frozen Orange Curd

To thaw frozen orange curd, transfer the container to the refrigerator for 24 hours before you plan to use it and let it thaw in the refrigerator. If you froze a large container, you may need more time to thaw.

Once thawed, the orange curd should be stored in the refrigerator when not in use. For best results, consume within 2 weeks.

How to Use Orange Curd

This, like so many other pantry and fridge staple favorites, is so simple to make at home yourself, there is no need to experiment with store bought counterparts.

There are so many fun ways to enjoy citrus curd that I’m sure you’ll find yourself making it often. You can allow the citrusy goodness to take center stage, or be a background flavor for just a hint of flavor.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy it, plus some links for recipe inspiration:

With Your Breakfast

With Dessert

Tips for Gifting this Orange Curd

Orange curd is great for homemade gifting during the holiday season, but you’ll want to make sure that it lasts as long as possible so your recipient doesn’t have to use it immediately (unless they want to!). Here are some tips:

Before filling jars with orange curd: sterilize the jars and lids in the sanitize cycle of your dishwasher or in a large stock pot of boiling water. Then, let them dry completely.

Use clean, freshly washed handles when handling the jars as you fill them, and don’t touch the insides of the jars or the curd itself.

For longer term storage, you can water bath can your jars of orange curd. Due to the acidity of the fresh oranges, water bath canning is safe for orange curd. Canned orange curd is best used within 6 months.

More Fruit Curd Recipes

Grapefruit Curd is a fun take on the classic lemon curd recipe. This curd has a pretty, light orange color and has a nice sweet and tart flavor. Use ruby red grapefruits for best results!

Homemade Raspberry Curd is a delicious tart raspberry filling. You’ll also love its pretty color. It is perfect for making during the summer when raspberries are in season and has so many uses!

I love the combo of lemon and coconut together and this tart, yet sweet Coconut Lemon Curd just melts in your mouth.

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.

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What is your favorite way to eat orange curd?

Orange Curd

Orange Curd

Yield: about 1 pint
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Orange Curd is a delicious way to use up extra oranges!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 - 2 drops of 100% Pure Orange Essential Oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar, depending on your sweetness preferences
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 10 tablespoons butter, sliced into tablespoons

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the juices, zest, and sugar.
  2. Heat over medium heat until simmering.
  3. Turn heat to low.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl until smooth.
  5. Slowly pour half of the orange mixture into the yolks while vigorously whisking.
  6. Return the amount in the bowl to the saucepan.
  7. Continue to cook over low heat while whisking until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. About 5-10 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
  9. Cool to room temperature, then store refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information
Yield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 108Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 111mgSodium 62mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 2g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Hinda

Saturday 23rd of December 2017

It says in ingredients butter but no where doed it say when or where to put it

Katie

Sunday 24th of December 2017

Not sure what you're looking at, but the recipe clearly states what to do with the butter. See the bolded portion below:

In a medium saucepan, combine the juices, zest, and sugar. Heat over medium heat until simmering. Turn heat to low.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Slowly pour half of the orange mixture into the yolks while vigorously whisking. Return the amount in the bowl to the saucepan.

Continue to cook over low heat while whisking until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. About 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.

Cool to room temperature, then store refrigerated in an airtight container for about a week.

Helen G.

Friday 17th of January 2014

Katie, I have to drop you a note because you live in CO. Am attending a gal-pal Bunko party Sunday evening, the same day the Denver Broncos face the Patriots for the AFC championship. I am bringing dessert. I'm going to make a lemon cake following a Martha Stewart recipe. But instead of using lemon curd between the layers, I'm going to make your orange curd. Blueberries will be the perfect added accessory. And, because we love our Broncos regardless of the outcome, I will bake in heart-shaped pans. Cheers! Go Broncos!

Katie

Monday 20th of January 2014

enjoy and have fun!!

Christi Bunn

Sunday 17th of March 2013

I made this today, St. Patrick's Day, to go with some scones that I whipped up (from a King Arthur flour recipe) I Googled "orange curd" because I didn't have any lemons and had just bought a box of clementines, and my search led me to your page. I used clementine (or mandarin orange) juice and zest, and I added 2 Tbsp key lime juice because I didn't have any bottled lemon juice. Aside from that, I followed your recipe exactly. I must say the result is possibly one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Bryan

Tuesday 20th of March 2012

I want to make this with coconut oil instead of butter. Any suggestions before I begin?

Katie

Sunday 25th of March 2012

I have never tried it with coconut oil and do not know how that would work. Would love to hear your results though if you choose to experiment.

Tammy

Wednesday 29th of February 2012

Made this last night.... Just delightful! I now need to make some scones to enjoy it with!

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