Citrus Curd. Why have just lemon when you can have lemon, orange and lime? This recipe makes the BEST tangy, creamy jar of deliciousness that is easy to make at home.
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Citrus Curd – A perfect way to use up fruit
This citrus curd recipe came out of a need to use up old fruit. I am a big fan of making curds and jams to avoid waste. They are surprisingly quick and fun to cook… And you are rewarded with jars of deliciousness which far surpass the average shop-bought preserves.
Having found a couple of lemons and limes lurking at the back of the fridge, I was in need of a ‘use quick’ solution. They were otherwise heading for the composter. But the advantage of past-its-best citrus is that (providing it hasn’t started going too mouldy) the juice is usually still good.
Making curd seemed a fitting purpose for my hopeful-looking citrus fruit. And as there were a couple of oranges loitering in the fruit bowl too, the deal was sealed.
What is citrus curd?
Citrus curd is best known by its big sister (and the mother of all curds)… lemon curd. At its simplest, it is made with just 4 ingredients… citrus juice, butter, sugar and eggs. Balanced in ratio, the fruit, butter and sugar are melted and dissolved together over a low heat, before carefully adding and whisking through the eggs. The eggs then help to thicken the curd when cooked. Check out some quintessentially English curd history here!
Technically, it is more of a custard than a preserve and it certainly doesn’t have the same ‘shelf life’ as the average jar of jam. But what it lacks in longevity, it makes up for in moreishness. The end result is a sumptuously creamy, rich and decadent jar of deliciousness. It won’t last long enough to go off…
Curd is incredibly easy to make. I remember making lemon curd at school when I was about 13. Although it took a lot of patience and stirring, my main thought was ‘really? Is that all there is to it?’
It is versatile to adulteration too… We’ve made all sorts of curds at Gluten Free Alchemist. In addition to this citrus curd, our favourites include tangy Rhubarb Curd and a delightfully autumnal Apple and Blackberry Curd.
Does lemon, orange and lime curd taste different to straight lemon curd?
I love lemon curd, but this broader citrus version is the epitome of curd loveliness. With a fantastic balance of tart and sweet, no one fruit outweighs or overshadows the others… Close your eyes and you can pick out the individual citrus flavours as the curd washes over your palate. It is as complex on the tongue as it is lusciously silky.
Texturally, this citrus curd is divinely smooth and creamy… Not to mention it’s wonderful rich colour. It is seriously a feast for the senses from taste to touch.
How to eat curd…
Confession… I can (and do) sit with just a bowl of curd… on its own, with nothing added… and savour spoonfuls, just to get the full impact. It has an irresistible pull with a versatility to match.
It is (of course) amazing spread ‘neat’ on bread and toast. And also on hot cross buns and almond shortbread. But curd of all flavours can be added to anything from ice creams and fools, to tarts, cakes and cheesecakes. Indeed, a thicker version of curd (with a little added cornflour) forms the base filling to the meringue pie. Why not try our Raspberry Meringue Pie? Or we have a Rhubarb & Strawberry Meringue Pie and an Orange and Lime Meringue Pie with Walnut Pastry too.
Curd is a wonderful addition to butter-creams. This orange cake has the most incredible Orange Curd Butter Icing. It also enhances other desserts such as Lemon Meringue Ice Cream. Or this Zesty Lemon Meringue Roulade, which has lemon curd folded into whipped cream. And you can add it to trifles too, for a creamy hit of fruity decadence… We’ve tried it in Lemon and Berry Trifle as well as Boozy Orange Trifle.
It is also amazing swirled into thick Greek yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped pistachios… Great for breakfast as well as a fresh dessert.
How will you eat your Citrus Curd?
I’m always looking for new ways to use ingredients and citrus curd is ripe for playing! I’d love to know how you think we should eat it… Ping me an email or leave a comment below and let me know of new ways to enjoy this delicious jar of scrumptiousness.
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Citrus Curd (Lemon, Orange & Lime)
- jam jars with tight seals (about 4)
- metal tea strainer
- measuring jug
- large glass bowl
- large saucepan
- 300 ml citrus juice (I used 2 lemons, 2 limes & 2 oranges) use more fruit if needed to get 300 ml
- 230 g unsalted butter
- 460 g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs beaten – At room temperature (UK large = Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
Sterilise the jars and a metal tea strainer
- Wash the jam jars, lids and strainer in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Do not dry.
- Wash any silicone seals (from Kilner jars) separately with hot soapy water and set aside.
- Place the clean jars, their lids (but not the silicone seals from Kilner jars) and the metal strainer into a cold oven on a baking tray and turn the oven on to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- Once the oven has reached temperature, the jars should be allowed to heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the jars have sterilised, turn off the oven, but leave the jars to cool in the oven, until ready to use.
- Make your curd whilst the jars are being sterilised.
Make the Curd
- Grate the zest from 1 lemon, 1 lime and 1 orange.
- Juice all of the fruit to make up 300 ml.
- Place the zest, juice, butter and sugar into a large glass bowl and place on top of a suitable-sized saucepan of simmering water.
- Heat the ingredients, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat, cool slightly and then whisk in the beaten eggs until smooth and completely incorporated.
- Return the bowl to sit over the simmering water on low to medium heat and with a wooden or silicone spoon, stir continually whilst heating, until the curd is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- When ready, strain the curd through the sterile tea strainer straight into the warm, sterile jars and seal immediately with the lid.
- Allow to cool completely and then store in the fridge. Best consumed within 1 to 2 weeks.
© 2019-2024 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist