a seductive blood orange curd

blood orange curd
I woke up blearily, befuddled with sleep, and looked out my bedroom windows to see what the day was bringing. Oh dear god, I thought. Those windows are in need of a serious spring clean. It turned out it wasn't my windows that were grubby; it was the filthy grey sky that was in definite need of a clean, having lost its spring sparkle.

I made a lemon and lime curd this time last year (on another day where the sky was a grim pewter colour) and decided to bring some cheerful colour into my kitchen and make some more citrus curd. However, this time I wanted to use up my stash of blood oranges. I have gone for a slightly different recipe this time, using less sugar and butter, but twice as many eggs. This meant the texture was much lighter and glossier. I was hoping for a delicate pink colour but sadly the curd turned out more flesh-toned than pink. Tasted gorgeous though!

Before zesting my citrus fruit, I like to soak them in a bowl of hot water. This gives me a chance to give the skins a scrub, as I am planning on using the zest in the curd. As the citrus oils are released, there is a hint of oil in the air and a memory of warm Mediterranean breezes. It is completely seductive.

Makes about 500g (about 2 small jam jars)
Skill level: Easy

juice and finely grated zest of 2 x blood oranges
juice and finely grated zest of 1 x lime (or lemon)
150g caster sugar
6 x egg yolks
180g butter


  1. Zest the blood oranges and lime, before juicing them. Make sure the zest is very finely chopped.
  2. A quick tip if you want to try to get more juice out of your lemon or lime is to either roll it on a hard surface, with the heel of your hand. This helps to break down the fibres and releases some of the juice. Another method is to give the fruit a burst in the microwave, on about 10 second bursts. But probably not more than 20 to 30 second bursts in total. You could end up with a hot citrus bomb!
  3. Place a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure that the bowl isn't actually in contact with the water.
  4. Add the zest, fruit juice and sugar to the bowl and stir until the sugar is beginning to melt.
  5. Add the butter and continue to stir occasionally until all of the liquid has combined.
  6. Beat the egg yolks. Slowly add to the butter mixture and continue to stir.
  7. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened. Do not allow it to boil. It should start to coat the back of the spoon after about 7 or 8 minutes and up to 10. Don't cook beyond that time as it really won't get any thicker. It will however thicken as it cools.
  8. Pour into clean pots. Allow to cool and then refrigerate.


  • Fruit curd has lots of uses. You may want to use it as a filling for an alternative Victoria Sponge cake, or with fresh raspberries in a delightful summer sandwich.
  • Stir curd into a syllabub for a zesty dessert.
  • Gorgeous with freshly baked bread.
  • Keep the used citrus fruit. I put them in a bowl of boiling water and then microwave for about 10 minutes, as it helps to degrease and deodorise your microwave


belleau kitchen said...

I must say when I last made a lime curd I did add a little food colouring as the colour was so depressing... tasted amazing though. your blood orange is inspired and a great way to capture that wonderfully short-lived taste.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

I did think about adding some pink colouring but . . . last time I tried something similar (with icing) it ended up a peculiar peachy orange!

Emma Ferguson said...

I made lemon curd today and was quite impressed with the results but now I really fancy making this I love blood oranges. Do you know how long it keeps as I have quite a lot of jams and stuff in the pantry at the moment but don't want to miss out on this.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Hi Emma - I have only ever stored my curd in the fridge I'm afraid - which lasted about 3 weeks, although I have seen recipes with say that 6 weeks is fine too. I'm assuming that if you bottle everything properly it store for a long time but possibly not as long as say chutney, because of the butter and eggs. But don't quote me on that!

I have friends who freeze their curd but I am not sure of the texture when it is defrosted. Though I have to say a dollop of frozen curd on a hot pudding is divine! And curd stirred into icecream before freezing is pretty nice too!

Camilla @FabFood4All said...

I've never tried orange curd let alone blood orange curd which sounds absolutely divine! I was lucky enough to be sent some blood orange marmalade though the other day and that seems to be the nearest I've come to a blood orange for years! I think I'll have to start a Twitter campaign for all the supermarkets to stock them as I absolutely love these little fellas. I bet your curd would be fab in a cake too! I shall just imagine the flavour until I can find some of my own blood oranges!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Hi Camilla - I promise you that blood oranges are definitely worth tracking down (although I think they are coming to the end of their season). I hadn't realised that they were hard to get hold of - admittedly I haven't seen them in the supermarkets but have in my local market stall and in the greengrocers . . . perhaps it's the part of London I live in!

Made lemon curd fairy cakes last year which were delicious. But fell victim to a classic food blogger blunder - remembering to fetch my camera before they had been snapped up. Curses!

Anonymous said...

Just made a batch! Gorgeous taste, but I slightly regret using lime instead of lemon, as the colour is a little murky - not the taste though. As ever, I used 3 whole eggs rather than 6 egg yolks. I prefer the slightly lighter taste. 6 yolks is just too rich for me and leaves you with 6 pesky whites too...