Homemade fruit curds always surprise me. Each creamy spoonful contains so much bright, sweet flavor. Even though I have been making my own fruit curds for some years now, I still think it’s pretty amazing that such simple ingredients can turn into something so special.
When I found Marisa McClellan’s brand new book Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces in my mailbox a few weeks ago, I immediately checked the index to see if there was a citrus curd recipe inside. The answer was, happily, yes! And the recipe- Orange Cardamom Curd- was so intriguing that I had to make it right away.
Do you follow Marisa’s blog Food in Jars? If you are interested in food preservation, then you must, must, must check it out. Having met her in the flesh, I can attest to the fact that she is a lovely person; Marisa is also a truly fabulous resource when it comes to canning (Preserving by the Pint is her second book; she is also the author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round). I really like her small-batch approach. I think it’s wonderful for those new to preserving, but I have to stress that Preserving by the Pint is not just for novices. I, for one, really enjoy making small amounts of preserved foods…I don’t always want to make 6, 9, or 12 jars of something…I don’t always feel like “swimming in preserves”, as Marisa puts it.
Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces contains recipes for so many things you’ll love: from jams to chutneys to pestos and pickles. I plan to use this book a lot and I highly recommend it.
I love this curd swirled into plain yogurt (with some nuts sprinkled on top); I also think it would be great on these orange date oatmeal scones. Marisa mentions using it on whole wheat biscuits…use your imagination!
Recipe for Orange Cardamom Curd
Yield: makes 2 (half-pint/250 ml) jars
I used regular navel oranges in this recipe but since you're using the orange zest in the curd, it's definitely worth trying to use organic navel oranges, if you can find them.
*3 medium-size navel oranges (about 1 pound/460 g)
*1 cup/200 g granulated sugar (I used organic sugar)
*1 teaspoon ground cardamom
*6 large egg yolks (I used eggs from my backyard chickens)
*6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches/5 cm of water and bring to a low boil.
2. Remove the zest from the oranges with a rasp-style grater and place in a stainless steel or tempered glass bowl that fits snugly into the heating saucepan. Cut the oranges in half and juice them until you have 1 1/4 cups/300 ml of orange juice. Add the orange juice, sugar, cardamom, and egg yolks to the zest and whisk. Once the mixture is mixed well, set the bowl on top of the saucepan. Switch to a silicone spatula and stir continually as the orange curd begins to cook.
3. As you stir, monitor the temperature of the curd with a candy or instant-read thermometer. The curd will begin to thicken between 190 and 195 degrees F/about 90 degrees C. Once it looks thick in the bowl and coats the back of a teaspoon, it is done. You don't want to let it cook beyond 205 degrees F/95 degrees C, as higher temperatures can cause it to curdle. Over medium-high heat, this curd typically takes 14-18 minutes to thicken.
4. When the curd has thickened, drop in the butter and stir until melted. Once the butter is fully incorporated, remove the curd from the heat.
5. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. The straining removes both the zest (which will have imparted a great deal of flavor to the curd during the cooking time) and any bits of scrambled egg.
6. Pour the strained curd into 2 half-pint/250 ml jars for storage. When it has cooled to room temperature, store in the refrigerator or freezer. It will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge and up to 6 months if frozen.
Reprinted with permission from Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces. Copyright 2014 by Marisa McClellan. Published by Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.
Previous curd recipes on my blog:
More fruit curds I want to try: