{recipe} Clementine Curd

What do you do when you have leftover egg yolks AND a whole bag of way-too-sour clementines? Why, you spend the afternoon making clementine curd, naturally. It’s a little sweet, a little tangy, a little creamy, and a lot addictive. Put it on your morning toast or pancakes, fill a thumbprint cookie or a tart shell, or… just eat it with a spoon.

Curds need a lot of acid, which is why you only see citrus-based curds like lemon or orange or grapefruit, and never apple or banana or strawberry. This is definitely not health food–it’s essentially a buttery, yolky, sugary suspension flavored with citrus juice and zest. You know, like hollandaise sauce or aioli, but sweet. I learned to make curd in a double boiler, but I’m lazy and 8 months pregnant and my giant belly keeps accidentally turning on the gas when I lean over the stove to stir, so I did not use a double boiler because it takes forever. Instead, I made it very carefully over low heat and then strained it through a fine mesh strainer. You can do that too, and you don’t even have to be pregnant. I should tell you that if you don’t strain it, a) you might get zest in your teeth, and b) more importantly, it might have little pieces of cooked egg in it, which in case you can’t figure out, would be extremely disgusting.

For the record, I hate hate hate the word “curd” – to my ears, it’s one of the least pleasant words in the English language. I know a lot of you are not fans of “moist” or “panties” or whatever, but for me “curd” rises to the top of my icky words list. Unfortunately, curds of all types are extremely delicious so for the time being I will just have to suck it up and try to embrace the curd for what it is and not what it’s called.

Recipe: Clementine Curd
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. You can substitute part oranges, blood oranges, tangerines, etc. for all or part of the clementines.


  • 1/2 cup butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup clementine juice (I needed 10 but I think I am a wussy juicer)
  • zest of 4 clementines
  • pinch salt
  • 3 egg yolks


  • Put butter pieces, sugar, juice, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan, like an enameled cast iron pot. Heat over low heat, stirring with a whisk, until butter is melted.
  • Prepare a large metal bowl with ice and water and set aside.
  • Put egg yolks in a bowl. Ladle a little of the hot liquid over the yolks to temper them and whisk. Add yolk mixture back to the pot.
  • Whisk constantly over low heat, about 15 minutes, until curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon heavily enough to leave a clean line when you run your finger through it. (It will thicken more as it cools.)
  • Put pot into ice bath and continue whisking to cool. You don’t have to whisk constantly – just whisk well, wait a minute or two, whisk again, and repeat until cooled to room temperature and thickened.
  • Pour into airtight containers or jars and refrigerate. This will keep for at least a week.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. February 22, 2012

    […] course, shortbread is fabulous on its own, but I happened to have some fresh clementine curd on hand, so it was hard to resist drizzling some over the top. I also sampled it with a glass of […]