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Successful orange curd - at any cost?

I love me some lemon curd. I've even made some damn fine orange curd. I'm making a batch of orange creamsicle cupcakes in a few days and would love to fill them with orange curd before icing. According to Rose Levy Beranbaum in The Cake Bible, orange curd does not thicken as successfully as lemon or lime curd due to a lower acidity. I have never attempted orange curd, but hate the idea of throwing out ingredients, so I'd like a solid jumping-off point at least.

I am not worried about PITA processes. I'm totally OK using stabilizers if it will give me a better end product. So far, my 2 thoughts are to add citric acid (I have it on-hand for cheesemaking), or to add gelatin, tapioca starch, arrowroot, or cornstarch. What do you think?

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  1. Oh, wow. I made an excellent blood orange curd for an Anglophile book party years ago. As I remember, the recipe kept things really simple, with fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, some sugar, and cornstarch, followed by lots of stirring over the heat. I'm pretty sure I was using the Cake Bible recipe, since I own that book. Hope that helps a bit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: terrierboy

      The cake bible recommends reducing down the orange juice from something like 1 cup to 2 tablespoons, so I suppose I am on the right track. Rose did mention that blood orange juice is more acidic, so does a better job of setting a curd.

      I wonder if a starch would be more conducive to piping the curd into a cupcake, whereas gelatin may get globby?

      1. re: LaureltQ

        Sorry to be so long replying. I would agree with you about starch being preferable to gelatin to pipe into a cupcake. Starch handled properly thickens without getting too gelatinous, whereas it's much harder to reach that consistency with gelatin. Hope it all worked out for you.

    2. Lots of supermarkets sell TrueLemon but fewer carry TrueOrange and the other varieties. They are available online, though. These are little packets, with less in them than Equal. They are dehydrated juice. Good for packing extra flavor and acid into foods without changing the liquid/dry ratio.

      1. I love curds...lime and citrus especially. I would use a teaspoon of cornstarch and two teaspoons water, stir until smooth and mix it into the simmering liquid.

        1. Like a panna cotta, adding some gelatin would seal the deal.

          1. I would probably use orange juice concentrate and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe slightly. I find that the flavor of fresh squeezed orange juice can be slightly anemic in this sort of dish anyway, so you'll probably get a fuller orange flavor with concentrate, in addition to less liquid and higher overall acidity. Adding a smidge of lemon juice and an extra egg yolk might also help.

            3 Replies
            1. re: biondanonima

              This is exactly what I needed. I had thought of orange juice concentrate initially, but then I got in my head and figured that fresh must be better, otherwise RLB wouldn't advocate going to the effort of reducing, but I think I'll stick with concentrate and add an extra yolk. Plus maybe add the zest of one orange to the mixture while it cooks, then strain out at the end?

              1. re: LaureltQ

                Yes, I would definitely add the zest and strain (which will also remove any cooked egg bits, etc. for a gorgeous texture).

                1. re: LaureltQ

                  I forgot about the zest, which I did use to boost the flavor. It lent a lovely color to the curd, as well.