This creamy Mandarin Orange-Lemon Curd has just the right balance of sweetness and tanginess. All you need is 15 minutes and you can put this fruit spread on anything you can imagine, like cakes, pancakes, yogurt, pavlova, and scones.
This week, I’m bringing you another Mandarin orange recipe. We’re still going through my in-laws’ mandarin oranges and lemons. Two weeks ago, my in-laws gave us another box. Good news is that they last a long time in the fridge, but the problem is that we have too many. Bryan and I gave some to a couple friends already, but we still have plenty.
With all the citrus, I am continue to brainstorm new recipes. Let me introduce you to this mandarin orange-lemon curd. I’m so proud of this curd. Not only it tastes very good, it’s easy and quick to do too. It’s sweet, creamy and a little tangy. The mandarin orange flavor comes in first, then you get a bit of the lemon flavor. I can imagine it on pancakes, waffles, yogurt, granola, parfaits, macarons, cakes, pavlova and many other things. It’s very versatile.
To make this curd, use fresh mandarin oranges and lemons. Fresh juices are crucial, they give acidity and sweetness, but you also want the zests. Zests are where the aromatic are. Using a combination of both zest and juice will enhance the flavor of the curd. If you can’t find mandarin oranges, you can use oranges or tangerines. But definitely keep the lemon. The acidity of the lemon helps to balance the sweetness of the oranges.
First, whisk the zests, juices, egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. This is called a double boiler. So the curd is being cooked gently and slowly, which will ensure the egg is not being scrambled. Whisk everything constantly until the mixture is thickened like sour cream. Then, remove from heat and stir in room temperature butter. That’s it. Transfer to a container. Cover with a plastic wrap and press the wrap down onto the surface of the curd. That will prevent a skin from forming on top of the curd. Keep in the fridge to cool. The curd will thicken more as it cools.
One important tip for this recipe is to use only glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl. Citrus juice can react with aluminum, copper and steel material, which can lead to a metallic taste in curd. Definitely don’t want that.
I’m beyond excited about this curd! I have used some to make a cake already. So tasty! I hope you’ll give this curd a try. Stay tuned for next week’s recipe. I’m going to show you a gorgeous dessert you can make with this curd!
Mandarin Orange-Lemon Curd
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar (99 grams)
- zest from ½ lemon
- zest from 2 mandarin oranges
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- ¼ cup fresh mandarin orange juice (about 2 mandarin oranges)
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (86 grams) (at room temperature)
- Cut the butter into small cubes. Set aside and let it get to room temperature.
- Prepare the double broiler by filling a medium pot with 1 – 2 inches of water. Set a medium heatproof bowl (glass or stainless steel) over. Check the bottom of the bowl to make sure it didn’t touch the water in the pot. Remove the bowl. Bring the water to a full boil over medium heat.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce to low heat and keep at a simmer. Add egg yolks, sugar, zests, juices and salt to the bowl. Set it over the pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until thicken like sour cream, about 10 minutes. Curd will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.
- Transfer the curd to a small glass container or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap by pressing down to the surface of the curd. This will prevent a skin from forming on the curd. Refrigerate until cool.
- When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and give a few stirs. It’s ready to be used.
- Make sure to use only glass, ceramic or stain steel bowls for this recipe. Citrus acid in citrus juices can have a chemical reaction with reactive metals, like aluminum, and copper. These metals will give your juice and curd a metallic taste.
- You can substitute the mandarin oranges with any tangerines, or even oranges.
- When whisking the egg mixture, it will get foamy. It’s normal. Once it’s thickened, it will be creamy but still has tiny bubbles.
- Once the curd is cooled, you can remove the plastic wrap completely. A skin will not formed at this point. Just cover with a lid (or with a plastic wrap like how you normally do it).
- For storage, the curd can last for about 2 weeks in the fridge. It can also be frozen and kept up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.