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Orange curd didn't thicken/set

(19 Posts)
HurdyGurdy Thu 09-Jul-20 07:48:33

I made some lemon curd last week, using my mother in law's old recipe. It was lovely, so I decided to branch out a bit and try making orange curd and lime curd.

I made orange curd yesterday but despite having it in the double pan for for 40 minutes, it didn't thicken. I tried putting some cornflour in, but even that didn't help.

I put in into jars in the hopes that it would thicken itself once it had cooled, but it didn't. It's still very runny - almost liquid still.

Can this be fixed retrospectively? Or can anyone suggest what I did wrong? The lemon curd recipe used 3 large lemons. I used two oranges.

I've also bought some limes, but I'm wary about trying it in case that goes wrong too.

This is the lemon curd recipe, for reference


175g / 6oz butter
340g / ¾ lb sugar
3 eggs
3 or 4 lemons – use your judgement. If they are a good size and juicy, 3 will be fine, if not, use 4)

Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice.

Using a double boiler pan, or a bowl over a pan of boiling water, melt the butter, add the sugar, zest and lemon juice and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Beat the eggs well and add to the pan whilst stirring. Continue to stir until thick. Continue stirring until it does not seem to be going to get any thicker. You will get used to the method – it really lets you know when it is ready. This takes at least 30 minutes – be patient!

Pour into warm jars and allow to cool, then cover with jam pot covers.

Tansy Wed 22-Jul-20 04:11:02

I would suggest there wasn't enough pectin. Maybe there's less pectin in oranges than lemons?

Calendargirl Wed 22-Jul-20 06:27:13

I agree with Tansy. The lemons will have far more pectin than oranges.

You’ll probably have to re-boil it, and add some pectin.

Pantglas2 Wed 22-Jul-20 07:41:45

An extra egg, beaten, dribbled in a thin stream whilst stirring vigorously should do the trick.

HurdyGurdy Thu 30-Jul-20 22:13:27

Thank you - I have actually thrown the stuff away, but I will give it another go as there seems to be a solution.

Callistemon Thu 30-Jul-20 22:40:08

shock thrown the stuff away

I think I'd have frozen it in small batches and used it to drizzle on icecream etc.

Pantglas2 Fri 31-Jul-20 07:14:38

Me too Callistemon!

Or soaked a sponge cake in it! Drizzled over meringues, yogurt and raspberries for quick pudding. Might have been ok in jam tarts as well and definitely on toast instead of marmalade.

DH has just suggested adding vodka to make an orange Limoncello type drink topped with soda!

Blinko Fri 31-Jul-20 07:51:50

Deffo wouldn't have thrown it away...

Elegran Fri 31-Jul-20 08:05:08

It may be because there is more acid in the lemons than in the oranges. You are lemon juice to Strawberry jam. The limes should be ok.

Calendargirl Fri 31-Jul-20 08:53:53

Mmm, I would be very reluctant to throw anything away after all the time and effort I had put into making it, apart from the waste of ingredients, unless it was inedible.

But then, I am quite frugal.

MiniMoon Fri 31-Jul-20 09:17:24

The recipe my late MiL used had the juice and rind of three oranges and the juice of two lemons.
If you only used oranges, then I'm guessing that your curd lacked pectin.
I don't think you can rescue it, I'm afraid that you will have to throw it away.

Callistemon Fri 31-Jul-20 10:35:59

There is less pectin in oranges than in lemons.

Which made me think of the old nursery rhyme and wonder if a St Clement's curd would be nice?
I suppose that would be like Minimoon's mother's recipe.

I made blackberry coulis last week, it is a thick pouring consistency, and froze small batches to use on icecream or in yogurt.

Arsenalpe Tue 04-Aug-20 09:23:25

This has happened because lemons contain more acids than the oranges. maybe there wasn't a sufficient amount of pectin present in the oranges. reboil it and add some of it.

GrannyLaine Tue 04-Aug-20 09:32:08

I don't think that pectin is a factor in making lemon or orange curd, the thickening occurs from the gentle coagulation of egg yolks. Those who suggest "reboil" have clearly NEVER made lemon curd. The difference in acidity between oranges and lemons may be a factor or perhaps size of fruit yielding more liquid. I hope you have managed to sort it OP

Callistemon Tue 04-Aug-20 10:33:04

I did wonder when I posted it, GrannyLaine but that's what I found when I googled it hmm

It seemed odd because curds don't have to reach a setting point. I think you're right.

Callistemon Tue 04-Aug-20 10:35:16

I made a key lime pie once and the lime juice was supposed to thicken the cream as they were whipped together.

That didn't set either but everyone ate it enthusiastically.

MaizieD Tue 04-Aug-20 12:04:35

Just 'maybe' the OP ooverheated it and it curdled. Once it curdles it's never going to thicken.

Curdling is when the egg cooks to a solid and squeezes out any liquid, so the two never mingle in a nice emulsion. Boiling the mixture would certainly curdle it grin

I can't think of any other reason why the eggs would fail to thicken the mixture.

Oh, unless the OP was too cautious and never got the mixture hot enough to 'cook' the egg?

HurdyGurdy Tue 04-Aug-20 20:51:07

Thank you again smile

I'm a bit embarassed that I threw my toys out of the pram an the orange curd (which was a liquid) down the sink, without stopping to think what else I could have used it for.

I didn't have a double boiler pan (and just exactly where IS my double boiler, because I know I had one, as I made lemon curd in it before!) but I did it in a plastic bowl over a pan of water. Maybe I should have used a metal bowl or glass instead of plastic?

I will give it another go and add extra pectin (which I'm assuming can be bought rather than having to extract it from something or other) or possibly another egg yolk?

EllanVannin Tue 04-Aug-20 21:09:46

I'd have used a sprinkling of cornflour to thicken it.