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Are The Eggs In Bitter Orange Tart Fully Cooked?

Asked by osvaldo. Answered on 24th February 2022

Full question

The Bitter Orange Tart is excellent. I was wondering if you could let me know if the eggs are fully cooked, enough to kill salmonella? Thanks.

Image of Nigella's Bitter Orange Tart
Photo by Keiko Oikawa
Bitter Orange Tart
By Nigella
  • 14
  • 2

Our answer

Nigella's Bitter Orange Tart has a ginger biscuit (snap) crust that is filled with a Seville orange curd. Seville oranges have a tart flavour, hence the "bitter orange" description, but out of the short Seville orange season it is possible to use a mixture of regular oranges and limes.

The curd is made with a mixture of citrus juice, sugar, butter and egg yolks and this mixture is cooked until thick. In effect it is a type of custard. Eggs generally start to thicken (coagulate) at around 70°C but with curds the acid and sugar in the mixture raises this threshold slightly and most curds will thicken between 75°C and 80°C. Salmonella is usually killed at around 71°C, so curds, and custards, are usually considered to have very low risk of contamination from salmonella. If you are concerned then you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the curd as it cooks.

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