To my delight and great fortune, my husband's aunt and uncle sent him home with a big ziploc bag full of adorable baby limes. They look like lemons on the outside and like juicy miniature oranges on the inside, but I've been assured they are indeed limes. I have no other choice but to believe them despite what my eyes tell me.. because what do I know of backyard varieties of homegrown citrus fruit? Besides, the fragrance and taste is closer to supermarket limes than to either lemons or oranges. So limes they are!
I wanted to do something special with this bounty of limes and aside from homemade margaritas, which I would be the only one in my house enjoying, I decided on lime curd. Most people are familiar with lemon curd, but if you don't know what curd is, it's essentially a citrus custard without the cream. The final product has a creamy consistency and sweet tart. Think of a lemon filling in a layer cake.
I came up with this recipe after looking up lime curd recipes online. I essentially compared the butter-juice-sugar-egg proportions from other recipes and then kind of made up my own based on the amount of lime juice I ended up with from my limes, wanting to reducing the amount of butter called for in most recipes, and wanting to use egg yolks as opposed to whole eggs in my recipe since I had several egg yolks in my fridge already after needing egg whites for other recipes last week and I know omitting the whites will result in a richer, creamier curd than if the whites were added as well.
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 cup lime juice
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
pinch of salt
|test for proper|
- Juice the limes and then strain through a sieve to remove any seeds and pulp.
- Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed, non reactive pan on medium low heat.
- Add the sugar, lime juice, egg yolks and pinch of salt, whisking mixture until smooth.
- Heat mixture over medium low heat, stirring frequently with the whisk or a spoon until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. The lime curd should be thick enough that when you put a bit on a plate and run your finger through it, there is a path left that does not fill back in with curd. Like in the photo on right photo..
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes then transfer into a clean glass jar.
- Cover surface of curd with parchment paper to keep a skin from forming as it cools. Or if you're like me, forget the parchment paper and just peel the skin off (and eat it!) before using the curd.
Makes 1 3/4 cups.
Store lime curd in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks--if it lasts that long!
So what do you do with lime curd? Here are some ideas:
- make a yogurt parfait with alternating layers of plain, nonfat yogurt and lime curd, topped with diced kiwi, pineapple, strawberry or blueberries
- spoon it on biscuits or scones make a trifle with cubes of pound cake, lime curd and top with berries and whipped cream.
- Cut a pound cake in half horizontally, spoon lime curd onto bottom layer and top with the other half of pound cake. Top with whipped cream and blueberries for a special dessert.
- Line a tart pan with a graham cracker crust, fill with lime curd and top with sliced fresh fruit for a delicious fruit tart dessert.
- Prepare a lightly sweetened pie crust in a pie pan, fill with lime curd and top with fresh whipped cream for an instant lime tart.
- Spoon out the top of mini corn or blueberry muffins with a melon baller and fill with lime curd.
- Add small layers of crushed graham crackers and spoonfuls of lime curd to homemade vanilla frozen yogurt in a freezer safe container for a lime tart frozen yogurt!
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