Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lime Curd {from homegrown limes!}

A few weeks ago my husband was in Texas visiting two aunts and an uncle while also participating in the MS 150 cycling event. Knowing how much I love gardens, he was texting me photos of his aunt and uncle's modest but prolific backyard garden. Not only was I envious of their prolific garden, but they were growing all sorts of edibles that can't survive the climate in my zone 6 backyard--lemons and limes, for example. Imagine walking into your backyard and to pick a lemon off a tree to squeeze into whatever dish you're preparing right at that moment!

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.

Lime Curd 
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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  1. You never think of the lime being as versatile as the lemon, but you came up with some really great ideas.

  2. Mmmm... I love lemon curd, and lime curd sounds just as delicious! You're right - those don't look like limes at all - interesting.

  3. Love your big bowl of limes! Lime curd was a great idea :).

  4. (Diane) bookchickdi ... Limes are under-appreciated, I think. I love having them on hand just as much as I do lemons.

    Li ...Lemon curd is so delish. I could just eat it with a spoon.

  5. jama.. Isn't that a pretty shot of all those baby limes? It took a while to halve and juice all those little guys!

  6. Excellent! Lime curd was a great idea.

  7. Now this sounds really good. Limes are so expensive here I wouldn't have thought of making curd with them. Have a great week.

  8. Yummmm. I love lemon curd and bet this is just as delicious. My Mom used to eat lemon curd on oat cakes. (Scottish oat cakes.)

  9. Hmm. One of these days I want to experiment with making lemon curd but had never considered lime!

  10. I have eaten lemon curd on lots of things, but never lime curd. Sounds good to me, and really easy to do. Thanks for this, I will have to give it a try.

  11. Now I know what to do with that big bag of limes in the fridge. This looks tasty.

  12. When I first met my husband (who is from the Rio Grande Valley on the border of Mexico) he brought me a big bag of grapefruits. I'm not sure if we could do citrus in Dallas but I'll never forget those ruby reds!

    I don't know that I've ever had lime curd but I love the idea of putting it in yogurt!

  13. JoAnn.. Thanks! I had some this morning on blueberry pancakes. Mmm..

    Carole .. Agreed. I was lucky to have these limes land in my lap from my husband's visit to his uncle's house in Texas!

    Brandy.. I love lemon curd, too. Are Scottish oat cakes similar to biscuits or scones?

    Marg... Definitely make some curd when you can. It's actually very easy.

    Alex.. Hope you try lemon or lime curd sometime. It IS very easy to make. Makes me wonder why it's such a luxury item? Maybe it's just due to the cost of lemons or limes?

    Fay ... YES! :)

    Trish .. My husband's uncle is in Houston, so I couldn't tell you if citrus would grow north in Dallas. Even just a potted lemon tree.. *dreams*

    I am putting lime curd in my yogurt tomorrow morning! Is it funny that I'm planning and looking forward to that?

  14. Hmm, the way my mom made them they were similar to a very, very thick cracker. They were just the right amount of salty to go with the sweet and tart of lemon curd.

  15. OMG, that sounds and looks mouthwatering awesome.

  16. Great post! It looks really yummy!
    I love limes - though we call them limones here, which sounds like lemons :P - and, anyway, it's awesome you did your own recipe! that' great. I don't think I would have the courage to do that :P

  17. Very nice recipe, Christine!

  18. Oh lucky you to get such a nice gift. I love anything citrus and have a weakness for curd. I haven't made any in years. Now I want to. LOL


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