I know most people are suckers for chocolate on dessert menus, but I've always gravitated towards anything fruit based. Pie, cobbler or tart, I find that Mother Nature's sweets are so much more enticing. That's not to say she can't use a bit of help with certain things, like the humble lime. This beautiful citrus fruit is often a bridesmaid and never a bride, accompanying quesadillas, Coronas and pad thai without ever taking center stage. Well, all that is about to change: welcome to the world of lime curd.
You've probably tasted curds before; lemon curds are common, and make up the bases for some delicious tarts and fillings for other desserts. But pie is time-consuming; curd can be made in a matter of minutes, and kept in a washed out jam jar. It makes for a nice little something to have hanging around the fridge for times when you need a little something sweet, spread on homemade bread, as a replacement for jam on toast or -- let's be honest! -- straight off the spoon.
Choosing and Using Limes
When making anything that uses the zest, it's especially important to buy organic citrus. No matter how much you wash the rinds of these little fruits, if there are pesticides on their skins, you'll be ingesting them. Pick limes that are shiny and plump, with a bit of heft for their size.
The Recipe: Lime Curd (originally posted at Tomato Kumato)
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice from about 2 limes (enough for 1/3 cup juice)
1 pinch salt
4 egg yolks
5 tablespoons butter
Whisk together the first four ingredients in a saucepan. Begin to heat over a low flame, whisking all the time. Heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the whisk. Slowly whisk in the butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time. Pour into a jar and keep in the fridge.
An Adaptable Recipe
The great thing about this recipe is how adaptable it is. You can use it with nearly any citrus fruit by simply reducing the sugar for sweeter fruits. Depending on your mood and your needs, try grapefruit, tangerine or key lime curd... or, of course, traditional lemon curd.