Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recipe for the summer: Lime curd

Last week, Harris-Teeter had reduced bags of limes and was selling more than 10 limes for $1. I grabbed a bag because one of my favorite things to do with limes, besides adding them beverages as a nice refrshing twist, is home-made lime curd. Many of you will have heard of lemon curd. It is a mix of lemon juice, butter, sugar and egg yolks. This is clearly not low-fat, but the combination of eggs and citrus makes for a wonderful refreshing cream to spread on bread.
I had previously used Martha Stewart's recipe for lemon curd here, but decided to do a fresh google search for lime curd and found a very nice recipe here. The recipe is very easy, the only caution required when preparing any curd is to ensure that the temperature of the mix is not too high. If the temperature of the egg yolks combined with the remaining ingredients is too high, the egg yolks will scramble and the curd is really no longer a curd.
I doubled the recipe and used the following ingredients:
  • 1 cup of lime juice, freshly squeezed (this ended up being about 12 small limes)
    • you do not want to use the store-bought lime juice, it does not taste right!
  • two sticks of butter - unsalted
    • if you have only salted butter at home, you can use that as well, but the flavor will definitely be more salty than when you start of with unsalted butter and then add a pinch of salt separately. Also make sure your butter is very fresh. Butter that has been sitting around will give an odd flavor to the curd
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  •  2 Tbsp of fresh lime zest
  • 10 egg yolks
    • again having fresh eggs is advisable, the resulting curd tastes better because the fruit flavor is more pronounced
  • pinch of salt 
    • only add a pinch of salt if you used unsalted butter, never add salt if you had to use regular, salted butter (and you can never use margarine - it will not, never, nada work for this recipe)
Why pay a lot of money on here when you can make lime curd at home? If you do not feel like making lime curd at home, this is a really good commercial lime curd that I can recommend!

And that's it - very few ingredients and quite easy to make.
I advise to first take the zest, then get the juice. Have the remaining ingredients pre-measured and ready to add in quick succession to a sturdy saucepan. You want the saucepan to be sturdy because the heat from the stovetop is spread out equally and allows you to set the temperature lower.
Start off by melting the butter on low heat, then adding in quick succession the sugar, zest, salt and juice. Whisking everything in low heat until the sugar is melted and the mixture has a nice, even consistency. Remove from the heat and add the eggyolks. Move the mix back on the heat, still set at low, and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken. Once the mixture is thickened (most cooks say the mixture should stick to the back of a wooden spoon), take the saucepan off the heat and let cool down for about 10 minutes to let the mixture thicken further.
Carefully pour mixture into a container and store in the fridge overnight. The following day the lime curd is ready to use and can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - my container of lime curd - lots of it to go around and enjoy!

My favorite uses of lemon or lime curd are:
  • topping fresh fruit, such as strawberries
  • spreading in white, sweet bread like Italian sweet bread or Challa
  • topping for vanilla ice cream
  • eat a spoonful as a quick pick me up in the afternoon (similar to a spoonful of peanut butter)
Note: what to do with the remaining egg whites? Turn them into a low fat, healthy breakfast omelette!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the final consistency of the curd, it iseasy to spread, yet not too liquid!

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