Luscious Lime Curd
I looove lime and lemon curd! So creamy, so citrusy, so sweet-tart, so luscious! I can’t resist it, despite the fact that it is loaded with “bad stuff” like fat and sugar. Add to my weakness for curd the fact that I have an exuberant lime tree and a Meyer lemon tree, and I have the perfect storm for making curd. How can I resist?
Well, until now, my efforts have resulted in a less than satisfying product. Curd is finicky. Combining a hot liquid with egg yolks and cooking the resulting stuff usually results in a sort of scrambled egg in lime sauce for me. Even if I strain it, it is a mess and sort of yukky rather than yummy. In addition, almost every recipe for making lime curd calls for finely shredding the peel and adding it. Well, I have an admission to make: I can’t stand hairy food, as I call it: anything that has a texture of shredded coconut in it (a paranoia that stems from a bad childhood experience). So I haven’t made very much curd.
I have a new easy way to make lime curd. Not only that, but I am going to can it. THIS IS NOT A USDA RECOMMENDED PRACTICE. But, rogue that I am I am going to live on the edge and try it. Some people can straight butter and live to write about it. Other people have successfully canned lemon curd. I am going to try it.
The first step in my new process was to elicit Mr. M to help me. Now he is a great dishwasher, but as far as cooking goes, he is a good taster.
Some thirty or so years ago, my Mom gave me an electric juicer. (Thanks Mom, I miss you!) I love the way it juices and strains the seeds out. The trouble is, after about 50 or so fruits, my shoulder acts up. So, to whom could I pass this job?
Well, there is only one other here:
My Number One kitchen assistant
I washed the limes and he squeezed them. I prepped the quart jars to store the juice in. We had quite a bit; much more that I need for the lime curd:
Fresh lime juice
Notice that lime juice is not really green; it is actually just a little more greenish than regular lemon juice. I use it all of the time when I don’t have lemon juice. Well, I would if I didn’t have both kinds of trees.
Now, if you want to try this recipe and you don’t have access to organic fruit, be sure to carefully wash any wax off before the next step.
Before he squeezed all of the limes, I used my peeler to remove some of the peels in long spirals:
Notice that the peels from my limes are yellow because I allow the fruit to ripen
Then I separated about a dozen eggs:
Separate the yolks
Most curd recipes tell you to mix the sugar, butter, and lime juice in a pan, heat it, add a little to the egg (a process called tempering), to raise the temperature of the eggs, and then add the eggs to the rest of the hot liquids. This is where the scrambled eggs happen. I am trying a new tactic:
First I cubed the butter and put it into my Kitchenaid mixer bowl.
Then I added the sugar and creamed it together, like making a cake:
Cream the sugar and butter
Then I added the eggs, and it still looked like cake batter:
Incorporate the egg yolks
Then I added the lime juice. It curdled:
Adding the lime juice makes it look curdled
I put some of the lime peel strips into my electric kettle:
Strips of lime peel in the pot
I wanted to use the electric kettle because I can control the heat better.
I added the curdled looking mixture and turned the heat onto the lowest possible setting:
Not inviting at this time
At first the butter separated a bit:
At first the butter will separate
But with constant stirring and low heat slowly the curd melded into a smooth mixture.
After the mixture blended together, and had cooked for about five minutes. I took the peels out with a fork. I figured they had done their job by then. I continued to cook it until it coated the back of a spoon and left a clean line when I drew my finger through it. Sorry no photo of this because it is important at that stage to stop cooking it and start canning it. I poured the curd into sterilized, warm half pint jars and topped them with sterilized two piece lids. I processed the jars in a boiling water bath with the water barely boiling for 10 minutes.
The result? Smooth and creamy, no shreds of peel, no scrambled eggs, and the perfect balance of sweet and tart! Yummy!
Here’s the recipe:
Yield: 5 half pints
1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar, add a half cup if you like a sweeter curd.
12 egg yolks
2 cups of lime juice
4 or 5 strips of lime peel (removed with a parer with as little white pith as possible)
Cut butter into half inch cubes and place into a mixer bowl. Add the sugar and blend thoroughly. Add the egg yolks and blend thoroughly. Add the lime juice and mix thoroughly, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and all is well incorporated. The mixture will appear curdled.
Place the strips of peel into a heavy saucepan and add the curd mixture. Cook over low heat until the mixture will coat the back of a spoon, removing the strips of peel after about five to seven minutes.
Pour lime curd into half pint jars and refrigerate or freeze. Will keep up to 60 days if refrigerated or 6 months if frozen, or so they say; I know mine won’t be around that long!
This method is so easy! The most difficult part is separating the eggs. Next time I may try using whole eggs instead. The second most difficult part is getting past the curdled look when you add the lime juice. If you love curd as much as I do, try this method and let me know if you like it.
After a day of canning and cleaning up (I also canned 8 pints of chicken stock). We had a simple dinner of Minestra de Pane, so I could use up some leftover stock, day-old bread and some of our abundant chard. A delicious “Peasant” meal for hard workers: