Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lime curd

Every time I visit a hardware store in the United States I want to cry. Not because I'm particularly moved by drill bits and door handles but because all of a sudden I'll round a corner to be confronted with the most beautiful preserving jars at ridiculously low prices. Now I've taken a lot of things back to Australia with me in my suitcase over the years, but working out how to get a larger-than-cabin-baggage size pallet of glass jars back home just defeated me. So imagine my delight when procrastinating on the internet one day in the midst of my jam-making bender, to find an Australian importer who sold them here at a reasonable price, and even better, delivered straight to my door. So on my birthday I ordered myself a dozen.

Limes are out in force right now - juicy, sharp and magnificently green. It was the colour that decided it. I was all set to make lime pickle but then at the last minute changed course, feeling the need to showcase, in my lovely new jars, that gorgeous pastel yellow-green... almost the same shade as the abundant, sleepy-soft autumnal light flooding in through my living room windows at the moment. So my savoury plan got changed to sweet and lime curd it was. There are a lot of recipes out there but this one is a keeper. It uses whole eggs (as opposed to just egg yolks or a combination of yolks and whole eggs) so there's no separation anxiety or wastage of whites.

Lime curd is the perfect marriage of sour and sweet. It's rich and luxurious in taste and texture, yet the citrus tang keeps it light. It's incredible dolloped atop a meringue with some cream, spread lavishly between the layers of a cake, as the filling in individual sweet tart shells (maybe with some chopped pistachios sprinkled on top to complement the colour and add a bit of crunch), or simply eaten straight from the jar.

Lime curd
Recipe from

Don't be intimidated by the concept of sterilised jars. All you need to do is wash your jars and their lids in hot, soapy water, then put them on a tray in the oven at a low heat to dry. Fill and seal while they're still warm, being careful to handle with a tea towel (or something similar) so you don't burn yourself. If you store the jars in a cool, darkened place, the curd will last up to six months but once opened, be sure to keep in the fridge.

4 limes, zested
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strained
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
125g butter, cubed
3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Add the juice, zest, sugar and butter to a heavy-based, non-reactive saucepan.
  2. Stir over low heat til the sugar dissolves and the butter has melted.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly beat in the whisked eggs with a wooden spoon.
  4. Return to a low heat and cook, stirring continuously til the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Don't allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will curdle!
  5. Ladle the hot lime curd into hot sterilised jars.
  6. Seal immediately, turn upside down for two minutes and then turn upright. 
Makes about two jars (two cups) worth, plus a bit extra. 

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