Limes (Recipe: lime curd)
Persian limes (also known as Tahiti limes) come from Mexico.
And India and Brazil and Spain and Turkey and Chile and, yes, from Iran (also known as Persia).
Talk about an identity crisis.
Persian limes, on the other hand, have a designated parking space on my countertop. Not only are they indispensable for ceviche, but also they're fundamental to papaya-coconut cupcakes, tortilla chips, sweet chili lime prawns, ginger-lime-sweet potato soup, lime roast chicken and lime-honey madeleines. A squeeze of lime juice tops every fruit salad I make, too.
When choosing limes, look for fruits that are firm, bright green, and heavy for their size. Although limes turn more yellow as they ripen, they are at their peak of flavor when they're most green.
Store limes at room temperature for up to a week, or in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag, for up to two weeks. You can freeze lime juice (most conveniently in an ice cube tray), or lime zest; be sure to dry the zest for a bit before freezing it in a plastic bag.
To extract the most juice from a lime, either roll it back and forth on the countertop with the palm of your hand, or place it in a microwave for ten seconds. Warm limes give up more juice than cold ones, so this is especially helpful if your limes were stored in the refrigerator.
Limes are famous for preventing scurvy and cleansing infections, and slightly less famous for triggering margarita dermatitis.
I'll think I'll stick to limeade.
After extensive testing, Ted proclaimed the original version of this recipe, sent to me by a Pantry reader, the best he'd ever made. So, I thought, why not try it with lime? Use this sweet-tart curd as a filling for mini phyllo shells, slather it on pound cake or waffles, or eat it right from the jar with a spoon.
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
Grated zest of two limes
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Put all ingredients, except eggs, into double boiler over simmering water. When butter has melted and before mixture is too warm, gradually whisk in the beaten eggs. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened to consistency of instant pudding, at least 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a while. Then place in a container, cover, and store in the refrigerator.