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February 24, 2008

Limes (Recipe: lime curd)

Limes

Persian limes (also known as Tahiti limes) come from Mexico.

And Argentina.

And India and Brazil and Spain and Turkey and Chile and, yes, from Iran (also known as Persia).

Talk about an identity crisis.

Key limes and kaffir limes, both wonderful, aren't regular inhabitants of my pantry. It's a treat when I have either one.

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.

Lime curd

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.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
Grated zest of two limes
6 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions

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.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:

Tom yom koong
Egg curry
Coconut flan
Teeny tiny lime tarts

Comments

I la-la-la-love limes, in everything! I put them in water, in tea, in colas, in my salsas, most of my shrimp dishes, on chicken and fish... So naturally I love this post. But margarita dermatitis? I didn't know there was such a thing. And when I think back to all the margaritas I've enjoyed on the deck...

I so love lime curd more than lemon curd..not sure why just do. I will be on the lookout for Persian limes.

Thanks for sharing the curd recipe. I rarely buy the Persian limes as we have the smaller limes here. I typically buy over 2 pounds each time I shop. I use them in everything and anything! Now, I will have to try them in this!

I love the photo above, and all wonderful recipes you've provided. ;-)

Paz

I have visions of tiny lime curd tarts with blueberries. Or blackberries.

I really like that extra zing you get from limes. I did a corn relish recently, and was sorry I didn't have a lime. The substitute lemon was okay and gave a nice fresh flavor, but I really wanted that extra bite.

I'm a lemon lover myself but have a friend who always-always-always switches to lime whenever lemon is called for.

nothin like a an ear of grilled corn rubbed with a wedge of lime. got me thinkin of summer already-

I love limes as well!
I like to make my version of the margarita, with homemade limeade, a good quality tequila such as Patron or Chinaco, and a splash of Chambord (raspberry liqueur)...it's sort of like a Raspberry Lime Rickey, but with more pizazz.
I've just started to see Myer Lemons in the markets! Yum!
Citrus rocks!

Lydia, I cannot believe this; I made blood orange curd last night, more on that in a moment, but was just telling my mom that I wanted to try lime curd. Not sure if you remember me, I am the one who sent the lemon curd recipe to you. So, back to the orange curd. It tasted a bit too sweet, so I added some lemon juice and rind but still not quite there. I was thinking out loud about trying it again with more lemon. Dad said if I was going to try making it again with more lemon, I may as well just make lemon curd. It was his Scots mother that I got the recipe from so this type of short, no nonsense response is very typical of that side of the family. ;~) Now I am headed to the market for some limes, I have been looking forward to trying it, after your post, even more so.
Thanks much!

BTW, the blood orange curd was the color of apricots, which was so odd as the juice was the gorgeous fuchsia color one expects to see. Oh well, it was great in a smoothie this morning for breakfast!

Gorgeous, I just have to make this!
I do love lime in margaritas, but I will now be very careful not to drip any!

i *love* limes - limes and lemons are a non-negotiable pantry staple. and i love lime curd. i made one a few weeks ago with mango, and i pretty much want to spread it on everything i eat. and i just used lime in a spur-of-the-moment cocktail i invented last night. i'm looking forward to checking out the other recipes you've linked.

i *love* limes.

Cork & Feast, when I was growing up, we always had lemons but never limes. I don't think I got into limes in a big way until I began to travel, especially to Mexico. Now I can't imagine my pantry without them.

Peabody, maybe it's the incredible green color -- I love it!

Gretchen, this will be delicious with any limes. I hope you like it.

Paz, thank you so much. I always love your photos, too.

Julie, yes! A little lime tart with a berry for punctuation -- that sounds perfect.

TW, I agree -- the taste is very different, and I wonder why so many recipes say that lemons and limes are interchangeable.

Alanna, I love both, but if I could only have one, I think I'd pick limes.

Shawn, my mouth is watering. Corn season here is only five months away!

Sharon, that sounds like a wonderful drink.

Elaine, of course I remember -- in our house we always talk about Elaine's Lemon Curd. So I'm glad you don't mind that I tried this with lime! Too bad about the blood orange -- I'd have hoped for that deep red color and a wonderful taste, but oranges are a bit mild on their own. Hope you enjoy the lime curd as much as we've enjoyed the lemon curd. We've tried it with Meyer lemon, too, and it's out of this world.

Holler, I promise this curd is addictive!

Michelle, did you make lime-and-mango curd? That sounds amazing. I love limes, too.

Too funny the thought of limes with an identity crisis, nonetheless I shall try them in this curd! Sounds delicious with poundcake...

I did not know there were so many identities to lime, or rather...I was not bothered to find out! Thanks for the info. BTW, I wonder if there are any differences in limes' tastes from different regions/countries :P

Ahhh, limes. They my favorite. Planted me a Bearss (Persian) lime this last year. Im ho gonna have me some free citrus!

xo, Biggles

hmmmn...limes...love them specially in my favorite cocktail...caipirinha. anyway, the persian limes I know are the dried whole ones I use in persian cooking. Never saw fresh ones like these.

I love limes. Whenever it is possible I am always substituting lemon for limes. Lime curd sounds great and WHY HAVE I NOT MADE THAT YET? LOL.

in Malaysia we use lime in almost everything.can't live without one.

Well, I've made lemon, orange and passion fruit curd - so lime would sound like the next one!

Love your Saturday pantry slots too =)

Callipygia, lime curd with pound cake sounds perfect for tea time. May I join you?

Tigerfish, that's a good question. I have to believe that a lime in Mexico will taste a bit different than the same lime grown in Thailand, because of differences in soil, water and air. Would be fun to test.

Biggles, I am so jealous -- your own limes! Ted's uncle, who lives in Mexico, has lime trees, and keeps fresh juice and also lime slush in his freezer at all times. It's amazing to pull out a few cubes and have instant limeade -- or something a bit more potent...

Meeta, lately I've been going for limes more than lemons, too -- especially with other fruits.

Nasihah, whenever I think of Southeast Asian cuisine, I think of limes. Love the balance of lime in noodles dishes.

Kelly-Jane, you definitely need to make some nice green lime curd to complete your collection! And thanks -- I'm having fun peeking into people's pantries on Saturdays, too. Lots more to come!

I love the colour, and the smell they leave on my hands. I tend to use lemons more, though, must be force of habit. Will definitely try this curd, though, it sounds perfect.

Limes are so versatile, and more commonly used in Singapore than lemons, so I can't imagine my pantry without it. I miss kalamansi limes when I am in Sydney. I freeze lime and lemon juice, but I never knew that their zest can be frozen too. That's a great tip, thanks Lydia.

Lydia, whoa, I love this lime curd recipe! In here lemon/lime trees are as many as weeds.
btw, seems the link for "limeade" is broken, or it is only my pc problem?

I'm such a sucker for limes, Lydia - absolutely love them!
I have made many lemon recipes using limes instead.

The lime curd sounds so good. I love persian and key limes, I find lime and lemon juice make flavors pop in a dish. One of my favorite uses for Persian limes is to squeeze some on fresh Papaya. But, I just had a better idea- this lime curd in a tart shell with papaya on top- yum! Thanks for the recipe.

Lobstersquad, isn't the smell of lime zest intoxicating? I love it.

Nora, I'm not familiar with kalamansi limes; I'll have to look up what those are. I do love limes with all Asian foods, especially Pad Thai.

Cat, thanks -- the link was fine, but loading slowly -- so I've changed it to a different recipe!

Patricia, I'm starting to do that more often, too.

Katia, oh boy, that tart sounds like a great combination! It's so handy to have lime or lemon curd in the fridge, and mini tart shells in the freezer. Voila -- instant dessert.

That sounds delicious! Lemon curds keep popping up on the blogosphere, tempting me day after day, and now you hit me with the limes. :o

While not a dessert but while on the subject of limes, another lime favorite in my household that I make again and again: lime rice (a good Indian side dish, posted it on my site...)

I had the joy years ago of picking citrus in Israel. The lemons were as big as grapefruits, the grapefruits small, and the oranges outrageous. (No limes!.) Back home the imports were a major disappointment. I am getting into limes for savory foods -- what a lift. As for curd, I subbed grapefruit -- excellent.

Mike, your lime rice sounds delicious. Readers, here's the link:
http://mikes-table.themulligans.org/2007/10/26/indian-rice-three-ways/

Susan, I remember driving past the orange groves in Israel. I was a 13-year-old from the Northeast US, and I'd never seen anything like it! Grapefruit curd -- I'll bet it was wonderful. I'd love to try that with pink grapefruit.

Lydia, lime curd sounds like heaven!! There's a good supply of limes here, big & small so I'm forever using them. Cheers!

I love lemon curd, so how could lime curd be bad?

You have a great blog! I posted a review of it on my blog in my Sidebar Reviews. It'll be up for a couple of days.

Chase, limes -- the Persian ones we call "regular" limes -- are in good supply here, too, though they're definitely not a local product.

Sue, thank you so much for the review, and welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Lime curd is delicious, with a lovely green color -- nothing bad about that!

Count me as a lime lover. I always have them on hand for enhancing my soda or just to look at.

Lime curd is lovely on plain scones.

Mimi, how nice to keep limes around for their beauty -- I find the color quite seductive, too.

Oh my heart be still, I know something this would just be incredible on!

You're always one step ahead of us! We were talking about lime curd the other day. Now we have our recipe and it should work perfect!
BTW- our first cooking video is up!

I want to try this so much! Unfortunately, when I tried to make lemon curd for a cake I accidentally baked the eggs...and I don't think I can bring myself to experiment again for a little while... :( And I don't even like lemons as much as I love limes!

MyKitchen, you're leaving me in suspense?!

WORC, let me know what you do with your lime curd. I'm going to check out your video right now -- exciting!

Sarah, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. Please give this another try; the first time my husband made it, he ended up with soup, because it didn't cook long enough. Of course that didn't stop him eating every drop of it.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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