This spell of hot weather and a surplus of limes inspired me to whip up a batch of lime curd. If you’ve never tasted a curd before, silky smooth on the tongue, not too sweet with just the right amount of tart, get the ingredients and make this recipe now.
Lemon curd arrived here in New England courtesy of the British colonists. In England it is known as lemon cheese, or more aptly for my palate, lemon butter. Once you’ve mastered the preparation, it can be made in any citrus flavor: lemon, lime, orange, key lime, even grapefruit.
A jar of curd in the refrigerator is the route to quick, easy and glorious treats.
Buttery lemon curd is delicious when spread on biscuits or scones with tea, and makes a luscious topping for a cheesecake. For a potluck supper, my lime curd was the inspiration for Margarita tartlets: puff pastry tartlet shells filled with lime curd and topped with a tequila and Gran Marnier infused whipped cream.
This recipe for Lime Curd comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum in the “Cake Bible.” Rose is not just a baker, but also a chemist and an artist. I really enjoy her scientific explanations like how adding sugar to the egg yolks before adding the acidic citrus juice protects the eggs from premature coagulation. Straining the curd after cooking produces the silkiest texture, and adding the zest at the end intensifies the flavor.
My latest creation was worthy of a Parisian bistro: a perfectly ripe strawberry seated on a mint bouquet, with a trio of chocolate cream, whipped cream and lime curd, topped with a crème wafer roll and served with espresso.
What works of art are waiting in your jar of lime curd?
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 3 ounces fluidfreshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
- In a heavy, nonreactive saucepan, beat the yolks with the sugar until well blended. Stir in the lime juice and butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring continually, until it starts to thicken into a sauce. If it starts to steam or boil, remove from heat and continue to stir. The sauce will resemble a thin hollandaise when cooked, and will coat the back of the spoon. If the sauce boils, it will curdle.
- Once the curd is thickened, remove from heat and pour through a strainer to remove the coagulated bits of protein. Stir in the lime zest and cool. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Makes one cup lime curd.