I was joking with my husband the other day that if I had my own restaurant, I’d call it Lime. Everything on the menu would either contain or be served with limes: margaritas, mojitos, small plates from a variety of cuisines--anything where lime comes out to play. Central to the dessert menu would be this incredibly versatile, undeniably delicious, homemade lime curd.
Spooned over ice cream, slathered over a slice of warm brioche, or used as a filling for tarts, cupcakes, layer cakes, or meringues, this oozing mixture of sugar, limes, eggs, and butter adds a bright, fresh acidity and craveable sweetness to anything it touches.
Lime zest is processed with the sugar for an explosion of lime flavor, freckling the finished product with fragrant flecks of green. A hint of coconut rum or vanilla adds a bit of complexity.
Be sure to mix the lime-sugar, eggs, and yolks together very thoroughly before adding the lime juice. This promotes a smoother, more luscious curd by preventing the acid in the juice from coagulating the protein in the eggs too quickly.
A thicker curd for piping into cupcakes and spreading between layers of cake will require a few more minutes of cooking, while a thinner curd for folding into whipped cream or topping ice cream will require fewer. Yield: about 2 cups lime curd.
• 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
• Zest of 4 limes (avoid the white, pithy parts)
• 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1 stick (8 T or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
• 1 tsp coconut rum (or pure vanilla extract)
1. Process the lime zest with the sugar in the food processor for about 3 minutes or until very thoroughly mixed.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, thoroughly whisk together the sugar, eggs, and yolks. Whisk in the lime juice and salt and place over med-low heat. Add the butter 1 piece at a time, slowly whisking as each one completely melts into the mixture before adding the next. Switch out the whisk for a rubber spatula, and continue to cook over med-low heat, stirring gently but consistently until the mixture has thickened enough to leave a momentary trail in the bottom of the pan when you run your spatula through the center—the mixture should part just long enough for you to see the metal of the pan as the spatula scrapes the bottom, but it will run back together fairly quickly. This will take about 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the rum or vanilla, and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally, before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the fridge until ready to use, up to three days.
Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, Texas. More of her work can be found at Being The Secret Ingredient, a blog about food, life, and love.
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