Many years ago, a friend and I hosted a ladies luncheon in the heart of spring. We invited the women in our lives: grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts and associated children and we had the most delightful time enjoying a seasonally perfect day before the onslaught of summer in our desert home. For dessert I prepared a "make your own tart" bar. I stacked up homemade tart shells in a large covered glass jar. An abundance of fresh berries were tossed in a bowl. I went crazy preparing curds: lemon, lime and orange. Heavy cream was ready for the dispensing in a Whip-It!. Chocolate curls rested in a bowl ready to be scooped with a spoon. I especially have fond memories of the children, as if in candy land, excitedly preparing his or her own tart. The Whip-It! was practically the biggest hit of all. The surprise that day was the resounding favorite curd was not lemon, but lime. The creamy goodness was the right amount of sweet and tart.
My daughter was instantly hooked and we've made lime curd exclusively since that day. Maddie's favorite thing is when I pack a small container of lime curd in her lunch to dip fresh strawberries at the height of season. I'm surely the "best mom ever" on those days.
I'm always finding new ways to use lime curd... as a filling between cake layers, to grace a pavlova, or simply as an aforementioned dip with fresh fruit. Lime curd is particularly delicious with blackberries. And raspberries. And strawberries. And blueberries. And... well, scones, too.
If you haven't tried your hand making curd, rest assured, it is incredibly easy. The curd keeps well in the refrigerator, for well over a week, if it lasts that long, which it probably will not. Because it lasts for so long, it is a useful recipe for entertaining... no rushing around at the last minute to finish dessert. Please try the curd, you and yours will surely adore it as much as we do.
Maddie's Favorite Lime Curd
I prefer using a microplane to zest the limes. Alternatively, you can remove the zest with a peeler, in which case, add the long strips of zest to the sugar and pulse until well combined. In a pinch you can use salted butter and omit the pinch of sea salt. Adapted from Ina Garten'd cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! (Clarkson/Potter Publisher 2001).
zest from 4 limes
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
8 egg yolks or 4 extra large eggs
8 Tbsps unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp sea salt
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the sugar and the eggs together until combined; about 30 seconds. To the sugar-egg mixture, add the softened butter and the lime zest and process again. Add lime juice and salt and stir to incorporate.
2. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart sauce pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Immediately transfer to a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the thickened curd and refrigerate until cold, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
4. The curd keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
|Pavlova featuring lime curd, heavy cream and fresh berries.|