The first time I met a Kaffir lime in the flesh I thought it looked like a wrinkly lime green zombie brain. Really.
Sweet & Floral Kaffir Lime
Really. Kaffir limes are sweetly scented with floral notes. You can find them in Asian or Indian markets. If you can’t find them, regular limes or lemons would work as well.
Kaffir lime is sweet and floral – it will make your entire kitchen smell like the tropics.
Now, the first time I ever tried Lemon Curd, I thought I’d died and gone to citrus and sugar heaven. Fruit curds were originally served as a spread for scones or crumpets at tea. Of course, lemon merengue pie is lemon curd’s leap towards immortality.
Kaffir Lime Zest – be sure to only remove the very top layer. The pith is bitter and will make your curd tart.
You can use this curd as one of the layers in a trifle or dolloped in little thumbprint cookies. It is delicious baked into a tart – a ricotta base would not be misplaced here either.
I love how bright the juice it. Anything for a burst of color during the winter!
Citrus curd is made with simple ingredients: citrus zest and juice, sugar, butter and eggs. But it is so much more than its sum.
A dollop on top of gingerbread or pound cake could change your life. Try it on top of ice cream – a simple vanilla is perfect to highlight the tart/sweet curd.
The trick to a good smooth curd? Straining and simultaneously whisking the eggs into the zest/juice/butter mixture.
Or, you can just do it like I do and spoon it directly out of the jar with a scrupulously clean spoon.
I got the bones for this recipe in the book Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. Every now and then I go on a canning kick and her book is the one I turn to every time as a guide. Her recipe for a basic lemon curd was my roadmap here.
Grate the zest from one kaffir lime - making sure just to remove the very top layer. If you grate down to the white pith your curd will be bitter. Take a second and just inhale. You'll suddenly have the tropics showing up in your kitchen.
Juice all 4 Kaffir Limes. Put the juice and the zest into a heat proof bowl or the top half of a double boiler. Add the sugar and the butter.
Whisk the eggs and the yolk together in a separate bowl. I found that this recipe worked out the best if you strain the beaten eggs through a fine strainer - it will make for a smoother curd.
Add a few inches of water to a sauce pan or the bottom of your double boiler. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat. Set the bowl over the top of the simmering water.
After a couple of minutes the butter will start to melt. Stir the lime juice/sugar/butter mixture until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the whisked eggs SLOWLY into the bowl with the heated lime mixture, whisking all the while. You'll want to keep whisking until the entire mixture is thick and gelled. It will take around 5-10 minutes depending on your altitude. It will continue to firm up once you take it off the heat as well.
Pour the hot curd into a clean, sterilized jar. I would put some hot water in the jar you are going to use and pour it our right before you add the hot curd - it will keep the jar from breaking. Allow the curd to cool down. If you seal it now, escaping steam will gather on the lid and then drip down into your curd, making it watery.
Once the curd is cool, add the lid and store in the fridge. It will last for around 2 weeks if you use a clean spoon to dish it out.