This past weekend was pretty much summer here in the UK, and of course that meant that everyone ventured out and about for picnics and barbecues in the park. I did manage to get in the kitchen and throw together a couple of things – the salted caramel banana bread I shared with you earlier in the week, as well as today’s very summery recipe for Homemade Lime Curd.
It’s like sunshine in a jar!
You might not have made curd before – I hadn’t – but I can testify that this is definitely one of those awesome times when something turns out to be a lot easier and less troublesome to make than you’re expecting. In fact, it pretty much makes itself. The only effort exerted here is zesting and juicing the limes, which I’m fairly sure isn’t beyond even the most amateur baker’s reach.
Homemade lime curd is basically just a flour-less lime custard it turns out, made with sugar, eggs, and butter. And a whole bunch of limes, obviously. You are going to need six whole limes for this one, which might seem a lot, but you are going to need them to get that tart, zesty flavour that lime curd is famous for.
I’m genuinely sitting here eating the curd out the jar with a spoon.
Homemade lime curd is not actually as green as the vibrant stuff you see before you today. Without any additional food colouring, lime curd actually looks more like lemon curd, which is totally fine if adding additional colourings is not your thing. I’m hoping to use this curd for a couple of recipes over the Easter weekend (if I haven’t just polished off the whole jar) for which the curd is going to be the star of the show. So I added a little bit of lime green food colour gel in there whilst it was cooling. Us food bloggers can be a shallow bunch.
You will also see that there’s not much in the way of zest in my curd. You can keep it in there, or you can pass it through a sieve to get rid of it – totally your call. I sieved mine, mostly to get rid of the few pesky bits of egg white protein which just didn’t seem to want to incorporate in with the rest of the curd. You can easily just pick these out with a spoon though, if you have the same problem. No worries.
FYI – if you have some spare egg yolks to use up, you can just use these instead of the whole eggs in the recipe below. Just substitute in four egg yolks for the two whole eggs. But it works just as well with whole eggs, and you don’t end up with a whole bunch of spare egg whites taking up space in the fridge.
Although, saying that, I’m pretty sure this homemade lime curd would be right at home slathered on top of a meringue nest. If you can manage to wrestle the jar from my hands, that is.
- 200g (1 cup) caster sugar (US granulated sugar)
- 60g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, cubed
- Juice of 6 medium sized limes
- Zest of 4 medium sized limes
- 2 large eggs, room temperature (or four large egg yolks)
- Green food colouring (optional)
- Place the sugar, unsalted butter, lime juice, and lime zest into a medium sized bowl, and place over the top of a pan of simmering water (on a medium heat). Stir occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter has melted. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool slightly for a minute or two.
- Beat the two eggs in a jug or small bowl, and then spoon two or three tablespoons of the warm lime mixture into the eggs, stirring immediately. This will help to warm the eggs up slightly, so they are less likely to cook when poured into the rest of the lime mixture.
- Place the lime bowl back onto the top of the saucepan, and put back on a medium heat. Add the eggs in to the bowl slowly, stirring as you go. Keep stirring the mixture frequently whilst cooking the curd over a medium heat (the water in the saucepan below should be simmering, but not boiling), until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (see notes below). This should take 20 to 25 minutes. It will thicken up a little more as it cools, so don't be alarmed if it doesn't feel as thick as shop-bought curd at this stage.
- Once the curd has thickened, remove it from the heat and leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes in the bowl. You can add in some green food colouring at this stage if you like, as the curd will be more yellow than green. I use gel colouring, as this doesn't effect the consistency of the curd, and you only need a very small amount to make the curd look more 'lime'. You can also pass the curd through a sieve if you like, which will remove most of the lime zest, and any little bits of egg white that didn't quite incorporate with the curd.
- Once coloured and cooled enough, spoon into a jar, cover well, and pop straight in the fridge. This recipe will make approximately 350ml (1½ cups) of lime curd..
- Coating the back of a spoon is a test to check when egg-based custards and curds are cooked. You can do this by coating the back of a wooden or metal spoon in the curd - if you can run your finger through the middle of the curd on the spoon and a clear path is left (i.e. the curd doesn't run back into the line you've just made), then it is ready.
- The lime curd will stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks if stored in an airtight jar or container in the fridge. The curd will also freeze well for 6 months or so - place in a plastic airtight container (with some excess room for the curd to expand). Defrost in the fridge overnight.