I can think of nothing that goes better with our lime scones than this delicious lime curd. If you are not sure what fruit curd is, it is a traditional English breakfast spread made with fruit juice, butter, eggs, sugar and flavoring. It is traditionally served with scones for breakfast. However, many bakers have discovered its delightful usefulness as a filling for cakes, pies, tarts, and even cookies.
You can find prepared versions available to buy at specialty grocery stores. That's good news. However, the great news is that you can make a version that just as tasty right in your own home kitchen! Read on to learn how.
This recipe was featured in our lineup of quick and easy breakfast recipes. Check them out for more easy and delicious breakfast goodness!
- 3 whole medium limes, zested and juiced. This recipe contains no artificial flavor. All of the flavor comes from fresh limes. For best results, prepare the zest just prior to making this recipe. Wash and gently scrub limes to remove any wax coating that may have been applied to the fruit.
- Unsalted butter (¾ cup), cut into ½ inch pieces. Use only real butter. Cutting the butter into smaller pieces helps it to melt faster and more evenly. The butter helps to thicken your lime curd.
- Superfine baker's sugar (1 cup). The sugar provides a sweet counterbalance to the tartness of the lime juice. Please feel free to adjust to your taste. If superfine sugar is not available, run granulated sugar through a food processor for about 1 minute. If you don't have a food processor, you can use granulated sugar. Just make sure that it fully dissolves when stirring it in with the butter.
- Salt (¼ teaspoon). Salt brings out the natural lime flavor of the curd.
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten. Eggs act as an emulsifier, allowing the lime juice and butter to blend well together. They also help to thicken the curd.
Step 1. Add about 1 inch of water to the bottom pot of a double boiler. Alternatively, you can add it to a regular medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Meanwhile, put the lime zest, lime juice, butter, sugar and salt in the top pot of the double boiler or medium heatproof glass bowl. Place the pot or bowl over the pot with the simmering water and stir with a spoon or whisk frequently until the butter melts completely.
Step 2. Add beaten eggs to the butter mixture and whisk constantly until incorporated. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs may curdle (i.e., scramble).
You may be tempted, but for this recipe you should not place all of your ingredients in a saucepan and heat over direct heat. This lime curd needs to be cooked evenly over indirect heat. This cooking method is similar to the one you would use to temper chocolate.
Cooking over indirect heat helps to prevent the eggs from curdling (i.e., scrambling). The key is to keep the heat low and do not allow the mixture to boil.
You will know the lime curd is ready when the whisk leaves visible trails in the mixture.
Step 4. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the lime curd and refrigerate until chilled.
💡 Tips for Success
- Choose limes that are bright and plump, firm to the touch, with no surface imperfections.
- Use good quality real butter. Do not use margarine or other butter substitute. Keep butter chilled until ready to use.
- Keep the water temperature at a low simmer and whisk the curd mixture occasionally. It is not necessary, not advisable, to continuously whisk it. Allowing it to sit over the simmering water will help it to thicken faster.
- Keep the bottom of the glass bowl or top of the double boiler above the water. The vessel that your curd mixture is sitting in should not touch the water.
- If you are having trouble getting the curd to thicken, add 1 additional egg yolk and cook a few minutes longer.
📕 More Lime Recipes
❓ Frequently Asked Questions
You can use lime curd as a spread with scones and biscuits. You can also use it as a crepe, cake or macaron filling or as a yogurt or ice cream topping. Serve it with pancakes or waffles or French toast. It also makes a great pie filling.
The uses for lime curd are limited only by your imagination!
Lime curd will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a month and in the freezer for up to a year. If freezing, leave a 1-inch gap at the top to allow for expansion.
Yes. To freeze, place the curd in a mason jar with a lid and allow a 1-inch gap at the top to allow for expansion. It will keep in the freezer for up to a year. To use, thaw out in the refrigerator, keep refrigerated and use within 1 month.
If you are having trouble thickening the lime curd, add an additional egg yolk and continue cooking for several minutes. If necessary, raise the temperature of the water just slightly, but be sure that the mixture does not boil. Continue cooking until thickened.
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- 3 medium limes zested and juiced
- ¾ cup unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 cup super fine baker's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- Add about 1 inch of water to the bottom pot of a double boiler. Alternatively, you can add it to a regular medium saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, put the lime zest, lime juice, butter, sugar and salt in the top pot of the double boiler or medium heatproof glass bowl. Place the pot or bowl over the pot with the simmering water and stir with a whisk frequently until the butter melts completely.
- Add beaten eggs to the butter mixture and whisk constantly until incorporated. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will curdle (scramble). You will know the lime curd is ready when the whisk leaves visible trails in the mixture.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the lime curd to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until chilled.
Nutritional information provided is for one serving and is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
📚 References and Further Reading
- "Eggs 101, Food Science" by Get Cracking.
- "Preparing and Preserving Lemon Curd" by Elaine M. D'Sa, Ph.D. from the National Center for Home Food Preservation hosted by the University of Georgia; August 2004.
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