Or, How to Turn Any Citrus Juice Into an Irresistibly Sweet-Yet-Tart, Albeit Somewhat Jiggly Substance
If I’m making curd sound less than tempting right now, it’s only because I secretly want it all to myself. Go ahead, make your claim that “curd” is an inherently unappealing word and that food shouldn’t jiggle that way. Meanwhile, I’ll be content to sit in the corner with my bowl of lime curd, thank you very much.
In the interest of full disclosure: if left to my own devices, I sometimes eat curd straight out of the bowl. I’m polite–I use a spoon instead of my fingers–but I’ll fight you over it.
And apparently, when you spoon it in the middle of a sugar-coated thumbprint cookie, lime curd even becomes delicious to people with a more socially acceptable capacity for citrus tang.
For these cookies, I used my family’s recipe for Russian Teacakes, shaped them into thumbprints, and rolled them in sugar before adding a dollop of fresh lime curd. Next time,I’d like to try to bake the curd right into the cookie. This is partially because I think it might work a little better and partially because I am incapable of leaving anything damn well alone.
People also like lime curd if you fill cupcakes with it. Especially if you fold even more curd into your buttercream, thusly creating lime curd buttercream.
I feel confident that you will find lots of applications for this curd (could I suggest eating it atop scones? On toast? Swirled into your yogurt? Really, the possibilities are endless.) And hey, if you want to swipe a little bit directly out of the bowl… I’m not judging.
A note about customizing this recipe: It is easily scaled up or down; keeping in mind that a little curd goes a long way, I’ve shared a small batch here. If you have an exceptionally tart citrus fruit, you may want to add a little bit more sugar, but I would recommend trying it this way first. Finally, if you are nervous about accidentally scrambling your eggs, you can make the curd in the top of a double boiler; it will take significantly longer, but it’s a more foolproof method for cooking your eggs without curdling them.
100 g lime juice [I have successfully used the juice of lemons, grapefruits, key limes, rangpur… you name it, it will probably make a delicious curd.]
100 g sugar, divided
100 g whole eggs
1. In a small pot over high heat, bring the lime juice and 50 g of the sugar to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 50 g of sugar with the eggs.
3. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Very slowly pour 2/3 of the boiling liquid into the eggs, whisking constantly so that you gradually raise the temperature of the eggs. Return the pot to the heat and add the egg mixture back into the pot, whisking constantly.
4. Whisk the curd constantly over medium-low heat just until it thickens. Remove the pot from the heat and pass the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. This will ensure a smooth curd and remove any eggy lumps that may be hiding in there.
5. Cool the curd and store under refrigeration.