*This post marks Day 24 of Miss Ginsu’s 2007 Advent Calendar.
Welcome to Christmas Eve! The 24th has arrived, and if you had great intentions of doing anything before the holiday, it’s kind of too late. Why not relax and let go of unrealistic expectations?
I’ve blogged about the thrills of lemon curd previously, but here we are in the middle of citrus season, and I’ve only blogged four times about various citrus fruits this month, and not even once have I mentioned limes. For shame!
Citrus curds are one of those great condiments that have fallen by the wayside. Is it the name? Curd. Like curds and whey, right? But no. Citrus curds are, in fact, sweet-tart, silky-smooth, sunny-hued and almost translucent.
Or are curds unpopular because they’re at their very best when they’re fresh-made? Truthfully, most people simply don’t make fresh spreads for teatime and brekkie anymore. We’re busy people. We crack open jars of jelly and twist the tops off honey jars instead of making fresh curd on the stove.
Maybe it’s a combination of poor naming associations and lack of free minutes. But listen: you probably have Christmas Day off from work. Making curd takes mere moments, and it’s one of those special things you probably never enjoy. You can make some up tonight and it’ll be chilled and waiting for your morning toast. A wonderful breakfast adventure to look forward to…
Or do like the Brits and take your curd at teatime. Brew some black tea, make some toast or shortbread and set out your great auntie’s teacups. It’ll be cute and old-fashioned.
Lime curd is a cinch (And don’t let the double boiler frighten you off. It’s just a bowl set over a pot of boiling water. How hard is that?).
This curd makes a great mix-in for yogurt, a glaze for cakes, a topping for cheesecake and a spread to adorn hot crepes. It’s also quite nice as a spread on muffins or scones, in tart shells, on fingers…
Supremely Easy Lime Curd (Makes a bit less than a cup.)
1 large, fresh egg
1/4 cup lime juice (1-2 limes)
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4-1/3 cup sugar, or to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
Cut butter into small 1/2" chunks.
Boil a small amount of water in a small pot and cover with a stainless steel or Pyrex bowl. (This, friends, is the double-boiler heating method.) Whisk together the egg, juice, zest and sugar in the glass or metal bowl.
Whisk the lime mixture continuously over the steamy pot for about three to four minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl to avoid overcooking the edges. (You can hold the bowl in place with a hotpad, if it feels unstable.) The curd should grow progressively thicker as you whisk, and it will look like a pourable pudding when it’s done.
When the lime mixture is thickened, take the bowl off the heat. (At this point, you could strain it if you cared to do so. I really don’t care about the zest remaining in my curd, so I don’t.)
Add in the butter chunks, and stir to melt and blend the curd.
Transfer the finished curd to a storage container and, if you don’t want a skin to develop, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the curd.
Lime curd doesn’t last forever — two weeks at the max — so use it while you’ve got it. (Come to think of it, that seems like good advice for most of life.)