I love working citrus into a recipe and often use lemons and limes in both sweet and savory dishes to brighten up the other flavors. But there are times when that punch of tang is required to stand on its own, and this week’s recipe for Lime Curd is tart, tangy, luscious and lip-smackingly all lime.

Fruit curds have a rich and buttery sweetness that elevates them above a standard jam and can be made with a wide variety of fruits. With the right recipe, they can be easy to make and used in myriad ways — as a spread on toast or crackers, as a filling for cakes, cupcakes and cookies, or even as a topping for pancakes, waffles, scones and ice cream.

Lime Curd has a rich and buttery sweetness that makes it perfect to use as a dessert spread or topping. Sarah Nasello / The Forum
Lime Curd has a rich and buttery sweetness that makes it perfect to use as a dessert spread or topping. Sarah Nasello / The Forum

This curd has a wonderfully tart flavor profile, which comes from using both the juice and zest from the limes. A vegetable peeler is a great tool to quickly remove strips of citrus zest without catching any of the bitter, white pith. I used regular limes for this batch of curd, but key limes will be coming into season soon and would be perfect for this dish.

Unlike other curd recipes which can require the use of a double boiler, this lime curd recipe is simple and easy to follow. I use a food processor to combine the sugar with the strips of lime zest, which creates a finely-textured zest.

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Next, I use an electric mixer to cream the butter for about a minute before adding the sugar mixture and other ingredients (eggs, lime juice, vanilla extract and salt).

Once combined, I transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook the curd over medium-low heat until it thickens, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. This will take about 10 minutes, so bring a book or put on your favorite tunes to pass the time as you stir.

Once the curd has thickened and cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four weeks, which I love because it is a great ingredient to have on hand. I made a batch a couple weeks ago to pipe into the center of some springtime cupcakes, and used the leftovers to create dessert sandwiches with the mini sugar cookies from the recipe I featured here last week.

Sarah's recipe for Lime Curd is shown here as a filling with her Grandma Flo's Sugar Cookies. Sarah Nasello / The Forum
Sarah's recipe for Lime Curd is shown here as a filling with her Grandma Flo's Sugar Cookies. Sarah Nasello / The Forum

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Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) is this Monday, May 17, and every year I make a traditional Norwegian Cream Cake called Bløtkake. This is a layered sponge cake filled with jam, custard and whipped cream, and while I typically use strawberry jam, this luscious lime curd would be a great addition.

Gratulerer med dagen to Norwegians everywhere, and happy cooking!

Lime Curd

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Makes: about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups sugar

Zest of 1 large or 2 small limes

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 extra-large eggs

½ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 to 5 limes), or bottled key lime juice

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Use a carrot peeler or zester to remove the zest from the lime(s), being careful to avoid the white pith.

A vegetable peeler is a great tool for removing the zest from citrus fruits, without catching any of the bitter, white pith. Sarah Nasello / The Forum
A vegetable peeler is a great tool for removing the zest from citrus fruits, without catching any of the bitter, white pith. Sarah Nasello / The Forum

Place the zest in a food processor, add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely ground into the sugar.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the lime-sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lime juice, vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.

Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring constantly, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on your stove. The lime curd will thicken when it reaches a temperature just below a simmer (170 degrees).

Remove from heat and refrigerate to set.

To store: Transfer lime curd to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.

Recipe Time Capsule:

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“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.