For the past few years, my family and I have taken steps to make Christmas more meaningful, and less commercial. We don’t have any hard-and-fast rules as to how this works, but we tend to give gifts that are thoughtful, home-made, or from a thirft store. I was skeptical when we first started, but now I can’t imagine any other kind of Christmas. I absolutely love it! The gifts are thoughtful, unique, and I believe they are in line with what the heart of Christmas really is (stop me if I sound too much like Charlie Brown).
This, however, has posed a problem for me. I am not what I would call a ‘crafty’ person. I can’t draw, I can’t sew, I can’t paint, etc. Making gifts just isn’t my thing. I do cook, but I am tired of giving people shortbread cookies for Christmas every year. I knew I needed to branch out. After all, food gifts need not be limited to mere plates of cookies! The possibilities are endless. Thanks to a few delightful food blogs and my trusty friend Google, I found countless recipes for amazing gifts.
So, this year I decided to try my hand at canning lemon curd. The first batch was delicious – I used a combination of Meyer lemons and regular organic lemons – but I ended up eating most of it and realized that I didn’t have much left for gifting. When I went to the store to get more lemons for batch #2, I noticed that limes and key limes were on sale and thus the idea was born – lime curd!
For this recipe, you can use either lemons or limes. I will admit that limes are easier to juice and have less pulp and seeds, and the Lime Curd seems to be a little bit sweeter than the lemon curd (Nich says he prefers the lime over the lemon).
Lime Curd Recipe
(Makes approx. 2-3 cups)
Large Sauce Pan
4oz or 8oz canning jars with lids (I use 4oz. They are so cute!)
Mesh Strainer or Cheese Cloth
1 and 1/2 Cups of fresh squeezed lime juice (from 8-12 limes)
10 tablespoons of chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
6 eggs, plus the yolk of one egg
Zest of 2 limes (cut into large pieces for easy retrieval)
1 cup of sugar
Green food coloring (**optional. Since lime juice isn’t really green, without coloring the curd is a yellow-ish color. I added a tiny bit of green food coloring to my curd, and I must admit, it makes a prettier curd.)
1. Juice the limes (tip: rolling the limes with your palm on the counter will yield much more juice), taking out any seeds or large bits of pulp.
2. Mix the eggs (and yolk), sugar, and limes together until the sugar is totally dissolved. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Do NOT bring to a boil, as the eggs will curdle. Whisk for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add in a few butter cubes at a time while whisking. Keep adding until all the butter is melted, and whisk for 7-8 minutes, or until the lime curd is the desired consistency (should be thick, almost pudding-like). If you are adding food coloring, now is the time to do so.
4. Remove from heat and pour through a strainer or cheese cloth into a bowl. Cool at room temperature for an hour. I put a piece of plastic wrap over it (so a film doesn’t form on top).
5. Transfer to sterilized jars. These can be stored in the fridge (lasts for 2 weeks or so) or they can be frozen.
Voila! Here’s to homemade Christmas gift #1!