Australian Native Finger Limes and Speckled Finger Lime Curd

4 Apr

After much resisting, Louise from Garden Glut‘s boasting about her finger lime tree just made me too jealous. In a moment of weakness I ordered a tree of my own, and it arrived from Daley’s (in Kyogle) yesterday.

It is beautifully structured and incredibly spiky. Might have to position it strategically to stop Little D from climbing the retaining wall towards the street.

If you have never encountered a finger lime, you are in for a treat. They are an Australian native citrus with a flesh that resembles caviar – tiny little balls of limey deliciousness. You cut them in half and squeeze out the flesh – great in salad dressings because you get little surprise bursts of acidity with an amazing texture.

They also come in a great range of colours – from clear  through to light green, dark green, pale and dark pink. The flavour varies too from quite sweet to very acidic like a normal lime.

I had 2 finger limes in the fridge (a gift from a friend) and a handful of beautiful tahitian limes from my next door neighbour that I wanted to use.

The finger limes were dark-skinned and vivid pink in the flesh. The limes were large and juicy – freshly picked from the tree. I thought they all deserved to be used in a special way.

So I planned a lime curd – a special one with little pink speckles. Very decorative and appropriate for Easter I thought.

I based the recipe on this one from taste.com.au.

I added half the finger lime flesh before it thickened, then reserved the remainder until it was finished – concerned that I’d overcook and curdle the mix, then need to strain it to salvage the situation. It was fine in the end – induction cooking is incredibly good for fine control at low temperatures.

I agonised about the level of thickness. Recipes use useless descriptions such as ‘so it coats the back of a spoon’. What does that mean? I wanted a thick curd, but I knew it would thicken further when cooled. In the end I let it thicken to the point that it wasn’t quite thick enough for my liking, but passable if it didn’t get any thicker. Whenever I stirred it vigorously it stuck to the sides of the pan without running back down on its own.

The finished product was quite pretty in the jars – I gave a jar to my neighbour who supplied the limes and I have another for my friend who gave me the finger limes.

I planned to water bath preserve the curd at the end so I could store it in the cupboard, but I chickened out, concerned that the eggs would overcook and go lumpy in the jars. Maybe some things are just better stored in the fridge.

12 Responses to “Australian Native Finger Limes and Speckled Finger Lime Curd”

  1. Karen April 4, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    It is so interesting to learn about different ingredients only available in certain countries. I’m so happy that you have a photo to compare it to a persian lime….so different in size and color.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      They are very different, aren’t they? And a lot of variety too – these ones had only one seed per fruit, but others are very seedy and the variation in colour and flavour is remarkable. I think that finger limes have the potential to become a real ‘food trend’.

      • Karen April 4, 2012 at 10:29 am #

        I think you are right.

  2. Liz April 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    It looks great – I have never eaten a finger lime but I do have a tree (well small shrub currently) so I am hopeful of some in the future. Very jealous of Louise’s flowers though…

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      The fact that mine is the same variety as hers and growing in the same city gives me hope that it is possible for me too. Fingers crossed!

      I hope you have luck with yours soon – how long have you had the tree/shrub?

  3. Barbara Good April 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    Looks delicious L, wish I could taste it. I’m going to be looking out for finger limes now too.

  4. Frogdancer April 5, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    Tried to comment yesterday and it wouldn’t let me. I love the pink speckles in this. very cool.

  5. susanreid April 5, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Thanks for this recipe. My husband loves these trees and has about half a dozen of different varieties ( also from Daleys), but i never know what to do with them. So thanks for the tip.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney April 10, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      No worries Susan. I’m no expert myself, but I’m looking forward to using them in a variety of ways. Primarily salad dressings.

  6. Louise July 22, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Sorry for the delay in commenting. I think you posted this just when I started my overseas work placement and couldn’t view blogs from China…

    YAY! Finger limes. It is a nice plant.

    I must actually blog again about mu Finger limes. While I had a flush of flowers the fruit doesn’t seem to have developed at all since the last post.

    Has yours flowered yet? And are your fruit developing?

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney July 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      I really need to re-pot mine. I bought a particularly bad batch of potting mix and the tree isn’t thriving.

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